SmackDown Live general manager Paige was recently a guest on E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness. During her conversation with Edge and Christian, she discussed what led to her career-ending neck injury.
Paige officially announced her retirement from in-ring competition in April on Monday Night Raw the night after WrestleMania 34. She was forced to stop performing after suffering a neck injury at a live event in January, just a couple months after making her return following multiple neck surgeries. Paige said she thinks she pushed her body too far and it eventually caught up with her.
"I honestly felt really confident about it, but that's the inner-wrestler stubbornness. You know how we are; we can be fine, and all believe we are unbreakable. Just coming back and it kind of humbled me a little bit," Paige said. "I thought I was fine, and perhaps earn a championship match, but I did come back with the confidence that this was going to be fine, but I kind of felt that in a single's match where something didn't feel right as it was before. I had to go down to the Performance Center and take bumps by moving my neck somewhere and kicking out of a finish and moving my head to the side because it couldn't be the same. I had to adjust in a lot of ways."
Paige recalled the moment she suffered her career-ending injury, calling it the scariest moment of her life. She began her career as a teenager wrestling with her family in England and she said she now realizes that her body can no longer handle the grueling nature of in-ring performing.
"I felt it in a single's match where I realized that something didn't feel too good, but I thought that it was fine, I'm just rusty. I'm doing a 25 minute match, and I thought, 'Okay, this is going to be fine,' but then when the accident happened and I lost all feeling in my legs and arms, it was the most terrifying experience in my life, and I never wish that upon anyone. It was so scary," Paige said. "I literally was done, and I thought I was going to be in a wheelchair. I had pushed myself too much. I really did. Every time I was in a match I was like, okay, I will take the bumps, I pushed myself too hard where my body was literally done. I have been doing this since I was 17, it's like, I need to let my body grow a little bit."
Paige was a two-time Divas Champion and also was the inaugural NXT Women's Champion. As one of the most skilled in-ring performers of her generation, she is considered a pioneer of the Women's Revolution as she helped show the world that female wrestlers are capable of putting on great matches. Paige said she is satisfied with her career and how much she was able to accomplish in her short time with the WWE.
"I am really, really proud. I definitely filled in a lot of stuff after my small career in WWE. I have been with WWE for over 6 years now, and I had that year and a half out which wasn't the best year of my life, but missions were accomplished after I came back," she said. "I even had a couple months to accomplish a little bit more, and getting to commentate the all-female Royal Rumble, it was great. It's not ending like I haven't done anything with my career. I actually have a couple of trophies that I have to display under my belt as well."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.