Fighting With My Family features a lot of cameos and references to WWE wrestlers from the past and present. Written and directed by Stephen Merchant (The Office), the film tells the true story of WWE's Paige (Florence Pugh) and her rowdy family of British pro-wrestlers, whom she left to pursue her dream of pro-wrestling superstardom. Paige's father Ricky Knight is portrayed by Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), her mother "Sweet" Saraya is played by Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), and her older brother Zak by Jack Lowden (Dunkirk).
One of the best pro-wrestling movies ever, the WWE pedigree of Fighting With My Family is as authentic as it gets: the film is produced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and was made in conjunction with WWE Studios, which lent its logos and trademarks, as well as some cameos of current WWE stars. Johnson was inspired to make the film after seeing the 2012 British documentary The Wrestlers: Fighting With My Family about the Knight dynasty, who run the World Association of Wrestling (WAW) promotion out of Norwich, England. As the son and grandson of pro-wrestling legends, The Rock could relate to the unique trials of the Knights and Paige's difficult journey to WWE.
Related: Fighting With My Family Trailer
Though much of the film was shot on location in Norwich, WWE allowed Merchant to shoot the film's finale match between Paige and WWE Divas Champion A.J. Lee (Thea Trinidad) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles after an episode of Monday Night RAW aired live in February 2017. In addition, scenes of Paige's NXT training take place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida (Merchant actually sent Pugh and Lowden to train for a month there).
As a member of NXT hoping to be called up to the main WWE roster, Paige was also backstage at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans; this is where a number of the film's WWE wrestler cameos take place. Here are all of the WWE cameos and references in Fighting With My Family.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Himself
The Rock appears as himself and plays a sort of 'fairy godmother' role to Paige, even cutting one of his classic promos in front of Paige and Zak before their WWE tryout. Of course, Dwayne Johnson is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, headlining the Jumanji and Hobbs & Shaw franchises among numerous other film and TV projects. He is also a third-generation pro-wrestler and a multi-time WWE Champion.
The Miz as Himself
Mike Mizanin is a multi-time champion and one of the top stars of WWE as his character, The Miz. Mizanin is also a reality TV star; he gained fame outside of WWE as a cast member of MTV's The Real World and E!'s Total Divas, and he now stars in his own series, Miz & Mrs., on the USA Network. Mizanin also headlines WWE Studios' straight-to-DVD The Marine franchise. He walks past the NXT stars backstage.
Sheamus as Himself
Stephen Farrelly performs for WWE as Sheamus and he is a multi-time champion and the first-ever Irish-born WWE Champion when he defeated John Cena. Sheamus has also guest starred on Royal Pains on the USA Network and he played Rocksteady in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. He's seen in Fighting With My Family arguing about hot dogs with The Big Show.
The Big Show as Himself
As the Big Show in WWE, the 7-foot-tall Paul Wight is billed as the "largest professional athlete in the world". He's a multi-time WWE Champion who lost a marquee match to Floyd Mayweather at WrestleMania 24 in 2008. Wight has also starred in several films including Jingle All The Way, MacGruber, and he played Captain Insano in Adam Sandler's The Waterboy. He's seen alongside Sheamus.
John Cena as Himself
John Cena is a 16-time WWE Champion and was the cornerstone main event star of the wrestling promotion for over a decade. Now semi-retired, Cena has successfully pursued Hollywood stardom; he had a breakout role in Amy Schumer's Trainwreck and starred in Blockers and Bumblebee. Cena appears on Monday Night RAW right before Paige's climactic match with A.J. Lee.
Thea Trinidad as A.J. Lee
Currently known as Zelina Vega in WWE, Trinidad does a pitch-perfect impersonation of April "A.J. Lee" Mendez, who couldn't participate in the film. Along with being an accomplished pro-wrestler herself, Trinidad has also acted in the films Dorothy and the Witches of Oz, Hope Bridge, and Army of the Damned.
Other WWE References In Fighting With My Family
Hutch Morgan - Vince Vaughn's character Hutch Morgan is NXT's talent scout and trainer in the film, but he isn't based on any real person. Instead, Hutch is an amalgam of several of Paige's real-life trainers during her career in NXT, including Bill DeMott, who was NXT's head trainer from 2012-2015, Sara D'Amato, who is NXT's first-ever female trainer, and the late WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes. Morgan's backstory where he describes "falling off the top of a 30-foot steel cage" references the career-defining moment of WWE legend Mick Foley, who fell off the top of the Hell in a Cell twice in an infamous 1998 match against the Undertaker.
The NXT Divas - Like Hutch Morgan, Paige's frenemies and NXT Diva hopefuls Jeri-Lynn (Kim Matula), Kirsten (Aqueela Zoll), and Maddison (Ellie Gonsalves), aren't based on real people but are amalgams representing the type of models WWE was hiring as WWE Divas during this time. However, the Divas' ring gear resembles the outfits worn by former WWE Divas Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly, and 5-time WWE Women's Champion Alexa Bliss. Ellie Gonsalves is an Australian model, Aqueela Zoll as appeared in the TV series Bad Timing, and Kim Matula has starred in The Bold and the Beautiful and UnREAL.
Wrestlers On Paige's Bedroom and On Television - Paige grew up as a fan of WWE during its "Attitude Era", so she naturally looks up its biggest stars of that period. Her bedroom wall is adorned by posters of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin while the WWE episodes she and Zak watch on TV also feature John Cena, Kane, Vince McMahon, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, the Undertaker, Mankind, Rey Mysterio, Trish Stratus, Torrie Wilson, Stacy Kiebler, and Michelle McCool. WWE announcers Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler call the action during Paige's match with A.J. Lee.
Tessa Blanchard as Paige (stunt double) - Blanchard is Florence Pugh's stunt double who performed the more challenging wrestling moves during Paige's matches in the film. She is the daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Tully Blanchard and she's a professional wrestler herself who has performed on WWE NXT.