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Ruth Wilder is one of the main characters of GLOW, portrayed by Alison Brie. She wrestles under the name Zoya the Destroya. Her character speaks with an exaggerated Russian accent, part of an act called the "Red Scare."

Her stage persona is based loosely on the real-life GLOW wrestler Colonel Ninotchka.[1]

BiographyEdit

Ruth Wilder is a struggling actress in Los Angeles in 1985. She receives an invitation to audition for the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, a female professional wrestling circuit. Ruth is hired and ends up playing the villainous "Zoya the Destroya." She is intelligent and creative and has many ideas for characters and roles, but struggles against the expectations that society has for a woman like her. As a child, she often worked in theater and was forced to improvise when it came to props and scenery, even doing Peter Pan simply being wheeled around by stagehands for the entire play because they couldn't afford a flying rig. ("The Liberal Chokehold")

Her character is initially conceived as the "Homewrecker," based on the fact that she ruined Debbie Eagan's marriage by sleeping with her husband. Both Bash and Sam Sylvia, however, agree that the character isn't working, forcing the need to come up with another role. In Sam's first script, her role was the hideous and evil "Kuntar," but this script was quickly scrapped by Bash, who felt that it was over-complicated. ("The Wrath of Kuntar") She stumbles upon her Zoya the Destroya persona after being told by a Russian American hotel manager that "in Russia, television watches you." ("The Dusty Spur")

Sam decides that her character is the perfect "heel" for Debbie, whose role is that of the all-American hero, "Liberty Belle." Debbie, however, at first refuses to work with Ruth because of her having had sex with her husband. Eventually, however, Sam convinces Debbie that professionally this doesn't matter and that they complement each other perfectly. ("This Is One of Those Moments")

When Sam finds out that he is the father of Justine Biagi and disappears, Ruth essentially takes over as the de facto director of GLOW, putting together their first program for K-DTV. She also improvises when it appears that Debbie will not be joining the program, putting together a tag-team match. When Sam does reappear, he surprises both her and Debbie by arranging for Tammé Dawson, the "Welfare Queen" to take the title from Debbie, calling what Ruth and Debbie did "predictable." ("Money's in the Chase")

Her rapport with the other girls becomes a source of conflict when they begin to see her as more of the director of GLOW than Sam Sylvia. She secretly puts together a title sequence to surprise Sam, not realizing that it upsets him because he feels his position is at stake. When Reggie Walsh defends Ruth, he fires her, though Ruth tells him that she should have been the one fired instead. ("Viking Funeral")

Ruth was the inaugural GLOW champion. She lost the title to Liberty Belle (Debbie Eagan) in the main event of GLOW.

She strikes up a romance with Russell Barroso of the K-DTV camera crew for GLOW. The two are separated when the show moves to the Fan-Tan Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. There, she begins experiencing feelings for Sam Sylvia, though things are complicated by the existing relationship with Russell.

Following GLOW's run at the Fan-Tan, she receives an intriguing offer from Debbie Eagan to join her at a new television network, where Debbie will be the producer of a new wrestling program, with Ruth serving as the director. Ruth, however, rejects the offer, as it is not what she wants for her life. ("A Very GLOW Christmas")

Notes and referencesEdit

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