Upon her arrival to AEW, Saraya, formerly known as Paige in WWE, was penciled in as babyface. In January 2023, Saraya’s character took a turn to the dark side. She and Toni Storm morphed into heels, dubbing themselves “The Outcasts.” The two later recruited Ruby Soho to join them. Since then, The Outcasts have dominated the AEW women’s division with notable feuds against the likes of Britt Baker, Jamie Hayter, and Hikaru Shida.
Despite The Outcasts’ regular appearances on AEW programming, AEW’s women’s division as a whole sometimes struggles to secure decent screen time on television. As The Outcasts continue their storylines though, Saraya is hopeful that more doors will open for other women as well.
During a recent appearance on Inside The Ropes, Saraya spoke about the gradual progression she’s seen in AEW’s women’s division.
“Britt [Baker] is always pitching ideas. She’s constantly coming up with ideas and stories and all that kind of stuff. She always wants to do promos, and so she is always putting herself out there to do it. People get hard on her because [they’re] always like, ‘Why is she always on TV? Why is she always doing this?’ I’m like, ‘Because she deserves it too.’ Everyone deserves some TV time. But also, she’s like really putting in all the work to try building these promos, building this character, and doing all these wonderful things. And so, I feel like that influences a lot of the girls. A lot of girls see that, and they do it too.”
“I feel like a lot more girls are doing that nowadays,” Saraya continued. “So, there’s more stories being held like Jade [Cargill] and Taya Valkyrie and all that kind of wonderful things are happening. Then with [The Outcasts], we want to do a slow burn story. We don’t want to have a microwave story. [The Outcasts] want to have an oven story where we take our time with it and have fun and really sink our teeth into. We kind of dragged our heels with it a little bit and was like, ‘We’re not doing that this week. We want to do this this week.'”
While The Outcasts regularly drafted up their own ideas, Saraya revealed that the trio sometimes receives some added help when pitching their vision to AEW President Tony Khan. Overall, Saraya says Khan has been widely open and receptive to their ideas.
“The wonderful thing is, is that [Chris] Jericho and [Jon] Moxley too, who are so like — if you ask them to like help you out, they’ll come in with us to talk to Tony [Khan] and stuff like that. We’ll all have a conversation, and Tony’s always very receptive. You just have to ask, and he’s usually very receptive. If he doesn’t want to do a certain idea, he’ll just be like, ‘I love it, but I want to do this this week and maybe we can do that next week or the week after,’ or whatever.”
“[Tony] is always very receptive. It really helps pitching the idea to Moxley and Jericho to see if they like it and stuff like that. If they like it, then we’re like, ‘Okay, let’s go speak to Tony about it,’ instead of like [wasting] our time. So, I just feel like this story, and it’s working, is going to open more doors for more storytelling too.”
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