Time to say goodbye. Paige is leaving the WWE after more than a decade with the wrestling brand.
“July 7th will be the last day with WWE,” the Total Divas alum, 29, shared via Twitter on Friday, June 10. “I’m so thankful and I appreciate the opportunities that the company has given me.”
She continued, “I will always be appreciative of the company that took in an 18-year-old British pale emo girl that didn’t look like your average diva, giving me the chance of a lifetime and making me feel like a superstar.”
Known for her dark hair and skin, the star (real name Saraya-Jade Bevis) took her stage name from Rose McGowan‘s Charmed character. She made her ring debut at age 13 in her native England and signed with WWE in 2011. The Kabuki Warriors manager competed with Florida Championship Wrestling and NXT before hitting the WWE stage for the first time in 2014.
Her debut match was the Divas Championship, and she became the youngest winner in history at age 21. However, neck injuries shortened her career. She first went on hiatus and received surgery in 2016. She returned to the ring the following year, but after injuring her already-weakened neck in a December 2017 match with Sasha Banks, her in-ring career was over. Paige officially retired in April 2018 and transitioned to being General Manager of SmackDown. She has worked in various onscreen roles outside the ring ever since and her life story inspired the movie Fighting With My Family, where she was portrayed by Florence Pugh.
“I know after my neck injury took me out of in-ring status, it was pretty hard to keep me around for as long as you did, and for that, I’m thankful too,” the Twitch gamer wrote in her goodbye note on Friday. “Thank you to the WWE Universe. You guys are the most passionate group of fans I’ve ever seen. Hope you continue to stay on this journey with me.”
Paige revealed that the most difficult part of her life after WWE will be going by her real moniker. “I think the toughest part weirdly enough is having to let the Paige name go! But Saraya is helluva name. Kudos to my mum for that one,” she added.
Despite her retirement and impending departure from WWE, Paige left fans with some hope that she might return. “FYI I’m not saying I’ll never be in the ring,” she assured followers. “That day will most certainly come again! Wherever the return maybe.”
The English athlete was flooded with tributes from her colleagues via Instagram. WWE Superstar Mandy Rose wrote, “Love you @realpaigewwe thanks for everything you’ve done for this business and me personally. You’ve always looked out for me and it was such an honor to come full circle with you from tough enough to absolution. You’re amazing and will always inspire so many people out there.”
WWE Raw‘s Sonya Deville shared her own post via Instagram Story, adding, ” Truly one of the coolest things I’ve gotten to do as a WWE Superstar was Absolution. Thanks to @realpaigewwe for making it so memorable, and starting our WWE careers in such a sick way. Ur so so talented and I can’t wait to watch what u do next, whatever it is. I know you’ll take them by storm.”
Fellow Total Divas alum CJ Perry added in her tribute, “I love you so much. Thank you for everything you taught me about wrestling. Thank you for breaking glass ceilings for women and inspiring the next generation of humans to chase their dreams no matter what gender race or sexual orientation they are. ❤️ Forever. #ThankYouPaige.”
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