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FIGHT LIKE A GIRL REPORT: BBC ONE DOCUMENTARY ON KIMBERLY 'VIPER' BENSON

By Matt Dagnall on 2018-06-12 09:08:00

Fight Like A Girl documentary - 6/11/18 on BBC ONE

Fight Like a Girl started following Vipe (real name, Kimberly Benson) in the 2018 ICW Square Go match and explaining the premise of wrestling, seeing her worried about going into the battle royal with some of the men. We saw her take out Jody Fleisch and take chair shots from Joseph Conners before being eliminated. 

Benson talked to the camera about how much she hurts after every match, but regardless loves it and it's worth it for the crowd reactions. However she cannot make ends meet just be wrestling, and works part time in the family coach hire business when not in the squared circle but the flexibility makes it easy. 

Viper had loved watching wrestling from a young age and one time a boyfriend told her of a local wrestling school, as she had never actually realised it was something one can take as a career. She went, got beat up every time and fell in love with it, going there every week for seven years. 

It was emphasised how difficult she found it due to all WWE women's wrestlers being supermodels and therefore she didn't really fit the bill, and further people thought she wouldn't be able to last five minutes due to her size. She was glad she never gave up. 

We then went to the ICW Fight Club tapings when Viper took on Session Moth Martina for the Women's Title, with ICW promoter Mark Dallas explaining why Viper has everything you need to be a champion. Viper won the match, becoming champion with her parents in attendance who were of course delighted. 

Benson discussed her busy schedule, with around four fights a week. This takes a toll, and Viper elaborated on a possible shoulder blade injury. But she cannot take the chance to take time out so has to push through rather than recover properly as Doctors advise. 

We then followed her to Japan where she wrestles for STARDOM, but she talked about the disadvantages of it also, having not been home for her mother's birthday in years - "being in the spotlight is the loneliest place" she says. 

This seventh Stardom tour for Viper had a particularly difficult schedule, with six hour coach journey after six hour coach journey making life not easy for Viper. The importance of this tour was her title vs title match with Toni Storm with her ICW title on the line as well as Storm's Stardom title. But outside the ring, the two are great friends and travel together, something Viper is extremely grateful for given in her first trips to Japan there were no other European based wrestlers. 

A typical day in Japan for her would involve hard work in the gym before going out and enjoying the Japanese night life, where she is often gets recognised by fans. 

Going back to wrestling, she is plagued by worry of balancing expectation with safety, as she wants to give fans a good show but cannot afford an injury whatsoever, let alone injure someone else as she has previously done and felt extremely guilty. 

The Toni Storm vs Viper match was shown in brief, with Viper winning and getting emotional in the interview with BBC afterwards, as she has shown people her size cannot hold her back. 

Overall it was a good documentary, a bit on the short side maybe.  It never actually dove into the fact that wrestling is predetermined. It followed matches as if they were shoot fights which was interesting. It provided an interesting insight into the difficulties of her job, especially with her having to work another job to break even.

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