On a recent episode of the Conversation With The Big Guy podcast, Ryback discussed former WWE Divas Champion Paige likely having to retire from in-ring competition due to a neck injury suffered at a live event in December.
During a tag team match at a live event, Paige fell to the ground after being struck in the back via a double front kick by Sasha Banks. The referee threw the "X" sign, and Paige was unable to finish the match. It was later determined that the injury will force her to stop competing, ending her in-ring career at just 25 years old. Ryback said he's had a good relationship with Paige and it's unfortunate that this happened to her.
"She has always been super sweet to me. She is a great girl," Ryback said. "During a live event, one of the other wrestlers kicked her and gave her a stinger, or what they thought was a stinger, but it alerted them with something else that was going on. She got into wrestling at a young age, she has been wrestling her whole life so it really sucks."
Since suffering the injury, Paige has not done anything physical on RAW and she has instead played a managerial role for Absolution. The WWE has not confirmed that her in-ring career is over, but the she was pulled from competing in the first-ever Women's Royal Rumble last Sunday. Ryback was reminded of his experiences with injuries, and he said he's hopeful medical advancements can somehow help her get back into the ring one day.
"For fans listening, wrestlers are human beings and I've always said that I have experienced things where I have my career taken away from me at different points and I was very fortunate to have left when I did to of found the issues that I had or else I would have been done," Ryback said. "You never know with medical advancements 10 years from now that they will find something, but as of right now she is done, and that sucks, but I hope that isn't true. She is an amazing talent and an amazing person."
It's believed that WWE will keep Paige employed in a non-physical role on TV, and perhaps at the WWE Performance Center. Ryback said it would be good if she's able to remain with the company, but he knows it will be hard on her to admit that her in-ring career is over.
"Hopefully WWE finds something for her in a non-wrestling role, something to keep her busy," he said. "She is on Total Divas and all that. Mentally it is going to be very tough for her; she has gone through a lot already, but hopefully she can remain optimistic. She comes from a wrestling family so all she knows is wrestling, but I hope she has other interests outside of wrestling that she can latch on to."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Conversation With The Big Guy with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Conversation With The Big Guy
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.