Hot Docs 2012: My Thoughts on GLOW: The Story Of The Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling

If you watch professional wrestling in this day and age, you would find that women wrestling is all but a joke.  For about every women wrestler that’s a true athlete (and actually a good wrestler), there’s about ten that are just hired for their looks (and are likely former models).

GLOW tells a different story.  In the all-women wrestling show Gorgeous Women of Wrestling, the women wrestlers came in many different shapes and sizes and had characters just as outlandish as the wrestlers appearing in WWF (now WWE) at the time.

Not only is the film a document of a women’s wrestling show that only lasted for 5 years, but it’s also a nostalgic look back at the more cartoonish nature of professional wrestling in the 80s.  While these days, WWE seems to be halfheartedly trying to go back to their family-friendly days, in the 1980s wrestlers were truly living cartoon characters (heck, there was even an actual WWF cartoon).  The most fun part of this documentary was just watching at how cheesy this show was.  It really started getting funny when you realized that everyone on the show (even the referee) had their own rap.

Despite the fun tone, the documentary gets a bit more dramatic in the second half.  There is a nasty image of an injury one of the wrestlers received in which her arm was bent backwards (was definitely cringe-inducing to watch).  There was also the sad story of the star wrestler, named Mountain Fiji, who is bed ridden in a nursing home, due to her bad knees.

Overall, I would say that the film was an interesting and fun account at a version of women’s wrestling that sort of wish still exists.


Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).