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Fighting With My Family Spoke to the Wrestling Fan in Me

4 out of 5 champion belts.


Paige and Zak talking to the Rock in Fighting With My Family

**Spoilers for Fighting With My Family are below, but also this is a true story, so whatever.**

I grew up in a family that loved wrestling. With two older brothers, I was often the target of their wrestling matches. I was 3 years old when my middle brother was 13, so for him, I was easy to powerbomb and throw around the room. It resulted in me having two dislocated shoulders and a mother who frequently screamed, “Enough with the wrestling,” but, as you’ll learn while watching Fighting With My Family, wrestling is in your blood.

Still, I’d like to look at Ric Flair one day and yell at him, especially when my shoulders hurt after a workout, but none of that is here nor there. It’s just my own personal connection to wrestling, because that’s what Fighting With My Family is all about. Yes, the story of Paige’s wrestling career is amazing, and she changed the way we view the Diva aspect of the WWE, but the film is bigger than that. It’s about learning how to function as a family and how we can still live our dreams, even if things change.

Saraya (Florence Pugh) is known as Paige, a wrestler who came from England was really one of the first female wrestlers in the WWE, who brought to life the idea of being proud of being a “freak.” Being thrown into wrestling at the age of 13, Saraya came from a family of wrestlers, and while she shared the dream of being a part of the WWE with her two brothers, she was the only one to make it.

Focusing on Saraya’s journey to the WWE, the film shows a unique look at what it’s like to get your dream at the death of someone else’s, and maybe that’s why this movie spoke to me. As we can see in the trailer, Zak doesn’t make it to the next stage, but Saraya does. At first, she doesn’t want to go without her brother, but he pushes her, roots for her, and it changes when he is continually told “no.”

As someone who comes from a family where I had a very similar dream to my older brother, I related to Saraya. She wanted to make her family proud and succeed where her brothers couldn’t, but she didn’t want to destroy Zak’s dream, either. Sure, there’s a moment in the movie where she tries to adapt, to change who she is to fit what she thinks the WWE wants to see, but what makes Saraya so special is that she’s proud of the “freak” she is.

There’s a beautiful message throughout the film that Paige brings to life: We can all be freaks, as long as we’re true to who we are. Creating Paige was a struggle for Saraya, but it is like the Rock says in the film: The Rock is still an extension of Dwayne Johnson. At the end of the day, his persona in the ring is just an exaggeration of who he is in real life, and that’s why wrestling audiences relate to him.

Paige has to be an extension of Saraya and what makes her special. I fully admit to crying multiple times throughout this movie, and it is a beautiful look at family, acceptance, and overcoming obstacles to live out your own dreams. Definitely see it!

(image: MGM/screengrab from YouTube)

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Rachel (she/her) is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album, and would sell her soul for Pedro Pascal as Kraven the Hunter. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. Secretly Grogu's mom and Lizzie Olsen's best friend.