Chavo Guerrero discusses training the GLOW female cast
Netflix had a big hit last year with the addition of GLOW, the remake of the popular 80s television series Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. The series was quickly signed for a second season and the whole cast is returning for more laughs, hair spray, and bodyslams.
To make a wrestling show is not easy though, and what makes it even more tougher is the fact that none of the cast members – except for one – are professional wrestlers. So how do you transform a whole cast of ladies who never stepped foot in a wrestling ring and make them believable as they wrestle on the screen?
Simple, you call in the professional. And in this case, it’s Chavo Guerrero, the 47-year-old former WWE and WCW Cruiserweight, ECW, and WWE, WCW, and TNA Tag Team champion. Making his pro wrestling debut in 1994, Chavo Guerrero has pretty much wrestled all over the world and had careers in WCW, WWE, TNA Wrestling, and Lucha Underground. His resume` makes him more than qualified to lead these ladies in the ring and Guerrero is back as well for season two as GLOW’s wrestling coordinator.
His uncle, Mando, was the wrestling coordinator for the original GLOW series, so it was important for Chavo to keep the Guerrero legacy involved with the show. But his involvement came thanks to former WWE Diva Eve Torres, who knew GLOW’s stunt coordinator Shauna Duggins.
“They had previously worked on a different project together, so Shauna asked Eve if she could recommend anyone. Eve referred me….thank God,” Chavo said. Duggins and Guerrero have been involved in the show since the beginning, a partnership that continues to this day going into season two of the show.
Training for the ladies was a bit difficult but there were no major problems along the way as all the cast members were very eager to learn and were also really great students. “We always stress protecting your opponent and also yourself,” Guerrero added, citing a very important part of the professional wrestling handbook.
Before the start of season one, things were a bit more difficult in terms of training but when the cast reported for season two, training was quicker. “For season one it really took a whole month before filming for me to get the girls ready,” Chavo said. “In season two, after the first week we were already caught up and the girls were ready to start learning new stuff. Definitely much faster in season two.”
Chavo described all the girls as great and fast learners as well as eager to improve, pointing out in particular Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin, the two top stars of GLOW. But they were not the best! “If I had to pick one of the girls that would’ve been the best, I’d have to say Kimmy Gatewood. We nicknamed her ‘Kimmy One Time,’ because all I had to do was show her one time and she get it,” Chavo recounted. Gatewood plays the role of Stacey “Ethel Rosenblatt” Beswick on GLOW.
A typical training day consisted of two separate sessions that lasted two to three hours each, splitting the girls into two different groups. “First, we start with stretching, then warming up, then going into some chain wrestling, then working on any particular moves that I wanted the girls to learn,” Chavo said. Chavo’s work did not stop there though as then he would see who would be wrestling in that particular episode and work on some matches depending on the script before cooling down. “Of course, we’d mix in some laughs and some show tunes every now and then also!”
Despite not appearing on the screen anymore, Chavo Guerrero is still very much involved in the wrestling business and is one of the producers of Lucha Underground, the lucha libre show from television producer giant Mark Burnett. “I’m very involved in that. In the new season, you can expect some definite swerves that you were not expecting in the storylines, some new faces, and some incredible wrestling which Lucha is known for,” Chavo said of the upcoming season of LU that starts next month.
“June is a big month for me, as I have two shows returning in the same week,” Chavo added. “Really looking forward to the success of both, and to see how, not only the wresting world, but the television world receives them both. Both are great shows, and I’m proud to be a part of both of them. Keep watching, because there is much more to come from me in the future.”
GLOW returns on Netflix on June 29 with all episodes available for binge watching. The show will be available in 4K HDR as well.