“Hollywood” Jeanne Basone talks GLOW Show, Why The Original Was Special, The Abrupt Finish, more

Show: Wrestling Epicenter
Guest: GLOW’s “Hollywood” Jeanne Basone & “Wildcat” Chris Harris
Date: 02/05/20
Your Host: James Walsh
Here we go with episode 700 of the Wrestling Epicenter To celebrate this milestone, we welcome not 1 but 2 guests this week.
First, from the original Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, we welcome Hollywood! Hollywood was the first signed and the mainstay of the 4 season run of the game changing all female wrestling show in the 80’s. She’s also gone on to a stunt career and has a lot of different ventures including a soap company, comic book, and more. Quite the conversation with “Hollywood” Jeanne Basone!
Then, a man who was in the headlines just last week for being announced as returning for Impact Wrestling’s WrestleMania weekend event featuring a reunion of the original stars of TNA, we welcome back “Wildcat” Chris Harris for the first time in nearly 17 years! We catch up with Chris Harris in semi-retirement as we discuss his time in the ring, what went right, how he lived his dream, and, sadly, what could have gone better if timing or politics weren’t a factor. Lots of gems here!
To buy great GLOW products and Jeanne’s custom soaps, visit www.JeanneBasone.com! Tell her the Epicenter sent you!

“HOLLYWOOD” JEANNE BASONE:
On getting involved in pro wrestling and the birth of GLOW:
“I never aspired to be a pro wrestler because I never knew much about wrestling. But, I always knew that the entertainment part of it was like an acting gig but with physical attributes added to it. I got called in to an audition – I had a regular job too, James.when I was told it was a wrestling show I about fell on the floor! I didn’t know anything about this sport! I knew a lot about other sports but not this one. They needed 12 girls to do the pilot and I was one of the 12. I trained with Mondo Guerrero. I didn’t know anything about the famous Guerreros at all. To me, he was just another trainer. Mondo asked, “Which one of you ladies can ram your head into the turnbuckle, turn over, and land on your back.” I was the first one that rose my hand, I did it – Who knows if I did that properly. But, the founder of GLOW, David McLane told me “That is how, Jeanne, you secured your job. You were the first, in my mind, hired. Then Americana, and then Lisa Moretti who went on to become Ivory and was inducted into The WWE Hall of fame. Then we filmed the GLOW pilot! It was 4 years of really, really good fun. I think about it today and I pinch myself thinking, “Did I really do that show? (laughs)”
On the rap song the girls did:
“The rap songs! That is what set us apart from the WWE, WWF at the time. All of the sketches… And, it was all women who came in different shapes, sizes an color! We, were the first ones doing that on TV. We can never forget, of course, all the legends before us who paved the way- Mildred Burke , Johnnie Mae Young, Penny Banner, Joyce Grable and Wendi Richter. I always give them a high five. But, we were the first to do that (an all women’s show on TV) and we had 4 fabulous seasons. That is pretty exciting!”
On the Story of GLOW Documentary from 2013:
“I loved it. You can still see it on Netflix. But, I do think there was so much more to talk about , maybe a part 2? LOL But, all the girls were gathered together who hadn’t seen each other in a very, very long time. Those two guys, Brett and Brad did a very good job. Originally, they were going to do an interview with Ursula Hayden who owns the GLOW trademark and then they met all of us because she had a birthday party.” She continues, “That was special. Producer Jenji Kohan from Orange is the New Black saw that documentary and it must of set off a light bulb in her head to do a show about GLOW which is really loosely based on our show.”
On how she feels about the Netflix GLOW show:
“I love it! I think that anything that sheds light on us is good for our brand. I never thought, in a million years, that someone would do a show about something that we had done back in the 80’s.”
On how accurate the Netflix GLOW is to how it really was filming the original series:
“You know, James. Sometimes people don’t get it because I get calls or emails and people ask, “Did that really happen?’ It’s TV! You have to get those viewers coming back. They show a lot of drug use and that is one area where it is very loosely based. If we were caught doing anything like that, we were fired immediately. They had us on a tight leash
On GLOW’s abrupt ending:
“It did go away very quickly. I did the pilot and seasons 1 and 2 and then almost everyone left except myself and Mountain Figi and we had new girls for seasons 3 and 4. I wasn’t as close with them (the season 3 and 4 girls). One of the reasons was I didn’t have to live in Las Vegas during that time. So, I would come in for rehearsals and sketches and then go back to LA. The first and second season, we were all living at the Riviera Hotel. In the 3rd and 4th seasons, the girls were all living in apartments. In the first 2 seasons, I was rooming with my tag team partner Vine. But, when GLOW ended, it was just a phone call. That phone call was just, “We’re not doing this anymore. There is no more funding. Hi and Goodbye.” I was like, “Well, crap! Now what am I going to do?” This is what I had done for 4 years! When you’re in your 20’s, you’re not always as thinking about your future… A lot of the girls went on to get married, have kids. But as for me? Myself and Lightning, we went to the independent wrestling circuit.
On the differences between filming GLOW and working the indie scene:
“Being on TV and then doing that, it was different! And, Lightning, who you should interview, will tell you, she got a lot of crap from the girls in the LPWA. “You can’t wrestle.”
On having freedom outside of GLOW:
in GLOW it felt like you were living with your parents, lots of rules! But after our show I stayed in it (wrestling), James. I was like, “This is what I love. This is what I’m good at.’ So I formed my own wrestling Co. with some new girls and we did our own matches.”
On David McLane’s feeling GLOW was hijacked from him:
“His vision for it was doing an all women’s wrestling show like what he has been doing with ( WOW ) so thankfully it parlayed into that for him. We filmed at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas and our director Matt Cimber was good friends with the owner. That was where the money was from. “Matt, we’re going to put you in touch with David because he’s got this women’s wrestling show. Matt was a director in film.That is how those two came together. I don’t think David wanted it that way. He went with it for a while and then after the 2nd season, he was done. He told me that things were going south especially with distributors doing things behind his back. “Wait a minute, we didn’t sell the show to Japan!” Oh yes they did! And, they didn’t tell him. He was like, “I’m done.” You can’t blame him.”
On why David McLane wasn’t on the GLOW documentary:
“I don’t think he thought it was real. Seriously, are these people for real? Is this worth my time?”
On the GLOW girls facing WCW on Family Feud:
“YES! That was fun! I thought we’d be in and do one game show. No, you’re there the entire day. We did 5 that day. Then we got called again for the next season! It was fun. Sting was there… Jim Ross… Forgive me, I can’t remember everyone. Brian Pillman. Yes. And the cool thing is it was all for charity.”
On how the WCW guys felt about the GLOW girls:
“They loved us! Oh God, they were just in awe. A little flirting going back and forth. Oh, it was just a healthy thing! (laughs)”
On guesting on Married… With Children:
“Oh my Gosh, James! Imagine being 20 years old and being on national TV. There was no social media, there was no Internet. It was just TV and radio,the power of TV is incredible. When we went for the audition, I was thinking we were going to audition with 50 girls. When we got there – It just me and the Farmer’s Daughter – When we walked into audition for the executive producers, it wasn’t just those two it was all the writers, the director, and I was getting more and more nervous! But, we did our lines and then we switched them around and they looked at us and said, “Ok guys, we’ll see you Monday morning.” Ursula (Farmer’s Daughter) and I just looked at each other and *gasping sound*! It was amazing! We had a whole week on the show. And, we did a lot of other shows too. But, Married… With Children! *signs* hey I heard it just re-ran just last week somewhere. It was a different time and day. I was so grateful the opportunity
On some of GLOW’s more controversial angles:
“We did the Gestapo Match! We had the Nazi patches. Woah! That night, I went back to my room which was across from the pool at the Riviera and, I kid you not, someone had taken a sharpee and drawn Swastikas into the diving board. Oh my God! I was like, no way! The fans got really into what we were doing and it got kind of scary at times. (laughs)”
On forming Hollywould Productions:
“After GLOW had ended, I was working for all these independent promotions and I kept working, working, working and I was working a shit ton. I started thinking, “I know wrestlers. Why don’t I start my own production?” This was before I broke my leg back in, 1998. Someone came up to me and said, “Do you have a website?” I said, “What is a website?” (laughs) I didn’t know! It was 1996! But, I got a computer, I bought a URL, I got a webmaster and it all came together. There were a lot fewer people doing things like that back then. Now, the market is so over-saturated. Everyone’s a producer!”
On if she regrets any of her more risque film appearances in the 90’s:
“No, not at all. After I broke my leg, I could not wrestle. so I did a few movies, vids here and there. But there’s nothing I ever regret doing because I’m an adult and I have to put food on the table and pay bills.”
On the GLOW Talent Being Honored at the Cauliflower Alley Club:
“Before all the GLOW girls got back together, myself and Lightning were going to the Cauliflower Alley Club when they were doing it in California. Soon after the documentary came out, all the GLOW girls started going. I think we got a better reception once the GLOW on Netflix series started. Then, we got honored with the Ring of Friendship lifetime membership and then we were all honored as a group! And, some people were happy we were honored and there were some who said, “Why are they being honored?” There’s always pros and cons to everything. Overall, it was a lot of positivity. We’re going again this year. It will be myself, Lightning, and probably the Royal Hawaiian and maybe some of the season 3 and 4 girls as well.”
On her current business:
“I have a company called Hollywood Botanika, Hollywood spelled the right way, sorry folks! (laughs) And, I make home-made soaps. I started doing this because I like anything that doesn’t have all the preservatives in it. It started about 13 months ago when I was buying soaps and I was looking at the ingredients and I said, “Wow, there’s only a few ingredients here,” So, I did my due diligence and said “ I can do this” and I love making soaps! I’m looking right now at my rack of soaps and they are awesome! I have a website. It is JeanneBasone.com and there you can get all the GLOW merch and my home-made soaps!”Click Here: Borussia Dortmund soccer tracksuit

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