Nick Frost has been a fumbling policeman, a dwarf and a geek who stumbled upon an alien in the dessert with his best friend. Now, in Fighting With My Family, he plays the patriarch of a tight-knitted wrestling family.
Based on the real-life story of Saraya-Paige Bevis, who became a wrestler at 13 and won the WWE Divas Championship at just 21, Fighting With My Family is a biopic about her wrestling start. Both Paige and her brother Zak had an once-in-a-lifetime chance to try out for WWE but when only Paige earns a spot on the training programme, tensions brewed and jealousy ensues. It doesn’t help that Paige must now leave her loved ones behind and face this new cutthroat world alone.
Here’s a look at the real story behind Fighting With My Family.
The Bevis Family did Really Run Their Own Wrestling Organisation
Paige’s father, “Rowdy” Ricky Knight (Nick Frost), ran the World Association of Wrestling and boasts some of the biggest names in UK professional wrestling. When they became of age, both Paige and her brother Zak joined the club. Paige was one of the star attractions, wrestling under the name Britani Knight, while her brother was Zak Zodiac. Even their mum, Julia Knight, joined in, as Sweet Saraya. Wrestling was not only just in their blood, but was also their only source of income.
Why the Passion for Wrestling?
As a young man, Ricky Knight (Paige’s father) was involved in gangs and served time in his youth. In fact, he was in prison for eight years even before he turned 25. While at the crossroads of his life, he met his wife and chanced upon wrestling, which gave him a new purpose in life, and steered him in a positive direction.
Groomed From the Beginning
Paige and Zak were taught from young about wrestling. “I’d like my kids to go to the very top,” Ricky Knight once shared. His dream was to start a wrestling dynasty, and make it big in America. He had wanted both his kids to head to America to be major wrestling stars.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Was Part of Paige’s Story
Dwayne Johnson didn’t just appear in the movie because he used to be a wrestler. The Rock first noticed Paige in 2012, when he was shooting Fast & Furious in London. He could not sleep after a shoot and was up at 3am, and stumbled upon a documentary about a local wrestling family and their daughter’s inspiring journey into wrestling stardom. The story grabbed his attention because of how tight-knitted the family was.
Both Paige and Zak Were Indeed Invited for WWE tryouts
A WWE talent Scout was in Great Britain for WWE trials and invited both Paige and Zak to attend. In 2011, they tried out at a Smackdown taping at London’s O2 arena. Paige made the cut, Zak didn’t, causing jealousy and resentment on Zak’s part. Meanwhile, Paige did ask for her brother Zak to join her but was rejected. Zak apparently was not buffed enough. Paige was sent to the WWE’s then-farm system, the Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) and wrestled under the ring name of Saraya. Her stage name was changed to Paige when she made her television debut in 2012.
Vince Vaughn’s Character is Made Up!
In reality, there wasn’t a coach named Hutch Morgan, played by Vince Vaughn. Director Stephen Merchant added the character as a combination of different WWE trainers that Paige worked with.
Success and Retirement
Paige was put on WWE’s main line-up in 2014, and became a bonafide WWE Superstar with a strong storyline (all the star wrestlers have extensive backstories tied to them). She took the Divas Championship twice and following her retirement from in-ring competition in April 2018 after a neck injury, she became the general manager of the SmackDown brand.
And as of now, Saraya-Jade Bevis is only just 26 years old.