Friday, March 29, 2013

Dawn Maestas ("Godiva" from GLOW) Interview

At age 24, Dawn Maestas became "Godiva", one of the standout members of the GLOW roster, making her debut in season 3. In this interview, Dawn discusses GLOW, the Godiva character, and her current involvement in the pro-wrestling industry.

Q: Why did you enter the pro-wrestling industry?

A: I got a call from a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. My best friend since Jr. High. She was doing GLOW, and wanted me to come do it with her. We were on the same gymnastics team together, and cheerleaders together through high school. Her character on GLOW was Debbie Debutante. We are still close friends to this day!

Q: What was the best part about working for GLOW?

A: GLOW was a blast. I loved the physicality of it, I loved working out matches with my opponents, and I loved the fun things about being on the road...interviews, photo sessions, etc.

Q: What are your thoughts on the following former G.L.O.W. members:

A: CHEYENNE CHER - I answer this as Godiva??? Cheyenne was one of my favorite opponents. Our matches were very high flying, she was also a gymnast, and she was easy to throw around. She made me look good.

DAISY - Daisy was my favorite opponent because she was able to toss me around like a rag doll. We always had HUGE moves. She was also one of my best friends in GLOW and beyond. She is the type of person who will do anything for a friend.

COLONEL NINOTCHKA - Nino trained me and I had huge respect for her. We were both heels, so I only got to wrestle with her once as Parisian Ninotchka. I LOVED that match!! I felt very safe wrestling her. Also, we were both such strong, independent characters, the fans LOVED it!

MAJOR TANYA - No opinion really. I felt like, during GLOW anyway, she was one of the weaker wrestlers. I know she continued to wrestle post-GLOW so maybe that changed...I don't know.

SALLY THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER - My match with Sally has the most YouTube hits of any match, but honestly, I didn't like wrestling her. She was uncontrollable. She did what she wanted, whether it would "sell" well or not, whether it was part of the action or not.

TIFFANY MELLON - Tiffany was also very physical which I loved. She was often a diva pain in the ass, but our matches looked great. I was really arch rivals with her tag team partner, Roxy. Our cat fights and trash talk still endure. Also, we reunited recently and had great laughs over our old rivalry. They are great.

DAVID MCLANE - Never met him.

Q: Which do you feel was your best match in GLOW?

A: Godiva vs. Cheyenne Cher for the GLOW crown.

Q: Have you done any wrestling since GLOW?

A: I have. I am in production now on a new action, comedy, reality show called Femme D Action. You can see our promo video here: I did some wrestling and stunts to train the new Femmes. We are using several GLOW girls in our new show as well and our GLOW director, Matt Cimber is directing. In addition to that, I am a 3rd degree black belt martial arts instructor.

Q: Throughout the years, many female wrestling promotions have come and gone, but none of them made an impact like GLOW did. To this day, GLOW remains the all-time favorite of many women's wrestling fans. In your opinion, what was it about GLOW that has made it stand out from other female wrestling promotions?

A: GLOW was character driven making it much more than a wrestling company. The camp and the character were the most important elements. There hasn't been any other show like it. To me, GLOW more closely resembled HeeHaw or Laugh-in from the 70s more than it did any wrestling show. (We will see plenty of camp and craziness in Femme D Action!)

Q: Do you see Femme D Action having a bright future?

A: YES!! It's clever, fast-paced, topical, and, in Matt Cimber tradition, there is absolutely NOTHING on television like it. I'm excited! We have former GLOW girls Roxy, Little Egypt, and myself as judges, Lightning, Hollywood, Matilda the Hun and Gremlina as trainers and mentors, Daisy and Tulsa are our Security Guards and cameos (so far!) by Stinky, Thunderbolt, and Ashley.

Q: Were you a wrestling fan before you were involved with GLOW?

A: Absolutely not. I never even saw a wrestling match before I was a wrestler.

Q: Comparing the view of female wrestling during the existence of GLOW to the view of female wrestling in the year 2013, do you feel that female wrestling is more respected? Also, do you feel that the quality of female wrestling has improved?

A: I don't follow wrestling. It looks more sexualized to me than GLOW, but I really wouldn't know. GLOW was a "sexy" show, but it wasn't a "sex" show. The women portrayed on GLOW were independent and empowered. There was no male image on hunky muscle guys leading us to the ring or drying our delicate tears. Again, I feel like GLOW can't really be compared to those shows.

Q: What did you like the most about being a pro-wrestler?

A: Being a glamorous icon! HA! JK...It was a crazy life at the perfect time....young, single, childless, no responsibilities, and I managed to have a blast! Godiva, Professional Fun Seeker!

Q: How much of DAWN was a part of the Godiva character? Or do you feel that Godiva and Dawn are like night and day?

A: Matt really gave us our characters based on something innate that he saw. Godiva is haughty, self-absorbed, strong, confident, and cutting. I am definitely a kinder, gentler....well, Godiva. I love her.

Q: Who would you have liked to wrestle, that you did not?

A: This is my favorite question. I think Spanish Red....again a great and super physical bad guy.

Q: What is your long-term goal?

A: To be honoring and faithful, to live for something bigger than myself, and to love, accept, and serve others unconditionally.

Monday, March 25, 2013

GLOW: Still Popular After All These Years

Recently I was invited to check out a review on a GLOW documentary. I remember watching GLOW in the 1980's, and found it to be very entertaining. There were a lot of female wrestling promotions in existence during that decade in the United States along with GLOW: Ladies Major League Wrestling, the LPWA, and POWW. While I considered POWW to be the best of the four in terms of in-ring action, creatively GLOW was one the best American female wrestling promotions of all-time.

What surprises me is that while it's obvious that there is still a great amount of interest in GLOW (documentaries, DVDs available nationwide, etc.), it currently is not on television. ESPN Classics presents episodes of the AWA, and even though GLOW wasn't as popular as the AWA in the 1980's, GLOW was syndicated just as the AWA was. Also, Wrestlicious was a part of the MavTV lineup not long ago, so the potential for a female pro-wrestling product on television is likely still there. GLOW still exists as a company (with Usula "Babe The Farmer's Daughter" Hayden as the owner), so they should contact networks and see which ones are interested in showing their GLOW episodes.

I would shoot for a TV deal with Tribune Broadcasting. In New York during the 1980's, WPIX had the broadcast right for GLOW, and WPIX is owned by Tribune Broadcasting. A TV deal with Tribune would get GLOW on up to 24 Tribune stations, which include PIX 11 (New York), KTLA 5 (Los Angeles), WGN-TV (Chicago), WPHL-TV (Philadelphia), and KDAF (Dallas). Those five stations are located in the top five television markets in the United States, presenting a possible opportunity definitely worth looking into.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bully Ray: The President of the Aces and Eights

With the Aces & Eights getting involved in Bully Ray-related situations on more than one occasion (to the benefit of Ray) since they made their debut, it's quite clear what Ray was referring to when he would constantly mention Bully Nation.

And it appears that Ray threw a major hint regarding his affiliation with the Aces and Eights during the summer of 2012 on Twitter.

The night before Bully Ray posted that tweet, he was on an episode of "IMPACT WRESTLING" appearing to make a save against Aces and Eights.

Also, Ray would rarely join in on brawls against the Aces & Eights members, and when he did, they didn't put up much offense (if any). And one time, Bully Ray -limping with a chain- was keeping seven members of the Aces and Eights at bay. Unrealistic? Of course it was- it was all "a part of the plan".

A lot of credit must be given to "Red Herring", the member of Aces and Eights who was posing as the President on an episode of, "IMPACT WRESTLING". That clearly wasn't Bully Ray, and "Red" certainly did his job well, convincing viewers that he was the President. He barely tried to disguise his voice, making it obvious who he was. This created a tremendous wave of gossip, as fans and members of the pro-wrestling media were sure that they knew the identity of the President of the Aces and Eights.

The Aces and Eights Reach an NWO-Level of Dominance in TNA

Last night's TNA Lockdown delivered a great event with an enthusiastic crowd- the biggest domestic crowd ever for a TNA show. The main event was Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, a match that resulted in Ray becoming the new champion. I view this as a short term-negative but a long-term benefit. It's a short term negative because Hardy is the biggest name on the active roster, and being that the TNA Champion is the face of the company, it is financially beneficial for the title to be with Hardy.

However, the short-term negative is outweighed by the long term-benefit, and the benefit is that Bully Ray has become champion while simultaneously being revealed as the president of the Aces and Eights faction. In a previous blog post, I discussed how much potential the Aces and Eights faction has. Since that post, their brand has been strengthened as I suggested it should have been, by it being merchandised. They should still have their own website in my opinion though- perhaps that will happen in the future.

Bully Ray becoming TNA World Heavyweight Champion has given the Aces and Eights new life and brought them to the forefront of TNA, just as Hulk Hogan brought the NWO to the forefront of WCW when he was revealed as the leader of the NWO. The question is, can the Aces and Eights maintain this momentum the same way the NWO did? I believe that they can. The NWO thrived in the adult-oriented atmosphere of WCW, and that same atmosphere exists in TNA. The heel heat was raw when Bully Ray cut his post-match heel promo, as the ring was pelted with garbage thrown into the ring by angry fans, which was the same way that WCW fans reacted when Hogan revealed that he had turned heel.

The aura of mystery and suspense that helped make the NWO become successful will definitely continue to exist with the Aces and Eights. The TNA World Heavyweight Championship is now in the camp of the Aces and Eights and the balance of power has shifted- which members of the TNA roster will "tire of fighting the power" and become a part of the force?

Jeff Hardy is signed to a multi-year contract with TNA, so he's not going anywhere. I have no doubt that the cash cow for TNA will be TNA World Heavyweight Champion once again. But right now? It's the Aces and Eights' time to be highlighted to their fullest potential, especially Bully Ray. Many have been praising him for over a year now. Even Ray himself has noted that his career has new vitality. For the first time in Ray's career, the weight of a pro-wrestling company now rests on his shoulders. Is Ray truly destined for greatness? If so, now is his opportunity to prove it.