Netflix recently released the third season of the women’s pro wrestling based TV series GLOW, which is set in 1980’s Las Vegas at the fictitious Fan-Tan Casino and Hotel this time. Since Impact Wrestling has been taping TV episodes regularly in Vegas also in the last several months (and I just attended the most recent set of those tapings) I thought it may be fun to loosely compare the two programs. Don’t take this too seriously or you may get lost in the sauce.
While GLOW and Impact have many, many obvious differences, and are two vastly different entities, there are still some similarities. GLOW did a deep dive this season with character development as some episodes showed little to no actual in-ring action at all. It was interesting to see how a fictional pro wrestling program would evolve to the point of not focusing much on wrestling matches and the training required but rather on the personal lives of the female grapplers. In somewhat parallel fashion, Impact has done some fantastic character development with its own wrestlers in the last year or so. Every Impact wrestler (male and female) has a story and a reason for us to be invested in them. While the wrestling in Impact is very important and high-level, you also have to care about the storylines and the personas involved and they have done a masterful job at that in 2019.
There are some broad comparisons when you look a few of the specific female characters in GLOW and Impact Wrestling. I like how on both GLOW and Impact that they are proud to showcase women of all shapes and sizes instead of being a “Barbie factory”. Now, again, keep in mind that I have the upmost respect and admiration for Impact Wrestling and their roster. GLOW is a TV show with actresses and is based on a real-life 80’s women’s promotion while Impact is a modern top-tier pro wrestling company. Some of these likenesses are a bit of a “square peg in a round hole” type of thing but here ya go:
Zoya the Destroya and Taya Valkyrie – Both are heels who love to get booed and hated. Zoya is a Russian stereotype who cheats to win. Taya will also win by whatever means necessary and has kind of morphed into something like a Kardashian as of late. These two characters are strangely somewhat cut from the same cloth.
Sheila “the She Wolf” and Rosemary – Trust me, I’m very aware of how awesome and unique Rosemary is and she’s my personal all-time favorite KnockOut so comparing her to anyone is tough. This Sheila character does have enough weirdness and goth to her to slightly draw a comparison though. During this new GLOW season, Sheila changes her gimmick entirely which reminded me of how Rosemary is also Courtney Rush in a separate universe.
Junkchain and Kiera Hogan – Not that these two are mirror images of each other either, but they both have a similar swagger. The character that plays Junkchain portrays a lesbian in the series and Kiera did just come out in real life. Impact has also embraced Kiera’s coming out and have mentioned it on-air. She’ll also be doing some LGBT events over Bound For Glory weekend while officially representing Impact at the same time.
I could go on and on with the character comparisons but beyond the three that I’ve outlined, it would be somewhat of a stretch and also a disservice to the Knockouts division, which I consider to be the best women’s roster in the world. There are also some shades of Don Callis, Scott D’Amore, Ed Nordholm and Len Asper in the main male characters of Sam Sylvia (played by Marc Maron) , Bash Howard and Tex.
It’s not a secret that we are a 420 friendly site here at DiscussPW. Another facet that I wanted to draw attention to was the marijuana usage on GLOW and Impact also not shying away from that. I think it’s smart and prudent to be edgy and have this kind of adult content, especially since most major wrestling companies do very little of that nowadays. The Rascalz “treehouse” segments have become one of the most anticipated parts of the show. It seems like they’ve merely scratched the surface of what they can do with those backstage bits. Impact has also been forthright when it comes to talking about RVD being a cannabis advocate and they’ve done documentary pieces with him on the Fight Network regarding that topic. There were several scenes where some of the GLOW ladies were shown smoking weed and it was hilarious stuff for sure.
Another thing that I appreciated on GLOW was Awesome Kong’s character, “Welfare Queen” being shown in severe back pain from taking bumps in the ring. I think fans often times ignore the physical damage that pro wrestling takes on the performers bodies. So I’m glad they included that sobering aspect because it’s an important part of respecting and appreciating what these wrestlers sacrifice to entertain us. From what I understand, Kong is the only real wrestler on GLOW as the rest of the cast are just actresses, so she would definitely be the correct choice for this particular storyline. As we know, many times the toll of the ring leads to depression, substance abuse or suicide and those things are unfortunately a very real and sad part of pro wrestling.
The women of GLOW did a lot of bonding activities and they were shown as being a tight-knit group. It seems like from what gets posted on social media that the KnockOuts roster is also very close and friendly with each other. The owners of GLOW come into a bunch of money and “save the company” at a certain point on the show. This is very similar to the new TV deal for Impact, with Anthem acquiring AXS TV and really flexing their muscles with the financial backing that they have. So maybe this GLOW/Impact comparison was enjoyable for those of you that have watched GLOW and if you haven’t seen it yet, maybe you’ll check it out in the future. It’s a retro 80’s program and I love that kind of stuff but the acting throughout is also very good. A fair warning that there is quite a bit of nudity and sexual content but if that’s your cup of tea then you’ll dig it.
Impact Wrestling as a whole organization has been glowing lately (see what I did there?). Their women’s wrestling in particular has recently gone to another level because the already stacked KnockOuts roster continues to evolve and improve. We’ve talked on our Spark the Discussion videos about the possible need for a secondary KnockOuts Title or bringing back the KnockOuts Tag Team belts to accommodate this strong division and give it the adequate time it deserves.
There are legitimately at least five women that could easily hold the belt right now besides the current (and longest reigning) KnockOuts Champion Taya Valkyrie. Havok, Su Yung, Rosemary, Jordynne Grace and Tessa Blanchard are all championship material. Then there’s Madison Rayne and Tenille Dashwood who are also in the mix. While the company has done an admirable job of featuring them all so far in various roles, it’s clear that the fans want more. Maybe shifting the focus of Xplosion to a more match-based program would allow the necessary time for another KnockOuts championship belt or belts? This could be a a potential solution. Who knows what possible programming changes or new shows could come out of this AXS TV situation in the future? We shall see.
I’ve talked quite a bit already about my latest trip to Vegas in a recent podcast episode and the spoilers that I provided. Suffice it to say, this taping block at Sam’s Town was really well done. You could definitely tell that these were the final shows before the BFG PPV because it all had a special feel to it. Some of the things that transpired were jaw-dropping and shocking to say the least. I highly recommend watching these Vegas episodes closely because they should translate as well on TV as it did for me in person.
Impact has tangible momentum going into BFG with this Anthem/AXS TV situation and the subsequent debut on the new network coming directly after Bound For Glory. Impact fans should be dancing in the streets right now with joy because things are finally stable again and the possibilities are very exciting moving forward. Haters be damned, because the future for Impact Wrestling is the brightest that it has been for several years. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out one of our latest Spark the Discussion podcast episodes where we destroy the stupid dirtsheet writers who continue to try and put a negative spin on things. Try as they might, Impact Wrestling is sitting pretty and there’s nothing that these parasites can do about it. The third season of GLOW ended with a new adventure awaiting them and now Impact will also venture into a new realm of world-wide exposure with AXS TV providing a big platform to be showcased on. Shit just got real.