Saraya may not be a name that rings a bell, but she has started making a name for herself in AEW over the past year. Many will know her better for her time in WWE where she went by Paige and became both NXT Women’s Champion and Divas Champion during her run.
SARAYA WAS SIDELINED BY A SERIOUS NECK INJURY
Saraya was out with injuries for much of the latter half of her time with WWE after a history of neck issues. She was able to return to wrestling in 2017, but unfortunately she suffered another serious neck injury in late 2017 which ended her in-ring career with WWE. She stayed with WWE in non-wrestling roles, but she was used less and less until July 2022 when she parted ways with the company.
However, this was not the end of Saraya or her wrestling career. In September of last year, she made her debut in AEW. In November she made her long-awaited in-ring return in a match against Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D., at AEW Full Gear 2022, which she won by pinfall.
“So, coming back, I was extremely nervous, first of all. It was the most terrified I’ve ever been in wrestling, coming back after five years after a current injury, and everyone is watching you. They don’t know if you’re gonna mess up or they want you to mess up or they’re actually enjoying the fact you’re back. There’s so many eyes on you, so this is the most terrified I’ve ever been to wrestle.
“But then also I have to adjust the way I bump, the way I move, some of the wrestling moves I’m probably going to avoid taking or doing. Just for now until I build my body up enough where nothing’s gonna happen too crazy.” H/T To Wrestling Inc. For Transcription
Saraya also thanked Baker for something which makes sense, but it was a weird thank you for one wrestler to another. She praised Baker for being willing to wrestle her in her first match back. She continued:
“A big shoutout to Britt [Baker] for being the first to wrestle me when I came back because it takes a lot of guts to wrestle someone with such a crazy injury and to go a full match and carry me too because I was blowing out of my a**, dude [tired]. I was blown up, I was like oh my gosh I have to get my cardio back.”
BAKER ACCEPTS THE CHALLENGE AND RESPONSIBILITY
Wrestling a big name like Saraya creates a lot of pressure, but wrestling her in her first match back and wanting her to look good intensifies it. However, the real fear must come from not wanting to accidentally injure Saraya and force her back into retirement. It must take a lot of faith in yourself to know you can safely guide your opponent through her first match back.
What have you thought of Saraya’s return to wrestling? Has her time in AEW lived up to your expectations? Do you think she would be in AEW if she never suffered the injury in 2017? Is the AEW Women’s World Championship in her future? Leave a comment below and let us know if you think we will get a Saraya vs. Mercedes Moné match since AEW and NJPW have a relationship.
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