Written Podcast Recap: The Steve Austin Show – Ivory
The Steve Austin Show
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo
0:00 – Intro (The podcast actually starts at 2:49. The first 2:48 are sponsor ads)
We are at 317 Gimmick Street Steve’s guest today (and the Thursday podcast) is Ivory, aka Tina Ferrari aka Lisa Moretti. Steve has been watching Ivory since 1986 when he first watched her on GLOW. He watched every single season and Tina Ferrari was one of his favorite wrestlers on the show. Ivory will be going into the WWE Hall of Fame at Wrestlemania 34 in New Orleans. Steve will be discussing her background and how she got into the business and her time with GLOW, Powerful Women Of Wrestling, the LPWA, AWA and the WWE. Steve says he had a good time catching up with her.
8:12 – Ivory
Steve welcomes Ivory to the show and asks her how she feels about going into the WWE Hall of Fame. She is excited and honored but also feels pressure as she doesn’t want to let anyone down. Ivory wants to be prepared but also wants to make sure she doesn’t drag out her acceptance speech as the Hall of Fame ceremony can be a long night for an audience. It will take some thought to put an entire career in one speech. She also wants to pay homage to the culture of women’s wrestling in her speech as it’s important to recognize how far women’s wrestling has come. They talk about a few acceptance speeches and Steve puts over Natalya and Beth Phoenix’s speeches at last year’s Hall Of Fame. He also says some speeches can go too long and mentions Mr. T’s acceptance speech.
Steve tells Ivory he had a crush on her when she was in GLOW. When both of them were in WWE, they would shoot the breeze but didn’t really talk too much and were doing their thing. Ivory interrupts and says Steve’s thing was being very active on the show with tons of responsibility whereas Ivory’s thing was wondering if she was going to be on the show and what would she do for 11 hours at the arena.
Steve asks about Ivory’s childhood (13:12 into the podcast). Ivory says she was a good kid. She was born the youngest of four in Inglewood, California and raised in Torrance, California. Ivory was a tennis player in high school and was athletic. Her older brothers would teach her how to throw a hardball but would also beat her and her sister up. She gives them kudos for introducing wrestling into her life. Ivory admits to being a tomboy and was an active kid. She gives props to her sister who was a senior in high school when Ivory was a freshman because her sister introduced her to the senior friends which helped her get acclimated to high school faster.
Ivory says tennis was her thing in high school. She made the team as a freshman but as a sophomore, she really stepped up her training because she wanted a top spot on the team. Ivory says she did OK with tennis and used her experience in high school to become a tennis instructor at the local parks and rec. This ended up being her job all through college as well as teaching private lessons.
Steve asks why she decided to go to USC. Ivory’s father put it in all his kids’ heads they would be USC Trojans. She had to get a student loan to make her way through college and it took her 10 years to pay that off. She got a degree in photojournalism and public relations however wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with that degree. She talks about one of her first jobs working for a temp agency and driving to an assignment. Traffic was brutal and she realized early on she did not want to drive in that traffic as part of her career.
Steve says he hasn’t had a normal job since 1989. He also cannot stand LA traffic and doesn’t understand how people can do the commute. He says the travel they were doing in wrestling was fun though.
Steve asks about how Ivory got the Los Angeles Express cheerleading job. In high school, Ivory was a song leader who did all the dance routines. While in college, she was interviewing someone as part of an assignment. While waiting for the person she was interviewing, there was a woman at the office who asked Ivory if she liked to dance and liked football. This woman ended up being the squad director for the L.A Express football team. They were holding cheerleader auditions that weekend and said if Ivory showed up to the audition, she would get a job. The audition was in Manhattan Beach which was part of her neighbourhood so Ivory decided to go to the audition and ended up getting the job. They had 52 cheerleaders who Ivory says were the most fun women she had partied with. Additionally, all the football players were young and after the games, the football players and cheerleaders would go out and party. This lasted 1 year but the team had a change of ownership and things started to decline with the team and the cheerleading squad.
Steve brings up GLOW and asks about the GLOW audition (32:18 into the podcast). Steve being a wrestling fan thought GLOW was great. He liked the different characters, sizes and shapes of the wrestlers. One of Ivory’s friends was an actress and had an audition with GLOW. She asked Ivory to go with her. Ivory knew it was a wrestling show and initially did not want to as she knew nothing about wrestling. The audition was at a boxing gym in a rough neighbourhood. Mando Guerrero was the trainer and wanted to teach them some basic things so they wouldn’t get hurt. He laid down some rules for training which were, no laughing, pay attention and no hanging on the ropes.
During a training session, some of the girls were laying on the ropes and giggling. Mando snatched one of the trainees, put her in a hold and made her cry. After that, Ivory was sold and wanted to learn how to wrestle. She respected that wrestling was real to Mando and this was real training. They kept asking the women to come back and would also pay them a little to train. The training only lasted for a short period of time before 10 to 12 of them to shoot the pilot in Vegas. Ivory says the Netflix program shows episodes of the women going through the training wondering if they want to be wrestling. She says some of the women were great characters but not necessarily into the physicality or great athletes.
Steve asks how long they trained before shooting the pilot (42:33 into the podcast). Ivory said it was only a few weeks which wasn’t enough time to prepare them for wrestling decent matches. Ivory said she really paid attention to training mainly because of Mando’s passion for wrestling. It made her realize this was something important to be good at. She says it takes a lifetime to become a good worker in the ring. She never considered herself as someone who stood out. If she had a match, she and her opponent would go to the studio ring and figure it out. They would watch men’s wrestling matches, try to break moves down and figure out a match. Ivory says her work ethic helped her not necessarily in learning moves but rather the drive to do her best with what you got.
Steve asks how nerve wracking it was to film the pilot because of the limited training she and the other women had. Ivory said she was a ball of nerves and was more concerned about the actual wrestling than performing. She put energy into the performance but wasn’t sure what the act was supposed to be. Ivory says maybe part of the charm of GLOW was that performers were trying to find their way and the performances were organic.
Steve asks how the Tina Ferrari gimmick came about (47:31 into the podcast). Ivory says the director (Matt Cimber) had an idea for her and her partner to be TnA (and no…not the Impact variety). At the time, the ‘T’ was going to be Ivory’s partner as she was well endowed but they decided to swerve the director and Ivory decided to be the T out of spite to screw with the director. Ivory says she based the Tina Ferrari gimmick on Patricia Hearst (to you younger fans, you may want to put that one in your google machine). In a nutshell, Tina Ferrari was really rich but got into wrestling to piss her parents off. Ivory mentions they first sold the GLOW show at a TV event in New Orleans and now is coming full circle as she’s going into the WWE HoF in New Orleans.
Steve brings up an interview with another performer on GLOW who did not have good things to say about Matt Cimber. He asks Ivory her thoughts on Cimber (49:49 into the podcast). Ivory says Cimber was a character and super creative but was like a classic Hollywood director. Ivory talks about a scene she shooting should have taken 10 minutes to film but took much longer with Cimber was yelling and screaming at her throughout the scene. Cimber would also buddy up to the girls, learn something personal about them then turn on them in front of everyone using what he learned against them in a nasty way. He hurt a lot of the girls feelings that way. Ivory watched this and whenever he came around her, she would excuse herself, leave and party somewhere else.
Steve asks how David McLane was as a businessman and announcer (52:47 into the podcast). Ivory says he was an awesome announcer and was a go getter. Ivory admits they would have learned a lot from him if they had listened to him more but they made fun of him a lot as he was a bit of a nerd. She loved his announcing and compares him to Jim Ross where he really pumped up the energy with his announcing. He also had a very babyface look where the heels could play off him. Backstage, they were always happy if one of the girls liked him because he was less pouty and easier to work with because he was ‘getting some’.
After GLOW, he started Powerful Women Of Wrestling. He wanted a live experience that he could take on the road to arenas. It only lasted a couple season then a few years later, he got another show on ESPN and is still doing women’s wrestling now. Ivory says David is similar to Vince McMahon as they have both stuck to promoting wrestling.
Steve comes back to GLOW and brings up the over the top skits, vignettes and characters. The referee Steve Blance was doing most of the writing, which was campy, but was really good which is why GLOW turned into a phenomenon. It was infectious and addictive. Ivory says GLOW is like the old show Hee Haw with wrestling (younger fans, search that in the google machine too). It had a variety show feel.
Steve asks about some of the girls Ivory enjoyed working with and specifically brings up Spanish Red (58:00 into the podcast). Ivory says Spanish Red was very passionate and super athletic but very intense and could lose her mind in the ring. She was stiff and would get personally insulted if fans booed her even though she was the heel and would take it out on her opponent. Ivory also mentions Attache was also athletic and liked to jump off the top rope. Another girl who was great to work with was Ninotchka because she had great agility and was safe. Ninotchka also had a great heel character that Steve enjoyed as well.
Steve asks how Babe The Farmer’s Daughter (Ursula Hayden) ended up buying the rights to GLOW (1:00:12 into the podcast). Ursula joined the show for the third and fourth seasons (Ivory was gone by then) and had an affair with Pia Zadora’s husband (Meshulam Riklis) who was one of the richest people in the world at the time. Ursula said she would stay quiet about the affair if he gave her the rights to the GLOW footage. She wrote a script about girls wanting to go on a wrestling show which ended up becoming the current Netflix show.
Steve asks about the paydays from GLOW. Ivory says she made $400 a week while she was at GLOW (9 months). Steve says that wasn’t bad money compared to what he was making when he was coming up in the business. Ivory says they would work all hours of the evening and were always on call with one day off a week on Sunday. In this part of the podcast, she also mentions an improv club the girls went to and getting to see and meet some famous comedians when they were first starting out their careers.
Ivory says they worked in a 16 x 16 ring that was dwarfed (shorten the ring ropes). She says in a standard ring, you have to be a certain height or you look small in the ring.
Steve asked if Mando was involved in putting matches together as a producer (1:05:50 into the podcast)? Ivory says the girls would put the matches together. They did not know about match psychology but what they did have were definite bad guys, definite good guys and great Las Vegas costuming which helped the character. However, nobody knew how to tell a story through wrestling so they did spot after spot after spot. There was no heat, comeback, cut you off, hot tags etc as they had not been taught that. That was the missing component to their matches.
Ivory says she’s revisiting all of this through the fans. She is new to twitter and instagram and the fans have been posting things to her timeline that have helped her remember things. She came by an old GLOW photo of a match that spilled out of the ring onto an escalator at the hotel. She also came across another picture of them filming a music video in a swimming pool.
This brings up a conversation about Ivory not being comfortable taking still pictures and especially swimsuit or lingerie pictures. She would rather get beat up in the ring before doing still photo shoots. However, she doesn’t mind when a camera is rolling. Steve feels the same way (minus the swimsuit and lingerie part). She also brings up how Trish Stratus was great at photo shoots because of her background as a fitness model. Trish gave Ivory tips on how to look good in a photo. Ivory says one of the best things about how good Trish was in front of a camera was how hot (mad) Miss Kitty would get watching Trish. Miss Kitty wanted to be the hot one and was pissed when Trish was so natural at it.
1:12:12 – Show Wrap
Steve thanks Ivory for being on the podcast and says part 2 is coming up on his podcast on Thursday. He recommends watching the GLOW pilot (click here to check it out). He thanks his sponsors and that is a wrap.
This was an OK podcast. It started slow and I had a hard time getting into it until they started getting into GLOW (about 30 minutes in). After that it picked up. I knew about GLOW when I was a kid but didn’t really watch the shows so it was interesting to learn more about that stuff (please note, I’m totally into learning about the history of wrestling so I’m biased towards this stuff). It was also interesting to hear about her training and how they put a wrestling match together compared to how they do it today. Looking forward to part 2.
0:00 – Intro
8:12 – Ivory
13:12 – Ivory’s Childhood
32:18 – GLOW Audition
42:33 – Wrestling Training
47:31 – The Tina Ferrari Gimmick
49:49 – Matt Cimber
52:47 – David McLane
1:00:12 – Babe The Farmer’s Daughter and How She Got The Rights To GLOW
1:05:50 – How They Put Matches Together In Glow
1:12:12 – Show Wrap
Joe lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife and two boys. He’s been watching wrestling for about 40 years (give or take) but don’t consider himself any sort of expert. He just likes wrestling. Check him out on twitter and instagram @ja113.