SmackDown GM Paige was recently interviewed by SkySports about her wrestling career and life after suffering a career ending neck injury.
On Starting Starting Early & Traveling The World As A Young Teen:
I decided at 13. I was like, ‘OK, if I want to be a Diva, I have to get my name out there somehow.’ I started sending out resumes by the time I was 13 to all these different countries. I was in different countries every week by the time I was 14. My dad was like, ‘Where are you this week?’ I was like, ‘Well, I’m in Spain this week. Next week I’m in Germany.’ It was great. I went to Turkey and then I started going to America with my mom when I was like 17 and then that kind of got my name out there a little bit more, so it was really hard especially when my whole family wrestles. I had to kind of live in their shadow when it came to the U.K. too and I was like, ‘Damn, now I have to make a name for myself? This is crazy.’ Luckily Drew McDonald, who passed away, was a scout for WWE and he came and he watched me on an indie show because he heard so much about me and I’ve known him growing up anyway, but he wanted to see. He was like, ‘I’m not going to give you a tryout if you don’t deserve it.’ He gave me my first tryout. I didn’t get in; but, the second time I got in and I moved over here by the time I was 19.
On What It Was Like To Be Away From Home & In The WWE At 19:
I was so homesick. The first four months I was crying to dad and dad was like, ‘Don’t call me, if you’re gonna cry your eyes out. Stop blaring.’ I was like, ‘OK alright, I won’t call you. I’m sorry.’ He was just like, ‘You have to stick it out. This is what you’ve wanted for so many years.’ But, I was just a little girl and I remember having panic attacks because everything is so different over here. The culture’s so different over here. I’m by myself, have this apartment by myself, was going to this training facility by myself. It’s intimidating; but, everyone welcomed me with open arms and were really nice, so they made me feel comfortable and I started to get into the swing of things after a couple months here.
On Her Career Ending Injury:
In the venue, I knew that was it. Laying in the ring, I was just like, ‘I’m never gonna wrestle again.’ I could feel it. You could feel it because the fact that I was completely paralyzed for like a couple minutes. There was no way I was gonna come back from this, but I was stubborn about it. I was like, ‘I’m fine.’ Then I get back to the hotel and I could just feel it. I remember sitting at the hotel bar with Nia [Jax] and we’re just like eating some food and stuff and there were fans around and they were just asking. I didn’t know what to say to them, but I could just feel it. I was like, ‘You guys are never gonna see me wrestle again.’ It’s really sad. I had to retire in the place where I debuted and now the first ever female pay-per-view [Evolution] is where I had to retire in the first place. This is where I got the injury. I’ve been wanting to do this since I was thirteen years old. To have it cut short at 26 is the saddest thing ever, but silver lining in everything.
Paige also reveals some integral advice that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shared with her early in her career and talks about the future of women’s wrestling in the UK. Readers interested in watching SkySports’ interview with Paige in its entirety may do so HERE.