Tag Archives: Wrestling

Fighting With My Family

Fighting With My Family (2019)

A former wrestler and his family make a living performing at small venues around the country while his kids dream of joining World Wrestling Entertainment.

Starring: Florence Pugh • Dwayne Johnson • Lena Headey • Vince Vaughn • Nick Frost

*Minor spoilers*

I love an underdog movie and the true story of Paige the WWE diva is a really satisfying watch. Sure, there aren’t many surprises and the narrative is pretty formulaic – but there’s a comfort in that.

If I’m honest I didn’t expect to love it as much and I think that’s mostly down to the casting. Saraya Knight AKA Britani Knight AKA Paige is played by the lovely Florence Pugh – an actress who first blew me away in Lady Macbeth.

Hands up if you love Florence Pugh!

As Saraya – or Ray to her family – tackles minor success and then the absolute brutality of what fame and fortune really requires from her, Pugh takes her through every emotion. Elation, guilt, despair – determination. She is an absolute joy to watch.

Ray’s family are a dream too – in the form of Mum Julia (Lena Headey) and Dad Ricky (Nick Frost) – and brother Zak (Jack Lowden), her wrestling partner-in-crime. The unit live and breathe the sport and run their own, barely surviving wrestling gym. Both Ray and Zak teach the community kids and generally keep them out of trouble and off the streets.

The kids and all the side characters peppered around the gym are really fun, as are the appearances of Hugh (director Stephen Merchant) and Daphne (Julia Davis) – straight-laced parents of Zak’s baby mama. The dinner party scene really made me chuckle a lot.

Adopt me, please.

When the siblings finally get the opportunity of a lifetime to audition in front of WWE trainer (Vince Vaughn), it has massive consequences for the family and Ray – and more so for the relationship between brother and sister. In both good and bad ways.

Ray travels to Florida to try out with the big boys and girls – and the standard could not be more different. Can she embrace who she really is and find her own place in this world?

There are some really interesting themes explored here – not least the devastation of being left behind felt by Zak. As his sister lives out their shared dream, he has to come to terms with focusing on a new one and it takes him a while.

In happier times…

Ray has to decide how much she really wants to be part of the WWE’s main roster and – who knew – the girl also has a lot of growing up to do. Well, she is only EIGHTEEN.

She (now going by Paige) struggles with the other girls, making lofty assumptions about them because they’re mostly models and dancers. Her illusion that they deserve their places in try-outs less than she does her no favours. Can she claw it back with these women and make a couple of much-needed friends along the way?

“Think we’re gonna need some Girl Power in this joint ASAP…”

Well, thankfully there’s a shift in both perspective and fortune for Paige – and I loved it. As soon as the girls start working together, it gets better for all of them. They’re even there are the end when Paige inevitably overcomes all her self-doubt, her guilt and her demons to absolutely smash it.

FWMF is funny, sweet, touching and very good. I’m a fan of the feel-good and now I want to know everything there is to know about the real Paige.

I definitely recommend catching this while it’s still in the theater.

⭐⭐⭐⭐½ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What are you watching?

Weekly Digest – TV Special

While avoiding the World Cup and not watching Love Island, I’ve been doing far more intellectually significant things, obviously, such as watching these naked, lying under a fan and eating Wispas.

GLOW – Season 2

Liberty Bell and friends are back in the ring though things are far from plain sailing for any of them. Ruth (Alison Brie) becomes a problem for Sam (Marc Maron) when she gets ideas above her station and directs a really quite good promo video for the GLOWs. She also flirts with a cameraman and tries to rebuild her friendship with Debbie/Liberty (Betty Gilpin), which is easier said than done.

Deb, meanwhile fights for her Producer role (and to be heard as a woman) and is forced to examine the message the GLOWs are sending out to America when it is accused of being too sexy. Meanwhile, Sam struggles with newfound fatherhood and the girls are required to compete with one another to get in the show week on week, which causes friction, who knew.

GLOW is wonderful Technicolor goodness all round – bright, female popcorn viewing and it’s an easy watch, which means a lot on a Sunday afternoon.

The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

Good Girls

I’m already fully addicted to Good Girls, the Mae Whitman/Retta/Christina Hendricks starring comedy/drama about three mothers struggling to make ends meet. When they knock off a grocery store they could never dream they’d end up on such a roller-coaster ride, inadvertently involved with gangsters and trying to get straight despite every single obstacle that keeps popping up.

Or are they about to go a different way? If Beth’s head for lady boss business has anything to do with I think we have our answer.

The women are amazing, not only dealing with the drama but also their own lives. Beth is working through the aftermath of her husband of 20 years’ affair plus four children; Ruby has a sick daughter and needs to find a way to pay for experimental treatment, while Annie and her daughter Sadie have to face bullying as Sadie works out who she is.

It’s fantasy stuff I suppose but it’s fun and I like fun.

Preacher – Season 3/Luke Cage – Season 2

I’m only one episode in on each other these but so far so good.

Luke (Mike Colter) is a celebrity right now in his neighbourhood and Harlem is abuzz with his heroics. How long will this last and what are Mariah (Alfre Woodard) and her reluctant man toy Shades (Theo Rossi) up to? Meanwhile, Misty Knight (Simone Missick) comes to terms with the loss of her arm (pretty well if the above image is anything to go by) – and something terrible is surely about to happen for Claire (Rosario Dawson) and Luke because they’re so blissfully happy together. I can’t handle it!

While I am quite done with the Marvel Netflix shows, I really enjoyed the last Luke Cage and some of the episodes are directed by some great female directors, including Lucy Liu and Kasi Lemmons. Can’t say cooler than that.

As for Preacher, Jesse (Dominic Cooper) and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) rush to save the life of Tulip (Ruth Negga) as is hangs in the balance. Sadly this requires the assistance of Jesse’s heinous family and some supernatural ju-ju. What could possibly go wrong? I’m delighted we’ve finally got to this point in Preacher, in the graphic novel my favourite parts revolve around the swamp lands and Jesse’s evil grandmother (played by Split‘s Betty Buckley). So consider me sitting here with high hopes.

What are you watching?

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (Film) Review

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Something really special is happening on our blogs this month as Jillian and I embark on a new series: GLOTBC – The Gorgeous Ladies of the Blog Collab! Any excuse right?

We’ll pay homage to some kick-arse Queens in all genres of movie and really where better to start than here, with this kitschy techno dreamscape of a documentary? It is surely impossible not to love, warts and all.

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (2012)

IMDB Synopsis

GLOW: The Story of The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling chronicles the rise and fall of the first ever all-female wrestling show through the stories of those who lived it.

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YAAAASSSSS

My Review

Jill and I were all over the Alison Brie starring Netflix series GLOW as soon as it debuted a month or so ago. Sure it’s prime popcorn viewing but who doesn’t need that at the end of a busy working week? Plus, it’s fun to choose favourites (Machu Picchu! Machu Picchu!) and imagine how you’d fare in the ring (not very well, I’m sure).

But GLOW is no fictional daydream, it was once a very real female-only sport and entertainment phenomenon. Sadly, it was axed from the television in 1990 – at the height of its popularity. What the heck is that about? Why can’t we just have nice things? (We’re getting it back though, aren’t we? That’s what all this revival is about, surely?)

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Tinkerbell would have done anything to get back to The Lost Boys again

This honestly delightful and heart-warming documentary charts the ebb and flow of the the GLOW, from initial conception to the bitter end, by way of lovely stories about some of the biggest names in female wrestling (or if not wrestling the sport, wrestling TV).

We spend quality time with raw steak guzzler (and my personal hero) Matilda the Hun (Dee Booher), Big Bad Mama (Lynn Braxton) and the most adorable woman on the planet, Mt. Fiji (Emily Dole).

We spend time on the early years of GLOW, remembering the outfits, the on-air feuds, the boke-inducing bone breaking injuries, (ooof!), the rapping (a highlight), the Hefner signed Playboy centerfolds but above all, the genuine love and warmth between these remarkable women. And they are remarkable, because who honestly would have the balls to do what they did?

We then catch up with the women as they fill us in on their lives since GLOW and how good/bad life has been to them in the interim. It’s powerful stuff, I won’t lie. Some women have thrived, while others have been through the ringer. But when they reunite, it’s nothing short of beautiful.

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Real love

Mt. Fuji in particular is a force. Now wheelchair bound and diabetic, she’s still a ray of pure sunlight who loves her sisters and admits to a long time crush on the show’s creator, Matt Cimber in front of everybody.

My personal favourite, Matilda the Hun wrestled until she was fifty and then went into directing and producing wrestling videos. Other careers off the back of GLOW are costume design, real estate and acting – but it seems nearly all of these Lycra-clad babes still have a place in their heart for their rough and tumble pasts.

It just seems to me that GLOW must have been such an incredible thing to be part of, a safe place that made male wrestlers jealous and gave these woman a platform to be truly incredible. They would have been incredible anyway but consider the industry these women found themselves in. It was no mean feat to find such a place to belong and to prosper.

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Yeah same, same

My Thoughts

What’s not to adore? These women are the best.

I must say there were times I felt a little bit awkward about the OTT stereotyping of the wrestlers in GLOW (Netflix) but this makes it clear that they were inspired by real life characters (not right always but I get it). It would be very interesting to witness what this generation’s GLOW characters would be like.

I’m truly so uplifted. Now pass the motherfucking Kohl!

My Rating

5/5. For the fun and the feminism. 

What did the woman of my dreams Jillian think? Would she clothesline the shit out of this or tap it out after ten? Find out here

Ps. What would your GLOW name be? I’d be Ginger Snax 💪🏻👌🏻