With the second season of GLOW having premiered this past week on Netflix, here’s a list of the best wrestler cameos from the first season, since I haven’t done a write up for it, yet.
10. Brooke Hogan
Granted, she’s not a wrestler. But she is the daughter of one of the most famous wrestlers of all time, and has been involved in pro wrestling in one form or another. Like, getting hit on by Randy Orton. Surprisingly, Brooke fits in really well in the 80’s, especially with that hair.
9. John Hennigan
Johnny “whatever you want to call him” steps in as Salty “The Sack” Johnson, the Mando Guerrero-based actual wrestler who trained the women of GLOW back in the day. But his guest role as trainer, was just that, a role, as Chavo Guerrero was the one who actually provided the training for the female wrestlers appearing on the Netflix series. Even in the show, Hennigan only lasted a couple of episodes, as he was later replaced by Cherry Bang a.k.a. Junk Chain.
8. Laura James
The real life wife of Joey Ryan plays his valet, Crystal. Although her cameo is brief, she does her best to channel her inner Ms. Elizabeth, and showcase her wrestling acting ability as she momentarily seems to regret her decision to leave ex-boyfriend, Steel Horse, for the evil Mr. Monopoly. She definitely showed more remorse than sweet Sapphire did when she left Dusty Rhodes hanging for the riches of the Million Dollar Man.
7. Joey Ryan
The man who brought sleazy back wasn’t able to portray his regular lollipop-sucking, boobplexing, dick-swinging prowess in his cameo, but he was able to channel a lot of his heelish tendencies as Mr. Monopoly, the dollar store version of the Million Dollar Man. Much like Bobby Roode, this guy was all entrance. He also really could’ve used a top hat and monocle to tie everything together. But indie wrestling in the 80’s wasn’t as lucrative as it is now, I guess.
6-5. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian
Unfortunately, these two wrestling legends didn’t get to have made-up names, or introductions, but they did get to show off their moves in the only wrestling for “wrestling sake” match that takes place throughout the series. It was also the most non-80’s match on the show. But, how else was Daniels going to be able to work in his Best Moonsault Ever? And honorable mention shout-out to former WWE referee, and current Lucha Underground ref, Marty Elias and his terrible wig.
4. Alex Riley
I never thought I’d be including Alex Riley in the top five of any wrestling-related, best-of list. But, here we are. Riley plays the one thing he was never able to get over as in the WWE, or NXT: a babyface wrestler. Here, he’s the motorcycle driving, blue-collar wrestler who’s just trying to win back his girlfriend, Crystal, from the evil Mr. Monopoly. He also happens to serve as the inspiration for Betty Gilpin’s character, Debbie, as the whole wrestling thing comes together for her while watching him wrestle. He also gets to hook up with her, afterward.
The former Brodus Clay, makes his first Netflix wrestling-related cameo as Mighty Tom Jackson, part of the Lumberjackson wrestling family. Along with his brother, Big Kurt Jackson, the fraternal duo tease their sister Carmen’s decision to join the family business. Eventually, they come around and help her out by training Debbie and Ruth to put on matches with more exciting moves.
The other half of the Lumberjacksons. Considering Big Kurt Jackson shared about the same amount of screen time as Tyrus, Carlito comes in one spot ahead of him because Carlito was able to work his apple gimmick into his cameo. That alone is worth being at the top of the list. Now, if Tyrus would’ve shouted “somebody call my mama” during one of his scenes, then he might’ve been tied at the number two spot with Carlito. Sadly, the Lumberjacksons don’t have a mama, so it would’ve made it difficult to work in.
1. Kia Stevens/Awesome Kong
So this role wasn’t a one-time cameo, but more of a major acting role. Her character, both as Tammé Dawson and Welfare Queen, was one of the most developed of all the wrestlers appearing on the show. You couldn’t help but cheer for Kia when she was on screen learning how to bump, expressing concern over her stereotypical wrestling character, and then embracing it and making it work. Based on her personal experiences, it didn’t seem like too much of a stretch from her actual wrestling career as Awesome Kong.
Now, to watch GLOW and count how many wrestler cameos there are in season two.