Coming to the ring, hailing from WWE Studios, directed by Stephen Merchant and produced by Kevin Misher and Michael J. Luisi, and staring Florence Pugh, Jack Lowden, Vince Vaughn and Dwayne The Rock Johnson, FIIIGHTING WITH MY FAMMMIIILYYYY!!!!
Fighting With My Family tells the story of British wrestler, Paige, and her rise to the top of WWE’s women’s roster. In this film we see a glimpse into Paige’s life and family life before she became the household name she is today. The Knight family consisting of Rowdy Ricky Knight, Sweet Saraya Knight, Roy Knight, Zak Zodiac Knight and Britani Knight (Paige), are a very well known wrestling family In the British wrestling scene running their own promotion called WAW. Wrestling was in their blood, it was all they knew. The first half of the film focuses on Paige and her brother Zak making their way through the British independent scene. Zak drives around his parents van that has the logo of their promotion on picking up young kids who he and paige are training to wrestle. One thing that stood out was that one of the kids was blind and Zak managed to teach him how to wrestle. Despite having a huge role with their parents promotion they still had dreams of being WWE superstars so they sent in tapes to the WWE hoping to get a tryout. Zak gets the news from his girlfriend that she’s pregnant and to celebrate he has her and her parents over for dinner which is when they got the phone call they have been waiting for. The WWE were coming to the O2 arena and wanted to bring Zak and Paige out for a tryout. At the time Paige was wrestling as Britani Knight but had to change her name so she picked Paige. When they arrive at the arena they run into The Rock and got to have him cut a promo on them and ask him some questions trying not to fan girl too much. After the tryout the NXT coach Hutch Morgan(Vince Vaughn) told everyone in the ring that he’s going to call the names of who they will be hiring for a developmental deal with NXT and if he didn’t call your name, that was the end of the line. Hutch calls out Paige and then tells everyone to have a good night. Zak was baffled that he didn’t get picked, and Paige had a hard time accepting that she was going to do this without her brother. Paige leaves her home to move to Orlando to train and work for NXT, while Zak is now a new father and is still training and working for his parents promotion but is struggling coping with the fact that he won’t get to live his dream.
The first half of this film did a good job at showing how much the Knight Family loves wrestling and it showed how passionate Zak was. I’d even say he was more passionate about than his sister was. It shows Paige as a young girl not really caring to be a wrestler but is forced into it at the age of 13 when she had to wrestle her brother on a show cause they had a cancellation. What I didn’t like is that this film made it seem like Paige only wrestled show a short amount a time before she got signed and didn’t mentioned anything about her stint in the indies. At the time wrestling as Britani Knight she worked all over the U.K. Including Pro Wrestling Eve and became their first ever champion. She had a stint in the all women’s American promotion Shimmer as well. So she more than earned her spot but this movie made it seem like it was more of a luck thing. And made it seem like the WWE was just taking a chance on someone they knew little about.
Paige gets settled down in Orlando and starts working hard at the performance center. Hutch Morgan clearly sees a lot in Paige because she stood out compared to the other women there and he starts to really push Paige to her limits to see if she really wants this. Paige had a lot of edge compared to the other women there cause they didn’t come from a wrestling background like Paige did and definitely took advantage of that. Instead of trying to help them learn she looked down on them for essentially just being super model looking girls who come from an athletic background and mistreated them in a way and would try to teach them things the hard way. The pressure grew on Paige as she was struggling to fit in and was struggling with how hard Coach Morgan was pushing her. She even died her hair bleach blonde in hopes of fitting in with the others but it didn’t work. Paige went back home for a visit and told Zak she was not going back because she couldn’t handle it anymore and wanted Zak to help her tell their parents. Zak didn’t take it very well, already he was struggling to keep his head up because he was depressed that he didn’t get picked to work for the WWE and train at NXT and now he has to deal with the fact that his little sister is living his dream and is about to just throw it away. Zak and Paige were booked to wrestle each other for their parents promotion. Zak decided to take out his frustrations on his sister and totally went against the plans for the match. Zak slammed paige multiple times very hard hurting her and then putting her down for the pin to win. Obviously that wasn’t the plan so the family ran to the back to confront Zak and there when Zak told them that Paige was giving up. Zak later tells her that he’s angry because she’s giving up the dream that he has. Paige changes her attitude and heads back to NXT and decides to get along with the other women there and kept impressing Coach Morgan. Paige and the others had a huge match at a NXT show and after Coach Morgan tells them that they will get to go hangout backstage for WrestleMania. The night of WrestleMania Paige is pulled into a room with the Rock and the Rock calls her family and tells them that Paige will be making her debut on Raw the next night wrestling A.J. Lee did the divas championship. The night comes and Paige comes out and beats A.J. and wins the divas championship on her first night. Her family were all watching at home and Zak seemed to be overjoyed for his sister. Zak kept on training and working the indies as Paige went on to change women’s wrestling as we know it today.
The second half of this film really shows how much Paige struggling with missing home and struggled with fitting in. What made Paige stand out was her look. Pale skin, dark hair, dark make up, she was every bit of the anti-diva that she said she was. Paige, is now I believe 26, but when all of this was going on she was only 20-21 and became the youngest women’s champion of all time. The film did go a good job at showing how hard she worked to fit in and to catch attention of the right people. I also thought this film did a good job of showing how happy her family was but also how much they needed her to keep on, cause business picked up for them after she got signed and before she got signed times were hard. I wish this film had more focus on what Zak was going through after Paige left but I do think the little they did show made you see how bad he was taking it all. And of course seeing him finally find comfort to be happy for his sister was great. The one thing that I didn’t like about it was my same complaint about the first half, they made it seem like she had 2 matches in NXT and then just decided to put her on Raw and give her the title taking a chance on someone and Paige coming off as someone who just got lucky. In real life that’s now how it went. Paige was the first ever NXT women’s champion and got people’s eyes on NXT cause of how different she was and because of the matches she was having with Emma. Paige more than earned that spot on the main roster. But at the same time i get why everything was chopped up the way it was, which was to make this film a feel good family film for any family to watch that will inspire anyone to be yourself and to chase your dream and to tell the story of taking chances on somebody because you never know how great they could end up being.
Final thoughts: I did enjoy the film. I had to look past some of the parts of her actual story that they watered down or shortened but besides that it was a perfect feel good film for any family. And a good introduction to wrestling for any child.
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Credits: Fighting with My Family is property of MGM & WWE Films. We do not own nor claim any rights.