Saraya Reveals Why She Was Scared To Re-Sign With WWE

There's no denying AEW star Saraya made her name in WWE as Paige, where she won two Women's World Championships and the "WWE NXT" Women's Championship during her injury-shortened career. But when it became clear last year she could make her long awaited in-ring return, Saraya knew going back to her old company would be a risky decision. In a new interview with Metro, Saraya revealed that she thought about going back to WWE, but ultimately became afraid she might end up "sitting on my arse for another five years."


Saraya debuted in AEW last September, and had her first match in nearly five years at Full Gear, where she defeated former AEW Women's World Champion Britt Baker. The former Paige had retired years prior after a neck injury in December 2017 derailed her career. From 2018 until 2022, Saraya held various roles with WWE, becoming the onscreen general manager of "WWE SmackDown" and later sitting on pre-show panels at premium live events. Although she was cleared last fall to get back in the squared circle, she told Metro that she wasn't convinced WWE would allow her the freedom and opportunity AEW can.

"I didn't know if I would end up sitting on my arse for another five years [if I went back to WWE], and that terrified me," she said. "And then not being able to do other projects terrified me. I can't sit on my butt again and do nothing!" (WWE notably restricts its performers' outside projects more than other companies, despite most pro wrestlers technically working as independent contractors.) "I needed my freedom, and Tony was willing straight out of the gate to give that to me," she said. "'Just come to work when you're supposed to come to work.' OK, absolutely, I can do that!"