Charlotte vs. Paige Storyline Takes Ugly, Tasteless Turn on WWE Raw
WWE smeared so much controversy over the Charlotte vs. Paige feud that it's now hard to see the story underneath.
The company confused real-life tragedy with a means to generate heat for a heel. It confused an appalled audience with an engaged one.
On Monday's WWE Raw, the company turned Reid Fliehr's death into narrative fodder, a cheap, disrespectful move that benefits no one. WWE's writers had a multitude of options before them to spark Charlotte's fury and went in a lazy direction, going down a road better left not traveled.
Paige is set to face Charlotte at Survivor Series for the Divas Championship.
The rivalry up to this point had been built around the bad blood between allies-turned-enemies, championship glory and Charlotte's need to prove herself. Paige split from her faction with Charlotte, telling her and the world that she didn't believe Charlotte had earned her spot as champ.
Paige thought she deserved the gold more. In her mind, Charlotte had ridden her famous father's coattails, calling her "Baby Flair."
Now less than a week before their title match, the two women met in the closing segment of Monday's Raw to sign their contracts, and not surprisingly, they bickered.
Charlotte first brought up her late brother when she talked about how close she and Paige once were.
There was a tinge of discomfort for the crowd there. Charlotte didn't linger on Reid's passing. It was just an attempt at adding depth to her story.
Had WWE stopped with that, there likely would have been minimal backlash. Sure, it was cheap, but it was essentially a thrown-in anecdote, not the tasteless tactic that soon followed.
After Charlotte talked about how much fight she had in her, about how much fight her family had in them, Paige glared at her foe and said, "Your little baby brother, he didn't have much fight in him, did he?"
Reid died in a hotel room at just 25 years old. That was the end of a tumultuous life where the young professional wrestler struggled with legal issues and drug problems. As the autopsy later revealed, per Chris Dyches of WISTV, a heroin overdose killed him.
As Bleacher Report's Jonathan Snowden, author of Shooters: The Toughest Men in Professional Wrestling said on Twitter, there is no way this should be storyline fodder:
Wrestling is an escapist medium.
Currently, an evil corporate tyrant is trying to woo his next right-hand man. An undead mortician is seeking revenge against a cult leader with supernatural powers. Wrestlers are fighting for the chance to wear a strap of leather and gold.
Those are wrestling stories. Those are angles that allow fans to get lost in the scripted world of the squared circle.
When WWE used Road Warrior Hawk's real-life alcoholism as an angle on Raw, it went too far. When Randy Ortonshouted to Rey Mysterio that his late friend Eddie Guerrero was in hell, it went too far.
And it did so again on Monday night.
The fact that a father and mother outlived their son, that a sister has to live on without her brother, knowing that he was hurting so much that he couldn't climb out of a pit of darkness, has no business being a part of a wrestling match. Infusing tragedy like this into what unfolds on-screen is uncalled for.
WWE exploited a wrestler's addiction. WWE mined real death for fictional rivalries.
As F4WOnline's David Bixenspan pointed out, it did disservice to Reid's memory:
And for what? Vince McMahon may be happy that this controversy created conversation, but it's not the one he wants people to be having. Fans aren't more captivated by Charlotte vs. Paige; more than a few are certainly put off by it.
That line about Reid doesn't get Paige heat, either. It gets WWE heat. Brandon Howard from Voices of Wrestling was exactly right when he wrote that fans can see through the mechanism and will point their ire toward the writers, not the heel:
Elizabeth Fliehr was among those watching who felt that way. She had to watch on as her dead son was pulled into a story like a cheap prop and her daughter had to be a part of it all.
She tossed out many of the adjectives that fit that segment:
"Lazy" is among them. She's spot on there. Using Reid's death is easy. Rather than generate emotions through well-built narratives, WWE skipped all that and threw in something offensive enough to shock people.
Fans believed that Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels hated each other, that Steve Austin and The Rock were bitter enemies, that a brawl would break out any time that Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were in the same room. No references to real deaths needed.
The situation is also unfortunate because the women performed well in a big spot. This was history being made with women earning the main event slot in a go-home show. It could have been remembered for two emerging stars seizing a brass ring on live TV.
This could have been a seminal moment in what WWE so often refers to as the Divas Revolution. Instead, it won't be the women who get the spotlight, nor the Divas title—it will be the folks behind the curtain who chose to bring Reid into a place he never belonged.
Paige's Brother Says William Regal Is Blocking His Move To WWE
Paige's brother, Roy Bevis, has accused William Regal of continuously blocking what he believes is a potential move to WWE.
The two-time WWE Diva's path to WWE was documented in 2019 film Fighting With MyFamily, which showsPaige's older brother Zak having to watch from the sidelines as his sister goes on to become a WWE superstar after failing to make the cut himself. Roy, on the other hand, was in prison at the time but was mentioned throughout the movie.
Now out of prison for several years and having worked hard to make a name for himself on the indie scene in the UK, the 38-year-old claims he wants to reach WWE so he could prove that people can hit rock bottom and still go on to make it in the industry.
As he puts it, the opportunity to join WWE has been dangled but NXT General Manager William Regal is preventing the move from happening.
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Roy got on Facebook to air his frustrations this week.
"Suppose to be going to WWE next month but once again been blocked from someone in the office once again so I’m being told ..anyone else want kick me in bollocks well I’m down feel free," he wrote.
"I’m never going to change who Im am honest straight talking fella,if I’ve got something to say il tell ya but the wrestling world isn’t like that it’s all about stroking egos and back stabbing..UK hooligans are the best known tag team on the uk Indy scene I’m happy doing wrestling in bingo halls long as I get to entertain fans and enjoy what I’m doing."
Regal caught wind of the post and has since issued a response on Twitter.
Bevis isn't quite done letting Regal know what's on his mind and has uploaded a video in which he says he won't allow the former WWE performer to bully him simply because he's famous. You could watch it below.
What's Really Going On Between Regal And Bevis?
We aren't privy to the details behind all of this but Roy seems to be convinced that Regal is the one standing between him and a move to WWE.
The fact that he spent time in jail is said to be Regal's main issue but that hardly seems a reason to hold someone back from pursuing a legitimate wrestling career, especially after he's put in the work.
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British professional wrestler
Zak Bevis (born Zak Frary, 29 May 1991) is an English professional wrestler. He mainly competes under the name Zak Knight in World Association of Wrestling, which is owned and operated by his family. He also regularly leads training for his family's wrestling school and has done seminars for other companies.
Professional wrestling career
World Association of Wrestling (2002–present)
Zak began wrestling at the age of 10 years old for his father's promotion World Association of Wrestling. His first championship match was against Phil Lea for the WAW Youth Championship which Zak lost. While wrestling for WAW, Zak would take on members of his family multiple times including his mother (Sweet Saraya), father (Ricky Knight), sister (Britani Knight, now better known as Paige) and his brother (Zebra Kid). In 2006, Zak defeated his father, Ricky Knight, to become the WAW Pontins Open Champion. At WAW Champion's Night, Zak won a 15-man royal rumble. Zak won the WAW King of the Ring 2007 by defeating The Cougar Kid in the finals. In the summer of 2007, Zak took on Jonny Storm in a best two out of three falls match for the WAW British Lightweight Championship, after both gaining a pinfall, Storm got the final pin. In August 2008, Zak took on Erik Isaksen for the WAW Heavyweight Championship in a best two out of three falls match. Both men gained a pinfall however the match would end up being stopped by the referee. On 2 March 2008 Zak defeated Paul Tyrell to win the WAW British Cruiserweight Championship in a best two out of three falls match. He would hold the championship until April 2010. Zak entered the WAW King Of The Ring 2009, but was eliminated by Zebra Kid. Zak took on Aron Frost in a match for the vacant WAW European Championship and lost. Since 2011, Zak has only sporadically performed for WAW, only competing a few times a year.
At Trouble At The Talk 3, Zak defeated WAW World Heavyweight Champion Steve Corino to capture the title for the 1st time.
Real Deal Wrestling (2006–2009)
On 12 July 2006, Zak debuted for Real Deal Wrestling at RDW vs WAW and took on Dave Rayne for the RDW Lincolnshire Regional Championship and lost. In August, Zak won a RDW Heavyweight Championship number one contendership battle royal and took on the champion, Mick Romeo, a few days later and lost. With things looking bleak, two days later, Zak entered a gauntlet match for the RDW Lincolnshire Regional Championship and won. He would lose the championship three months later to Sykes in a triple threat ladder match which also included The Dominator. On 3 February 2007, Zak teamed up with his father Ricky Knight to take on the RDW Tag Team Champions The UK Pitbulls in a title match and won. The duo proved to be a formidable team, holding the championship for nine months before losing it to The Underdogs (Luc Harrison and Nathan Chalder) in a five way tag team match. Zak reached the final of the King of the Castle 2008 tournament before losing to Havok. In 2009, Zak had multiple championship matches and failed to capitalise on any of them.
Norwegian Wrestling Federation (2006–2007)
Zak would make his first wrestling appearance outside of the United Kingdom when he travelled to Norway and debuted for the Norwegian Wrestling Federation teaming up with his father to defeat Fremtiden. Zak participated in the Max21 Cup and got to the final where he was eliminated by Gabriel Antonick.
The Hooligans (2010–present)
In late 2010, Zak would begin to regularly team up with his brother Roy Bevis. In time they began calling themselves the Football Hooligans and changed their names to Bex (Zak Zodiac) and Bud (Roy Bevis). Their first match under the name of the Football Hooligans came in November at a Herts And Essex Wrestling and World Association Of Wrestling joint event which the pair won. The pair would go on quite the winning streak in early 2011 which led to a street fight against the Devil's Playboys (Brett Meadows and Sam Knee) for the HEW Tag Team Championship. Winning this match marked the first tag team championship for the newly named Hooligans. With their success in the United Kingdom, the Hooligans travelled over to Germany to take on Christian Eckstein & Leon van Gasteren at European Wrestling Promotion for the EWP Tag Team Championship, but would return to England unsuccessful. The Hooligans have begun appearing for one of Britain's top wrestling promotions, International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom where they have traded wins with Project Ego (Kris Travis & Martin Kirby). The Hooligans have also appeared for All Star Wrestling. On 15 September 2012, they defeated Army of Two (Scott Fusion & Aaron Sharpe) to win the vacant RQW European Tag Team Championship and would lose them to Army of Two on 23 March 2013. The Hooligans debuted for ICW in their hometown of Norwich on 17 October 2015.
On the 11 November 2011 episode of SmackDown, Zak Zodiac and two other wrestlers Andy Baker and Tom LaRuffa appeared in a 3 on 1 handicap match against the Big Show during his feud with Mark Henry and were defeated.
Zak is part of a professional wrestling family. Both his mother and father, known as Sweet Saraya and Ricky Knight respectively, are professional wrestlers, as are his siblings, half-brother Roy and his sister Saraya-Jade, who is better known as Paige. The family runs the World Association of Wrestling (WAW) promotion based in Norwich. In July 2012, Channel 4 produced a documentary about the Knights entitled The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family. The documentary was adapted into a feature film by Stephen Merchant and executive producer Dwayne Johnson, titled Fighting with My Family, with Jack Lowden playing Zak. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019.He is married to his childhood sweetheart and they have three children, with one son and two daughters as of April 2021.
Championships and accomplishments
- DAM Promotions
- DAM Trophy Tournament (2006)
- Herts And Essex Wrestling
- HEW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Isak Rain Memorial Cup (2008)
- Preston City Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Real Deal Wrestling
- RDW Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- RDW Lincolnshire Regional Championship (1 time)
- Real Quality Wrestling
- RQW European Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Roy Knight
- World Association of Wrestling
- WAW World Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- WAW World Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- WAW British Light Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- WAW Pontins Open Championship (1 time)
- WAW King of the Ring (2007)
- TWW Championship (1 time, current)
- Other Titles
- British InterFed Cup 2007
‘Fighting With My Family’ Tells the Story of the Whole Bevis Family, Not Just Paige
WWE just crowned its first women’s tag team champions in 30 years on Sunday’s pay-per-view. But even if Paige been healthy enough to wrestle on the card, it is unlikely she would have been in that title match. Her tag partner never made it to the WWE.
Fighting with My Family, the film based on Paige’s life written and directed by Stephen Merchant, opens Friday in theaters across the country. It tracks the journey of Saraya “Paige” Bevis (played brilliantly by Florence Pugh) from Norwich, England to WWE. But the story also shines a light on the tag partner who helped Paige achieve her wrestling dreams.
As fascinating as Paige’s journey played out on screen, the same can be said of her older brother Zak’s.
“This is just as much my movie as it is my brother’s,” said Paige. “Zak’s story is so meaningful, and even though this was his dream, his success happened away from WWE when he created a family and taught kids how to wrestle.”
The movie perfectly captures Paige’s debut match, which took place against her brother when she was only 13 years old. It was not designed to be an intergender match, so Zak wore a Pink Power Ranger outfit to make the audience think the match was between two aspiring female wrestlers.
“Paige always wanted to get in the ring, and I’d throw her around and we’d have fun,” said Zak. “Then my dad said to her one day, ‘I’m a lady short, so you’re going to have to go in.’ She didn’t want to, so I said I’d wear the Pink Power Ranger suit so she could work with me.”
The 13-year-old Paige then wrestled against the 15-year-old Zak, perfecting that match for the next two-and-a-half years, honing her craft against her brother.
“She had it, right away, even at 13 years old,” said Zak. “She just shined, she was the star of the show.”
The tough, proud Zak Bevis—who could identify every wrestler on the WWE roster solely from the look of their boots—had no other choice but to embrace his role, though the confines of his Power Ranger gear offered precious little anonymity.
“Imagine being a 15-year-old boy, with your friends coming to watch the show, and you’re the guy in a Pink Power Ranger suit with your balls taped to your backside, wearing your mom’s padded bra with socks stuffed inside?” said Zak. “I did over two years of that, but that’s what I’d do just to get my kid sister through her match.”
Life has not always been easy for Paige and Zak. Like any pair of siblings, the relationship can be competitive and unforgiving. But both know that there is no one else they would rather have in their corner.
“I’ll always be her big brother and protector,” said Zak. “I’ve been a guardian angel to her, and she’s been a rock to me. The only difference is, when my sister’s down, it’s all over the media. When I’m down, it’s not shown.”
Eighteen months ago, Zak was in a wheelchair, suffering a mental breakdown after reading the litany of negative comments about his sister on the Internet.
“I tried to fight them all, but I learned I couldn’t,” admitted Zak. “You know how twins think exactly the same? That’s just like us. We’re only 14 months apart, and she’s my best mate.”
The origin of Fighting With My Family was a 2012 documentary of the same name about the Bevis family’s obsession with pro wrestling.
“I’m used to being in front of the camera because my parents loved to do documentaries,” said Paige. “The story is pretty accurate. The scenes with my family weren’t twisted for Hollywood, they’re just that insane.
“Our director, Stephen Merchant, which blows my mind that someone so accomplished is our writer and director, did an insane job. His timing and writing are just so incredible, and it was so surreal to work with him.”
The movie is especially important for Paige, who looks to transition away from wrestling following a series of neck injuries that forced the 26-year-old to prematurely and permanently remove herself from the ring.
“I love wrestling, don’t get me wrong, and if I could return, I would,” said Paige. “Unfortunately, I can’t. So I choose health.”
Paige now looks to Fighting With My Family executive producer Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for guidance on the next step in her career.
“Right now, I don’t know what’s going on with WWE,” said Paige. “I work there, of course, but we’re deciding whether I’ll be on screen or behind the scenes. I have a clothing line and a makeup line, and I’d like to transition, like Dwayne did, into more show business.”
The film is a story of sacrifice, and Paige takes immense pride that this story belongs to her and her family. After working in a business where someone else decides your fate, she takes comfort in knowing the film is hers forever.
“I couldn’t stop crying the first time I watched it, literally right from the start,” said Paige. “I balled my eyes out watching the scene when I won the Divas championship, plus the scene at the airport when I said goodbye to my parents. It completely refreshed my feelings. There were also scenes where I was really lonely, and that’s exactly how I felt.”
As one chapter closes, another begins. Paige is optimistic about her future, even without wrestling, and she would like to use her strength to be an advocate for those without a voice.
“Emotionally and health-wise, right now, this is the happiest I’ve ever been,” said Paige. “I’m in a very good place. In order to be successful, you need to be yourself. This movie is all about showing that positive message.”
Justin Barrasso can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.
It was not bad with her, especially in sex. So I was sitting at work somehow and then she wrote to me in one of the social networks, wrote how bored and all that, and then I blurted out come to my work, we will kiss!. When she saw such a message, the only thing she wrote to me was leaving.Divas Championship Contract Signing: Raw, November 16, 2015
Whatever you want, restore your account in classmates, "FACEBOOK", or "IN CONTACT". Of course, the addresses and passwords for them should also be available, I really hope that you will succeed. - He looked attentively at Herman, who was sitting with an imperturbable look, clearly bored; and now and then glancing at the pretty blonde, sitting.
Opposite by the window, talking vigorously about something, with her ugly girlfriend.
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However, one should not think that primitive culture meant weakness and underdevelopment. They were. The virtual sun was leaning over an equally virtual horizon. Dusk was gradually gathering over the swamp, preparing the daytime living creatures for sleep and inviting other, much more dangerous creatures to hunt. Three players were in a hurry to pass the inhospitable area of the game world as soon as possible, but the viscous ooze reluctantly let go of the two-legged.