You’ve read about what Fighting With My Family producer Dwayne Johnson got up to before and after Raw in Los Angeles on Feb. 19, but what about the business at hand. How did the post-show filming of a key wrestling scene for the movie about Paige’s family and her rise to WWE stardom go down?
If the various Twitter pics and fan-shot videos from Staples Center are any indication, looks like it went well. And was very weird.
Start with the fact independent wrestler Thea Trinidad (TNA’s Rosita) is playing AJ Lee... for the most part.
.@TheaTrinidadTMT @AJBrooks Thea Trinidad NAILED IT playing AJ Lee. Incredible seeing this live. #ajlee #WWE #WWELosAngeles #Raw pic.twitter.com/nU56fM0Uhk— Gerardo Sanchez (@yko4life) February 21, 2017
AJ LEE ! I mean kinda.. #WWE #RAW #WWELA pic.twitter.com/8zDu39z422— Handsome Rusev (@BotchISLife) February 21, 2017
Who doesn’t remember AJ’s distinctive sparkly robe and matching red ring gear? Oh yeah... me. And everyone who watched her work in her signature cut-offs, t-shirt and Chuck Taylors.
It was probably determined this look is both more what the general public thinks a WWE Superstar would wear, and that this would film better than Lee’s everygirl chic. Makes sense, and I’m still pretty surprised they’re staying historically accurate with the identity of Paige’s opponent on the Raw after WrestleMania 30, where she won the Divas title in her main roster debut instead of replacing CM Punk’s wife with a fictional character, or pretending it was Nikki Bella or something.
Looks aside, Thea seemed to get high marks from the crowd for her version of the promo AJ cut which led to Paige’s debut.
Your first look at @Florence_Pugh as @RealPaigeWWE in #WrestlingWithMyFamily— ProWrestlingSheet (@WrestlingSheet) February 21, 2017
CC: @Variety @Deadline @THR @TheWrap pic.twitter.com/AHVOaHCTeL
#ajlee #paige #WWERaw #WWELA pic.twitter.com/uuOu17YgE3— Gerardo Sanchez (@yko4life) February 21, 2017
Next, it was on to the action at hand. They filmed the match multiple ways: Thea by herself, with lead actress Florence Pugh as Paige, with stunt double/indie wrestler Tessa Blanchard as Paige, Blanchard by herself. Through the magic of Hollywood, director Stephen Merchant and his team will put this all together to look like a million bucks - and hopefully a real wrestling match.
Reenacting the Paige vs AJ Lee match pic.twitter.com/tuwbfv81zi— Zach Ducks 31-20-10 (@ZachMartin619) February 21, 2017
Paige won the Divas title lol pic.twitter.com/FY1ibniznM— Zach Ducks 31-20-10 (@ZachMartin619) February 21, 2017
This is probably our last dose of major filming we’ll be exposed to... the family drama won’t require a live audience, and whatever parts of Paige’s wrestling journey up to this moment can be shot in smaller venues. But Rocky will no doubt keep us in the loop via his social media.
Thoughts on fake AJ vs. fake Paige(s)?