Paige has an important legacy for WWE and all wrestling

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 21: WWE Diva Paige attends Wizard World Comic Con Chicago 2015 at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on August 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 21: WWE Diva Paige attends Wizard World Comic Con Chicago 2015 at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on August 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images) /

Of course, Paige fans have been saddened to hear that she has left WWE; this after months of rumors circulating that she would be making her exit. No, she wasn’t on TV anymore in recent history…and her in-ring career was riddled with injuries—specifically to her neck—but she was enjoying her time still part of the company. But she has made her exit regardless and so today, we’ve decided to take a look at just how important Paige was to the WWE.

In truth, she helped revolutionize the Women’s Division in WWE, taking it from the Divas’ Era to the much more respected Women’s Division we enjoy today. And although she was and is a gorgeous human being, she made it more about brute strength and athletics…something the current women’s division on the main roster can thank her for.

Rolling Stone magazine once named her Diva of the Year (2014), and that shows that she had reach the mainstream media as well, which in wrestling is so important.

We also wonder if stars like Becky Lynch would have had a career or rather a career to the extent that she has had if it wasn’t for the work that Paige did in the ring and within the company.

In fact, it was William Regal that recently stated on the “Gentleman Villain” Podcast that Paige and Tenille Dashwood were pioneers for the Women’s Revolution, so there you go…from a  most trusted source comes that little tidbit…a golden nugget if you ask me, and a massive stamp of approval.

A look back at an extraordinary career

The two-time WWE Diva’s Champion and one-time NXT Champion have had quite the career. She started wrestling in 2005 and worked her way through the indies where she made stops at German Stampede Wrestling, Premier Wrestling Federation, Pro-Wrestling: EVE, Real Quality Wrestling, and finally in 2011 she tried out for WWE a second time (her first try was not successful), and she would join the company via their developmental system. Her WWE journey would start like so many at that time…and that was with a run in FCW, the then developmental territory for WWE.

Of course, FCW would become NXT and the rest as they say is of course history.

It was after a successful run in NXT that she would debut on Raw, slapping then champion, AJ Lee, and challenging her to a match (the night after WrestleMania 30, this was). Paige would win the match, thus making her the youngest Diva’s Champion of all–time at 21 years old.

And a run like no other would ensue…sadly leading to an injury she suffered in an accident at a house show match in which she was kicked in the back of the neck by Sasha Banks ( a freak accident). This aggravated some problems she was having previously. She suffered a bout of paralysis, but despite the toughness she showed, that injury would ultimately end her career.

Fighting With My Family

Dwayne Johnson needs no introduction of course, but it was also he that saw a lot of potential in Paige, and he saw a lot of value in the career she’d put forth…her story essentially impressed him greatly and he wanted to shine a light on that.

So along with his 7 Bucks Productions film company, he produced the film, Fighting With My Family…a film that was based entirely on the life of one Saraya Knight, or rather Saraya-Jade Bevis and her rise within the world of professional wrestling.

Dwayne Johnson had this to say on why he made the film while speaking with Men’s Journal: “It had something special that resonated with me, and I thought it could be turned into a really compelling movie…”

Leaving on good terms

Paige is of course not leaving the company on bad terms. I mean, really, how could she? She had nothing but great things to say about her time there and her exit. She also had a thing or two to say on how she helped revolutionize the sport in terms of taking it away from where the women’s division was at the time of her entry to the women’s division we see today, ultimately calling to mind what Regal already said about her.

She said the following in a beautiful piece she penned at The Player’s Tribune:

"“When I first got to WWE, we weren’t very far removed from the time of bra-and-panties matches…A lot of people still considered the women’s match on every show to be the ‘pee break.’ And I’ll always feel such a kinship with the women of my era, because we worked so damn hard to prove ourselves…To prove that we couldn’t just wrestle — we could wrestle our asses off…I’m also grateful for the CURRENT group of female wrestlers in WWE…Everyone seems to have a different idea on where and when our Women’s Revolution started, but to me the where and when don’t matter…What matters is that it happened, and that women’s wrestling is in good hands with the talent on this roster. I’m incredibly honored to have gotten to be a part of something so special, and can’t wait to see what the future brings.”–Wrestling Inc. (Transcription)"

What’s next?

She would eventually make it back to TV for a few rather important storylines between 2018, throughout the pandemic, and after (she spent time as SmackDown General Manager, she would manage the Kabuki Warriors…),  but as of late many were wondering if an in-ring return was in the cards for the legend.

Rumors being what rumors are, many got excited and reasonably so, but then in one fell swoop, it seemed like rumors of her leaving WWE started just as quickly as previous rumors…and those rumors proved to be quite true.

Next. Top five ladder matches of all time. dark

Knockouts legend and pro wrestling royalty herself, Gail Kim, has expressed interest in having Paige over at Impact Wrestling, but for now, dear readers, we’re just going to have to wait and see what’s next for her, but we can sure cherish all the great moments in the ring that she gave us all. She will certainly be missed, but man what a legacy to leave behind in such a short amount of time.