This past evening, I went out to see the film Fighting with My Family; it’s a film which tells the story of how a young wrestler from Britain went to America and rose to the top of the WWE Women’s Roster. It’s a pretty good film (I have just posted a film review, please check it out?), very enjoyable. What I want to talk about here though is that I actually have a connection to this film, in that I saw the film’s focal point wrestle live many, many years ago before she actually went to WWE, and have kept an eye on her career ever since.
When I first started watching wrestling in 2004, I used to go with my Mam to watch the wrestling shows held in Morecambe. They were every few months and back then were hosted by the FWA (Frontier Wrestling Alliance). As time passed the company became the XWA and so on. The shows were very enjoyable and I still have great memories from them. My favourite wrestler was a bloke called Johnny Phere, I liked him because from first viewing he looked a lot like TEST, and that’s how I came to like him above all the other performers. He had great Entrance Music, which was changed (would love to have known what it was, it was ace music), but changed to something also pretty good: For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica. He was dark, powerful, and just brilliant! He also had a very lethal looking Spine Buster finisher which was pretty nice too.
I can’t remember when exactly it was, but around 2007-2008 there were issues regarding the show’s location as there were threats that the Morecambe Dome was going to be knocked down. This eventually did happen, and so the show’s moved to the Carleton, which wasn’t nearly as good (the sink taps in the men’s toilets would at best provide a dribble of water). Anyway, around about the same time; The XWA had an exhibition match from another company. The company was Pro-Wrestling Eve, an all female wrestling promotion, and the match was for the Pro-Wrestling Eve Championship. The challenger was Jenny Sjodin, and she was facing the inaugural champion; Britani Knight. Knight sadly lost the match, and Sjodin would go on to hold the title for quite a while afterwards. I know that as Pro-Wrestling Eve would go on to hold more matches at XWA shows, and Sjodin was still champion at most of them after this. Anyway, after this first match at XWA in Morecambe, I continued to follow Britani Knight’s career after this. Funnily enough; Scottish Wrestler Nikki Storm, another former Pro-Wrestling Eve champion is also now in WWE.
Some time later, I found out that Knight was going to WWE, and soon later after this there was the Channel 4 documentary (ironically named) ‘The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family’. It was from watching this I learned about Knight’s transformation from Britani Knight to Paige, and even saw a clip of her debut in the then WWE development company FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling). Since then her career just kept going up, later becoming the first NXT Women’s Champion and then her historic WWE Divas Championship win.
Funnily enough it wasn’t until that documentary that I learned who her father was. I had seen Ricky Knight and Zak Zodiac wrestle in Morecambe at the Dome on many occasions, but it wasn’t until the Channel 4 documentary that I learned that there was a family relation. I wonder if Rowdy Ricky Knight will get a place in the WWE Hall of Fame?
Anyway; since Paige’s debut on Raw and winning the title, I have continued to follow her career; even watched a few episodes and clips of Total Divas just because she’s featured in it too. It could be for any number of reasons, I mean it could because it is nice to see a British Wrestler reach the top, becoming one of Britain’s best wrestling exports since possibly The British Bulldog (Nick Aldis and Desmond Wolfe were pretty good too). It could be because I saw her wrestle in Morecambe, and seeing someone early on in their career before they reached the greatest heights creates nice memories. Or maybe it could be because I’m a fan.
I don’t watch Wrestling much anymore these days, but I still like to find out where Britani Knight is currently at.