When it came to telling the life story of WWE Superstar Paige on the big screen, it would have been nearly impossible to complete the movie Fighting with My Family without recreating one of the most memorable moments in WWE Raw history. It was April 7, the night after Wrestlemania XXX, when Paige made her main roster debut and–shockingly–captured the WWE Divas Championship in her first match, dethroning reigning champion AJ Lee.
To capture that moment on film, Fighting with My Family director Stephen Merchant worked with producer–and former WWE superstar–Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to actually film the scene live in front of a rowdy WWE crowd in Los Angeles, which is detailed in the exclusive clip above from the movie’s digital release. “When I got the job, Stephen met me for breakfast just to basically sit me down and say, ‘You will be wrestling in the Staples Center pretty soon, in front of a live audience,'” the movie’s star Florence Pugh remembers.
To pull off the visually impressive moment, Merchant and the film’s production team was given one hour with the Raw audience, following the conclusion of an episode. While wrangling a massive group of WWE fans after a three-hour TV taping would normally be an uphill battle, the movie had an ace up its sleeve in The Rock.
“Dwayne came down, he was going to emcee the event,” Merchant recalls. “I said to him, ‘Please don’t get carried away when you get in the ring because we’ve only got an hour.’ Then he goes out there, and he does 20 minutes on the mic. He’s talking to the fans, doing his catchphrases. ‘Can you smell…'” Finally, though, Johnson took his leave from the ring and let Pugh and her co-star Thea Trinidad–otherwise known as WWE’s Zelina Vega–film their championship match.
For Pugh, it was a truly memorable moment. “Before I went on, I remember just putting my hand on the wall and the wall [was] just throbbing, honest to God,” the actress said. “I had never heard that many people before in one space.”
Now the moment will live forever in Fighting with My Family, which is available digitally now and hits Blu-ray on May 14.