GLOW season 3 was missing one key aspect of Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling: wrestling. This season, the lady wrestlers made their way to Las Vegas to take residency at the Fan-Tan Hotel & Casino. Living in a hotel took a while to get used to but the girls adapted to the glitz and glam of their new home. Besides making GLOW a reputable show in the city, many of the characters did their own soul searching during this chapter of their journey. For the first time for many of them, the crew had a stable job and steady paychecks.
As GLOW took focus on Sin City, the outside lives of the lady wrestlers became the real focus in season 3, meaning the in-ring drama was pushed aside. Many viewers instantly noticed the lack of wrestling this season especially compared to previous installments, and it's been a prominent criticism in reviews. So why did GLOW's focus shift outside of the ring?
When GLOW debuted, it was ostensibly about a ragtag group of women looking for a new job opportunity. They were thrown into the world of wrestling without any experience, so much of season 1 involved the women in the learning stage of wrestling. It wasn’t just the physical training but the acting and the development of in-ring personas. But when the characters got a handle on that, season 2 shifted on the collaborative storytelling in putting on a successful show. GLOW season 3's lack of wrestling is a further extension of that.
Ruth and Debbie (Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin) have been the driving forces behind GLOW since the start and, following the move to Vegas, they no longer had to worry about their future. Their success at Fan-Tan led to a longterm contract so their performances were no longer a factor. This made the on-screen wrestling an afterthought to the primary drama, which wasn’t totally a bad thing.
GLOW viewers already know how difficult it was for the characters to train for their show. It was an intriguing change of pace to see more of the in-house relationships on display, whether through friendships or romantic escapades. Characters like Cherry (Sydelle Noel) contemplated starting a family while Arthie and Bash (Sunita Mani and Chris Lowell) struggled with their sexuality and identity. Sheila and Jenny (Gayle Rankin and Ellen Wong) decided to shed their in-ring personas as they felt a change was needed. Then there was Ruth, who finally got a taste of what she always wanted but came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t enough. Overall, the character development in GLOW season 3 was phenomenal, and that didn't need in-ring fights to make it more impactful.
When GLOW season 3 did feature wrestling, though, it was some of the best ever shown in the series. To mix things up after their repetitive acting during the Fan-Tan shows, the ladies decided to switch up their characters. It was a blast to see Ruth and Debbie trade the characters of Zoya the Destroya and Liberty Belle. The season finale took the performance up a notch with A Christmas Carol themed match developed by Carmen (Britney Young). Their take on the holiday classic made for one of the most memorable moments in the series. Sometimes less is more, and it seems like that was the case with GLOW and their wrestling in season 3.