Everyone thinks their family history is dramatic, but one newly famous set of kin, the real Bevis family from Fighting With My Family, definitely have you beat. Possibly better known by their wrestling names, the Knights, this clan of wrestlers hails from Norwich, England. They own their own wrestling federation (or promotion, as they say on the other side of the pond) called the World Association of Wrestling, and Fighting With My Family is not the first time their true story has been told.
The film (which is based on a 2012 Channel 4 documentary of nearly the same name) focuses on the journey of Saraya-Jade Bevis, aka WWE wrestler Paige, the youngest daughter in the Knight family. She starts as a wrestler in her parents’ ring and European circuits, and both the film and the doc follow her to the start of her WWE stardom, including all the hardships the whole family had to go through in order for her to succeed. In fact, there are quite a few elements of Fighting With My Family that remained true to life.
The Characters Include All The Real Knight Family Members
Ricky Knight is the patriarch of the unit, known as “Rowdy” Ricky Knight (played by Nick Frost), and his wife Julia also wrestles as “Sweet Saraya” (played by Lena Headey). Their eldest son, Paige's half-brother, Roy Knight (played by James Burrows) is known as "Zebra Kid” while Paige's older brother Zac (played by Jack Lowden) goes by "Zodiac.” The youngest is Saraya-Jade Knight (played by Florence Pugh), who first wrestled as “Britani” before becoming "Paige."
Saraya-Jade Really Is That Big Of A Deal In Her Family — And In Wrestling
In the documentary, Saraya-Jade is referred to as the “princess” of the family because she “pulls the biggest crowds.” Wrestling is their main source of income, so having that star in the family is necessary for their success. “Just having her face on my stuff, I can guarantee selling it. She’s got the grace, she’s got the poise, she’s got everything you need, she is a star. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing, to have a product like this. Forget that she’s my daughter, she’s a product,” says her mom, Julia, in the Channel 4 film. Though her words sound callous and possibly exploitative, both the documentary and the film work to prove that the family is super tight-knight and caring towards one another.
The Tension Between Zak & Saraya-Jade Was Very Real
Tensions did actually start to rise, though, when Zak and Saraya were invited to try out for WWE. The trailer for Fighting With My Family places the conflict front and center and in reality, this was a major deal for the family — after all, WWE is the largest wrestling federation in the world.
The story goes (in both the doc and the film) that only Saraya-Jade was chosen to go to the US and join the WWE. That, of course, broke Zak’s spirit a bit, because as the older sibling, he technically had this dream of WWE long before his sister did. “He is kind of caged at the moment because he can’t really give his true emotions,” Julia says in the doc. “For A) fear of hurtin’ her; B) fear of hurting the family; and C) making himself look like a jealous brother. And I can really feel for Zak because everyone is talkin’ about 'Raya.”
But despite the tension, Saraya did leave for America and join WWE, which makes for a pretty heartbreaking moment in the doc. That strong familial bond is shown when she leaves for the U.S. and she sobs before letting go of her parents.
The Real Paige Is Very Proud Of How Her Story Is Portrayed In The Movie
Despite the fact that it brings back up the drama that happened to her actual family, Saraya says she's proud of the movie. In an interview with IMDb and Kevin Smith at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Saraya says she cried too much during her first viewing of the movie to really see anything, but that Florence Pugh's performance blew her away.
So there you have it: The movie not only follows the original documentary quite closely, it also has the complete and total approval of its subject. That'll certainly give it a fighting chance.