Posts Tagged ‘Paige’

Well, it didn’t take Paige long to find work, as just a day after making the emotional announcement on Raw that injuries had forced her to pack her job in, she has been named as the new SmackDown General Manager.

The Anti-Diva was revealed by blue brand honcho Shane McMahon as Daniel Bryan’s successor on the post-WrestleMania edition of the show, as the latter heads in the opposite direction back into the ring.

It had been reported by various outlets that Paige’s retirement on last night’s programme heralded the end of her tenture within WWE. Given the company are heavily endorsing a movie partially produced by their own studio about the Brit and her family, perhaps it was a little naive to expect she wouldn’t stick around at least until the premiere in September.

Paige’s first act in her new role was to get the crowd well and truly on her side, match-making the departing GM opposite AJ Styles as the show’s spectacular main event.

Despite the fact that it now appears the two-time Divas champ is to remain on the company’s TV, there is no change in her inactive status. Though her WWE ‘retirement’ was perhaps a bit overblown, her injuries are legitimate, and she is not currently cleared to compete by the promotion.

Really, you have to feel sorry for Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose amidst all this, who’ve been rather callously abandoned by their leader. Sure they’ll manage, though.

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Four years after claiming her first WWE Divas title in the very same building, Paige was in the Smoothie King Center on the post-WrestleMania Monday Night Raw to announce her retirement from wrestling.

After a throwaway victory for stable-mate Mandy Rose, the Anti-Diva took centre stage to make her valediction. Visibly emotional, Paige admitted that the rumours are true, and that her recurring neck injuries have effectively ended her in-ring career.

The tearful Brit thanked every member of WWE’s women’s division, as well as Daniel Bryan and Edge for offering inspiration and support during her current troubles. After mentioning that the latter demonstrated that there’s life beyond wrestling, Paige mused that she too will have to find “something else” now her in-ring career is over.

Paige made her main-roster debut the night after WrestleMania XXX, claiming AJ Lee’s Divas title to go along with her NXT strap. She went on to hold the butterfly belt on two occasions, but injuries forced her to look on from the sidelines as the company spearheaded their ‘Women’s Revolution’.

WWE have been heavily promoting a Stephen Merchant flick based on Paige’s kin over WrestleMania weekend. ‘Fighting with my Family’, which stars The Rock, Lena Headey, and Nick Frost, is due for release on 14 September. It’d be cynical to suggest Paige might make a miraculous comeback just in time for the premiere, but you never know with wrestling.

WWE superstar and Tough Enough alum Many Rose was recently a guest on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia. During the interview, Rose discussed her contentious relationship with Tough Enough winner Sara Lee.

Rose finished as runner-up to Lee based on fan voting, but eventually she was given a developmental deal by WWE. During their season, Rose constantly belittled Lee for her lack of passion for wrestling. Rose said she knows she came off as a mean-spirited person, which she is not. She said she was playing up her role as “mean girl” for the sake of the cameras.

“It was rough because honestly, I remember, it’s one thing when you are living together, but I felt really bad that I even said some of the stuff I did on national television, but she is a really sweet person, and I got along with her fine when the cameras were off, but that fakeness, because it’s like, I can be so mean to you on camera, but she never said anything to me or addressed the issue,” Rose said. “She is very quiet, she didn’t want any of that, but inside it just didn’t feel right. I thought that I wasn’t this type of person, but I was so wrapped up in it and thought that it is what it is. I went with it, but I felt really bad, even towards the end of the show. I don’t see her as much, but we talk here and there, but she never confronted me about it, which I was surprised, because if I was her, behind those cameras I would have.”

In addition to her developmental deal, Rose was placed on Total Divas. She said that is part of the reason why she doesn’t regret how she was portrayed on Tough Enough. More importantly, she said she learned from her experience and it allowed her to be more of herself.

“She ended up winning and I ended up in second place. I still ended up getting a contract, and was put on Total Divas,” Rose said. “In my head I was like, oh, I must have done something right because they see something and see a reality star, so I thought I did something right, that is why I say that I don’t regret anything, and I learned for sure, but I didn’t have to be influenced by people to show who I am, but I also thought, well, I did get signed any way and got this great opportunity to be on Total Divas, and got this great exposure.”

Rose did have to endure some backlash for her casting on Total Divas. As an inexperienced wrestler, many believed she was placed on the reality show based on her good looks. Rose said she worked hard to look the way she does and she wants people to know nothing was ever handed to her.

“It’s almost like, I don’t like to do things for that reason, because I was told that a lot of girls aren’t going to like me, and I was like, well, that’s great. It’s one thing where you have to do you, and it’s the kind of business we are in unfortunately,” she said. “But it’s also like, no, I want people to like me and I want a long career in this business, and I want to have a name that people can respect because I know respect is huge here, and I felt like I was looked at like I’m just here because I’m hot, and I get that all the time, and I have to constantly look at it like, no, I am not just a Barbie doll looking girl, I have worked hard, and the struggles that I went through when I was younger, I didn’t always look like this. I trained my butt off and competed and got to where I wanted to be from rigorous training and dieting. I didn’t just wake up like this.”

WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus was recently a guest on Lilian Garcia’s Chasing Glory podcast. During their conversation, both of them commented on former Divas Champion Paige having to retire from in-ring competition due to a neck injury suffered at a live event in December.

During a tag team match at a live event, Paige fell to the ground after being struck in the back via a double front kick by Sasha Banks. The referee threw the “X” sign, and Paige was unable to finish the match. It was later determined that the injury will force her to stop competing, ending her in-ring career at just 25 years old. Stratus said as unfortunate as it is, it’s just part of the wrestling business.

“It’s a shame, but it goes with the territory, right? It is something that we go in and there is a risk that we take, and you put your body on the line every night. That is why it is so amazing to me,” Stratus said. “Only a handful of people do what we do and only a handful of people can do what we do because you think of these people out there, we go out there willing to risk injury to entertain you guys, it’s pretty crazy. When it happens it happens. It is unfortunate, but it goes with the territory though. You have to be aware of that as a superstar going in.”

Since suffering the injury, Paige has not done anything physical on RAW and she has instead played a managerial role for Absolution. It’s believed that WWE will keep Paige employed in a non-physical role on TV, and perhaps at the WWE Performance Center. Stratus said she is hopeful she will remain involved with the WWE because she has a true love for pro-wrestling.

“Hopefully WWE will utilize Paige in other ways now,” she said. “It’s just, to have someone so passionate about the business and so in love with the business, I don’t know what to say, I kind of want to hug her now.”

Garcia echoed Stratus’ sentiments. She said Paige has took the injury in stride and has shown a positive outlook, and Garcia admires her for that.

“Her attitude is so great. She’s just been like, ‘You know what? They are still going to use me. I am still going to do other things.’ I love that,” Garcia said. “I told her that through a text that I am not going to say I am sorry because I have learned that these things sometime end up showing up their real colors later as blessings. I just hope you can find your blessing in this.”

Rosa Mendes spoke to Press Box on her friendship with Paige, her time in WWE, and if she would wrestle again. Here are some of the highlights:

Relationship with Paige:

“Paige and I are soul sisters. She has a heart of gold. When friends go through hard times, it’s important to be there for them, but it’s also important to step away when they need space. If your friendship is strong enough to withstand obstacles, then I feel that those obstacles will bring you closer together. I’m so happy that her and I reconnected. When I was going through my own problems, [Natalya] was there for me, and I don’t know what I would have done without her at that time in my life. She’s been a true friend for so many years. That’s what being a true friend is all about — being there when someone needs you, not when their friendship can benefit you.”

Her time in WWE and the women’s revolution:

“All of the girls are so unique and different that I can’t pinpoint one match and one particular moment, because I had so many great experiences. WWE female superstars are extraordinary women. WWE has done such an amazing job finding women that have the most unbelievably dedicated work ethic and knowledge. The sacrifices and hard work that it takes to become a superstar and to make it on TV, it’s more than a lot of the [fans] know about. I’m glad that Total Divas and Total Bellas can show them a bit of what it’s like behind the scenes. My favorite memories in WWE? I feel like I need to write a book, because I’ve had so many amazing memories and funny stories that I would love to share — 10 years of them! [Laughs]”

If she would ever return to the ring:

“Never say never!”

Mendes also discussed being a Mom after her time with WWE. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.

Edge spoke with Chuck Carroll of CBS Local Sports on Paige’s neck injury that ended her WWE in-ring career, which WWE Star is the best actor, and his bucket list. Here are some of the highlights:

Paige’s injury and comparing it to the neck injury that ended his WWE career:

“You know, I don’t know. It is tough, because if that is the case, and she does have to retire… I haven’t heard anything past the initial speculation… it is such a different case, because when I retired, I was 37. I had accomplished everything and then some I set out to do within that industry, so there wasn’t anything else besides wanting to help some younger talent and teach them. That was what the next mode of my career was going to be. So it is a different scenario.

I guess all I can say, if that is the case, is she did a lot. She got a lot accomplished. She won the women’s championship, and she stood out. You just try and focus on the positives instead of drawing on the negatives. That’s really all you can do in that kind of situation. But I don’t know if there’s a magic elixir or the perfect sentence you can say to make that easier to swallow.”

If John Cena or The Rock is a better actor:

“I guess it depends on what you’re going for. I’ll politically say it as that. How about Batista?”

What’s left on his bucket list:

“I keep exploring what I’m doing now. The pod is fun, and I get to connect to my childhood best friend every week, no matter where I am. We get to catch up with some friends who we don’t get to see all the time. Basically just bust each other’s chops. I really want to explore different characters and see what the next character is. I mean, who knows what’s next? But I would like [it] to be as challenging as this one has been. I don’t want to take a step back. I just want to keep going forward and just see what there is out there and just try to keep honing my craft and my chops. More importantly than all of that is just trying to be the template that you want your little girls to see of what a man is. So between all of those, that should keep me pretty busy.”

You can check out the full interview by clicking here.

On a recent episode of the Conversation With The Big Guy podcast, Ryback discussed former WWE Divas Champion Paige likely having to retire from in-ring competition due to a neck injury suffered at a live event in December.

During a tag team match at a live event, Paige fell to the ground after being struck in the back via a double front kick by Sasha Banks. The referee threw the “X” sign, and Paige was unable to finish the match. It was later determined that the injury will force her to stop competing, ending her in-ring career at just 25 years old. Ryback said he’s had a good relationship with Paige and it’s unfortunate that this happened to her.

“She has always been super sweet to me. She is a great girl,” Ryback said. “During a live event, one of the other wrestlers kicked her and gave her a stinger, or what they thought was a stinger, but it alerted them with something else that was going on. She got into wrestling at a young age, she has been wrestling her whole life so it really sucks.”

Since suffering the injury, Paige has not done anything physical on RAW and she has instead played a managerial role for Absolution. The WWE has not confirmed that her in-ring career is over, but the she was pulled from competing in the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble last Sunday. Ryback was reminded of his experiences with injuries, and he said he’s hopeful medical advancements can somehow help her get back into the ring one day.

“For fans listening, wrestlers are human beings and I’ve always said that I have experienced things where I have my career taken away from me at different points and I was very fortunate to have left when I did to of found the issues that I had or else I would have been done,” Ryback said. “You never know with medical advancements 10 years from now that they will find something, but as of right now she is done, and that sucks, but I hope that isn’t true. She is an amazing talent and an amazing person.”

It’s believed that WWE will keep Paige employed in a non-physical role on TV, and perhaps at the WWE Performance Center. Ryback said it would be good if she’s able to remain with the company, but he knows it will be hard on her to admit that her in-ring career is over.

“Hopefully WWE finds something for her in a non-wrestling role, something to keep her busy,” he said. “She is on Total Divas and all that. Mentally it is going to be very tough for her; she has gone through a lot already, but hopefully she can remain optimistic. She comes from a wrestling family so all she knows is wrestling, but I hope she has other interests outside of wrestling that she can latch on to.”