Thursday, August 2, 2012

Village Voice Review "GLOW" 1987

Village Voice
Take Down 
 By Rj Swift

June 16, 1987

Last Saturday, the Pope delivered a global prayer for understanding. 

Big deal. Earlier that morning, Tina Ferrari stomped Spanish Red, the referee wanly hissing "No pulling hair", as the audience fav-sweating through her designer wrestling togs-threw down a tough submission hold and somebody had somebody pinned and there were multiple body slams and every- thing you saw was strictly banned under the Olympic wrestling rules and Spanish Red-Central American revolutionary, get it?-came out looking bad, but not so bad you won't see them next week, count on it.

And even if devotees of ,GLOW-Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling is the programs full name, got up at nine to watch, you usually don't have to: the station thought the Pope and Matilda the Hun weren't a viable two-fer, moving GLOW for it's usual noon slot.  This isn't television wrestling, is proof once more we are a dying planet. Try watching GLOW in Russia, buddy. 

The World Wrestling Federation, Rowdy Roddy Dolls, Dainne Keaton gushing about the sport to David Letterman ("Oh, have you been?"): wotta crock. "Few Americans industries have suffered so spectacular a decline as Wrestling," 1.A.J. Liebling wrote in 1937, and 50 years later I'm inclined to go with the big boy on that, though the faddish hype of our times proceeds unabated

GLOW is to today's wrestling what the latest Cult album is to heavy metal. It's one long corn-fed, insincere action Iigure drama, it's exciting, and it's about the greatest TV comic book since Batman. 

"We actually tried to get Alistair Cooke, but he looked' lousy in a leotard," says Richard Perin, one of the show's marketers, about GLOWs obvious debt to public television. "Some people call it action Hee-Haw; I don't feel it's a wrestling show in the purest sense of the word," Perin adds, with a subtle understanding of his craft. It's been on Channel 11 since early this year, and it's not going anywhere unless some irate parent has their way.  

It started like this: somebody with ideas saw the movie "All the Marbles", about female wrestling, and then un- learned most of it, envisioning a big future in wrestling ladies minus all pretense to the finer points. They got some partners with bucks to back it, including Pia Zadora's husband, who kicked in use of his Las Vegas hotel, where the weekly event is taped. 

Maybe one day we can look forward to seeing Pia in the squared circle; right now you get Sylvester Stallone's mom Jackie, who's the trainer of the bad girls. At least she doesn't rap, as do the wrestlers from time to time. The matches are also interspersed with comic bites, all the best material found by comprehensive canvasing of cocktail napkins. 

Two weeks ago, Mt. Fiji the announcer said was from Samoa, wonder whence that Queens accent- pasted. a couple of wimps by cornering them and giving them both breasts dead-on.  

Later. the Heavy Metal sisters took to the ring against three shrimps. The sisters play dirty. With Little Egypt pinned to the canvas, one sister pulled out a railroad tie and pounded it into the arm of the wriggling belly dancer. Blood gushed, and paramedics leaped into the ring and took her away.  

Not to worry: maybe 45 seconds later, Little Egypt was back in the ring, bandaged, and though it seems to me another of her team got blow torched in the eyes, the match was over when the Sister's dirty play caught up with them. 'they'll be back.

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