The first ever NXT Women’s champion hasn’t wrestled since 2017. She retired early the following year when it was determined injuries to her neck made it unsafe for her to do so. But seeing the likes of Daniel Bryan & Edge return to the ring after treating and rehabbing from similar conditions, the 29 year old is inspired to give it a go.
As important as her physical well-being, Paige has dealt with a number of other issues - including having her privacy violated when her personal files were posted online without her consent, a toxic public relationship with Alberto El Patron, and being forced into retirement at a young age. She says she’s currently in a good place mentally too, which is part of her thinking it could be time to shoot for a return to the ring.
“I’m not fucking done. I’m not done yet. This is going to be my comeback story. I’m inspired. I’m so inspired by the people coming back to wrestling and the more I think about it, I’m like, ‘Okay, mentally, I’m ready to go.’ I’m going to start working around, getting in the ring a little bit. Maybe. We’ll see. This is not saying I’m making a comeback tomorrow. It’s a long fucking road. I still have to get cleared by doctors, I have to get cleared by WWE. It’s such a big process, but emotionally, I’m ready. The past few months, I didn’t think I was emotionally ready, but no, I’m fucking ready to get back on the horse. Even if it takes me a year. One step at a time, build to it, that’s exactly what I’m doing. There’s a whole journey and it’s going to take some time... I’m not going to tell you if I am going to return, but when I do — and I’m saying when because I fucking am — when I do, I will not tell you. It will be a surprise.”
As to how a comeback would play out, Paige has an interesting idea for her first match back. Her exit from performing in the ring came after a spot at a house show involving Sasha Banks. Although no one involved or in the know ever placed any blame on Banks, some fans did. It doesn’t sound like Paige is afraid to lean into that angle, but her main reason for wanting to work with The Boss is a little more practical.
“I would love to face Sasha [Banks]. I feel like it’s a built-in storyline and she’s one of the best. She’s one of the best out there, men or women. She’s one of the best. Ain’t no one putting on friggin’ matches like her. Charlotte is great, everyone is great, but Sasha is one of those wrestlers that can literally fight a ladder and it be a five star match. She’ll carry me too [laughs]. Help me out sis?”
If Paige is ready, and medical professionals give her the green light, this could be a great moment. She says her WWE contract runs through next June, which leaves time for her (and Banks, who has been out since before SummerSlam for undisclosed reasons) to make her return happen as she describes it here, in the company we last saw her in.
And if it takes longer than that? There’s another company with a big television contract that’s recently shown it can handle a big return moment...