The former Paige left WWE when her contract expired in July. She subsequently signed with AEW and made her debut on AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam 2022.
Speaking with Chris Jericho on Talk Is Jericho, Saraya detailed her mindset surrounding the next step of her career. She noted that she was drawn to AEW because it’s an exciting new environment that will let her work with fresh talent.
“It was like a mixture,” Saraya said. “I was like what do I do? Do I do WWE, or do I go to AEW? I was just like, I feel like I’m at this stage in my life where I’ve done so much with WWE and I’m thankful for that. But AEW is just this company where there’s so much behind the scenes that people don’t see and I just feel like there’s this camaraderie. It is so relaxed back there, too. But I was just really excited to try something so new, with a division that’s completely new, too, as much as I love the girls. I just saw Charlotte literally minutes before I got here, and I was like oh, I miss you ladies, but I’m so excited to be in such a fresh [place].”
She them confirmed that she talked with WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H before she signed with AEW, and while she thought about returning to WWE, she chose AEW.
“Hunter did eventually reach out to me and he just wanted to talk to me because he thought it was my [decision] because he wasn’t there at the time, Saraya said. “He thought it was my decision to leave, and I was like, ‘No, bro.’ [laughs] It was Vince [McMahon] and Johnny [Laurinaitis]. But yeah we got talking, but then I started talking to you guys again and I was like man, I just missed that side of wrestling where you can pitch your own ideas and you can just have fun. I haven’t felt excited about wrestling in a very long time, so just the first day of being here was just like, man, this is awesome. It’s just crazy how different it can feel.”
Saraya was asked whether she was ever close to returning to WWE, and she stated that it was a possibility until AEW sold her.
“Yeah, I was. I was thinking about it,” Saraya said. “Again, I don’t have issues with WWE. I just wish some things were done differently, and that’s the only thing I have against them is just, there’s so many years where I could have been utilized more. I was just so depressed about it. But I was thinking about going back there, and then I spoke to you [Jericho], I spoke to Mox, I was speaking to Britt, and then got on the phone with Tony [Khan] and he was so excited. I was like you know what, yeah. I think I’m gonna give this a shot.”
Jericho described how he pushed AEW president Tony Khan to sign Saraya because he heard she might be going back to WWE, and Saraya responded by saying that this outcome could have happened if AEW hadn’t reached out/
“If you wouldn’t have pushed it. Because I understand Tony’s busy,” Saraya said. He as two different football teams, but then also this big company that he has to run, so I understand he’s busy, trust me. I get it. But it was just, a few months had gone by and I was like, alright, well I feel like he’s not really interested, and that’s okay. That’s totally fine. So I was getting the calls for WWE and I was like, oh man, should I? Am I gonna be 100% happy going back? Then you guys called me and I was just like, you guys made it sound so exciting.”
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