The ultimate ranking of wrestlers on Netflix’s GLOW

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Kia Stevens, Sydelle Noel, Ellen Wong, Marianna Palka, Sunita Mani, Kimmy Gatewood, Britt Baron, Rebekka Johnson, Jackie Tohn in Netflix’s “GLOW” Image via Erica Parise/Netflix

Netflix debuted GLOW last week, which means it’s time to rank the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling as depicted in this campy but wave-making series.

I dove into GLOW after reading the — pun intended — glowing reviews spanning the internet for the past week. Though Netflix has recently made some strange decisions regarding its original content, the premise of GLOW and its trailers made it seem very appealing. I love campy, sports-themed media focused on women.

GLOW, a comedic dramatization of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling league of the 1980s, fits that theme to a T. With a cast led by Alison Brie (CommunityMad Men), the series explores the complex lives of a diverse cross-section of women. They all have one thing in common: in an America that’s deeply biased against minorities and women, they’re eager for work. They’re even willing to wrestle each other on national television in order to get it.

Portions of this series are honestly cringe-worthy. Sensitive plots are exploited in dialogue for shock value. Some scenes border on being so campy they’re indigestible. Characters make choices that are soap opera-worthy. However, these moments are handled with an alacrity that somehow makes them work in the overall context of the show. For that, GLOW deserves fair praise.

Regardless of its flaws, the heart of this series is its ensemble cast. Ranking these wrestlers is hard. Though pitting women against each other is honestly horrible, GLOW makes an interesting point. When we throw women into the (proverbial or literal) ring to duke it out, there’s an element of showmanship that cannot be denied.

Thus, it seems pretty harmless to rank these ladies on their individual merits. Plus, it’s almost impossible not to play favorites, especially when watching sports-based TV.