Friday brings the premiere of the new Netflix series GLOW, and it’s bringing more attention to the 1980s wrestling promotion that inspired the show. Turns out that one of the women involved in the original company is now an attorney and law professor.
Lauri S. Thompson talked about her experiences in an interview with Fox 5 Vegas. When she joined the company, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, she had no experience. She was a dancer on the Las Vegas Strip, looking to break into television.
“I saw this interview for a TV show over at the Riviera Hotel,” she said. “I thought, ‘That’s perfect!'” But she didn’t know it was a wrestling company until the interview. Thompson got ready to leave because she had no experience in that kind of thing. They changed her mind.
“He said ‘We’re just creating something brand new, something that’s never been done before,” she said. “We’re going to use the hook of wrestling, but what were going to do is make these women superheroes. The next you thing you know, I was in GLOW.”
She appeared in the first two seasons as wrestler Susie Spirit.
“It was fun, it was exciting, and we were in it together. So we were all helping each other out,” Thompson told the outlet.
The experience didn’t last forever, though. She left in 1987. Her life has changed a lot these last 20 years.
Thompson got her JD in the ’90s, became a mother, and has gone on to teach law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She also works as an attorney at GreenbergTraurig, specializing in intellectual property, and serves on the board of a children’s charity and the Nevada ballet.
The new Netflix show GLOW is a fictionalized depiction of what it was like to work for the real-life promotion, which ran on TV from 1986 to 1990. The company stood out by placing singular focus on female performers. Historically, you didn’t really see that from American wrestling companies until Shimmer was founded in 2005 and Shine in 2012. The WWE has changed its approach in the last couple of years as well, redefining the way they present their women. Gone are the “bra and panties” matches (a real thing). Whether they’ve done enough has been debated, however.
[Screengrab via Fox 5 Vegas]