Preface: i was not familiar with the real life events this is based upon, or the 2012 documentary The Wrestlers: Fighting With My Family, about the wrestler Paige.
And one could have made some educated guesses that some of the events didn’t actually happen, i didn’t even know it’s basically a dramatization of a documentary based on a true story. I did know it had Dwayne Johnson, Nick Frost, Vince Vaughn and Florence Pugh (recently seen in Midsommar) in it, and i was already sold on that.
Zak and Saraya Vebis, brother and sister, since the age of 10 are trained by their parent in their work and family tradition: putting up wrestling events and training other kids in their gym in ol’ Norwich, UK. They grow up with the dream of making it big, until Zak and Saraya manage to attend a try-out event, but only Saraya is ultimately accepted, which crushes Zak’s long held dream.
So Saraya moves to Florida to train and try to actually be signed into a league, and Zak stays in Norwich to attend to his newborn son and the family gym.
You’ve heard this story before, you know where it goes, but it’s done without over-romanticizing the sport/craft in question, with believable character arcs, believable characters, a great cast, and it isn’t a glorified ad for the WWE, or its’ public, for that matter. And more importantly, it has a honest, big hearted attitude about the drama, so it never feels too contrivedly syrupy or more dramatic just for the sake of being dramatic, but more grounded in reality.
Not a complain about the movie itself, but there’s a bitter aftertaste to it knowing this year the WWE strikes a 10 million deal with Saudi Arabia for pay-for-view shows, so no women division, because Saudi Arabia.