Fighting with My Family still entertains me. I know that a lot of readers found it to be a whiny, touchy feel ‘girl does good’ story. Honestly, it’s making me wonder about some of you guys. Stephen Merchant managed to take a special documentary and adapt into a heart warming story. It’s a heart warming story about a cute girl joining the wretched hive of Vince McMahon and somehow redeeming Professional Wrestling. That is until later things happened.
Paige became one of my favorite modern Wrestlers for a variety of reasons. Most of the ruder people out there will guess the first reason, but the other is pretty off-kilter. I respect anyone that challenges certain standards by forcing one venue into another. Growing up in the shadow of Ohio Valley Wrestling, the brand of underground wrestling shown by Paige’s family is familiar. Hell, I took my wife to a local match and she spotted a picture of when John Cena came through the local system.
The WWE has a history onto itself. Before the McMahons, after the McMahons and what it has become now. Seeing a loving tale of an athlete being plucked out of the muck is the WWE propaganda machine working at full blast. However, Stephen Merchant and Florence Pugh make you applaud the journey. Then, that’s not even bringing up Dwayne Johnson.
When talent emerges from the WWE, it’s not so different than Peking Opera or the stunt schools of Old Hollywood. These are grueling wheelhouses dedicated to talent and strength. Going in young, you’ll see your spirit broken and your new identity becomes a construct of the company. Imagine if you started a new job and your supervisor named you. Then, the rest of your time on the job is living up to the identity that the major stakeholders have hung upon you.
The film doesn’t tug too hard at that thread, but it’s pervasive element of the subtext. Still, I admire the attempt to include that in a film about a young girl made good. It’s a bold new step for WWE Films and I’d love to see them do more films like this. If this sounds similar to our theatrical review, well it should. My views on the film haven’t changed, it’s pretty awesome. Check it out today.
Fighting with My Family is out on Digital HD. Blu-ray debuts on May 14th.