In 2019, the Dwayne Johnson-produced film Fighting With My Family was released in theaters to a warm reception from fans. The movie is a fictionalized version of the journey the real life Saraya Bevis took to eventually be signed with the WWE, where she would perform under the ring name Paige for over a decade.
The film boasted an all-star cast, helmed by Florence Pugh portraying Saraya herself. Lena Heady played her mother Julia, Nick Frost played her father Ricky, and Vince Vaughn was cast as Hutch, the fictional man who’d go on to train her in the WWE Performance Center. Dwayne Johnson also made multiple appearances in the film as himself.
Saraya Says Her Personal Problems Nearly Halted The Production Of Fighting With My Family
Though the Stephen Merchant-directed film was considered a success as as heartwarming tale, Saraya revealed on a recent episode of Talk is Jericho that it nearly didn’t come to completion and took years to make due to her real life being in turmoil at the time.
“It went into production, but it took years to be made. It was going to be stopped at one point because of me doing drugs and just being an absolute chaotic psychopath. It was not good press at all and I was just completely crazy.
“So at one point, they were scared that I was going to die first of all, but also they were just like, ‘This movie is just bad timing because she’s just not getting any better.’ So at one point, I think it was Carrano that reached out to me and he was just like, ‘You need to get it together. There’s gonna be a lot of things that are just going to be thrown away.’
“So there were a lot of wake up calls, but eventually, obviously, I did leave Texas and come back to Florida and get back in the ring again, and then the movie was finally made.”
On July 7th, Saraya left WWE when her contract expired, making her a free agent for the first time in over a decade. The former Paige hadn’t wrestled since December of 2017 as the result of a serious neck injury that forced her to announce her retirement at the young age of 26.
The star served as on-screen General Manager of SmackDown following the announcement of her retirement in April of 2018, but at the end of that year, the McMahon family took a greater on-screen management role and her time as General Manager came to a close. The former Paige would go on to manage a number of stars including the Kabuki Warriors and the IIconics as well as serving as a contributor for WWE Backstage, but despite remaining under contract, she was absent from WWE programming throughout 2021 and 2022 until her July release.