The women’s revolution that’s taken place over the past 4 or so years wouldn’t have started without Paige. It’s sad to hear, four years to the day after she debuted; winning the then WWE Diva’s Championship. Only to hear that Paige is retiring from in-ring competition. Paige made the not so shocking announcement during the Raw after Mania show.
She told fans: “Unfortunately due to neck injuries I can no longer perform as an in-ring competitor. This is one of the hardest things I’ll ever have to say in my entire career.”
Retiring at the age of just 25 must be extremely hard. Especially for someone who grew up in the wrestling business. Born into the famous Knight family, Paige wrestled from a young age. Showing great prospect at a WWE try out; the Norwich born was signed by the WWE aged just 18.
Paige joined NXT in its infancy; becoming the brands initial NXT Women’s Championship. Focusing on technical wrestling; Paige helped shaped on the main stage what women’s wrestling would become in NXT. Paving the way for likes of Sasha Banks, Bayley, Charlotte and Becky Lynch.
On April 7th 2014, Paige shocked the world by challenging AJ Lee for the Diva’s championship; only to win it in her main roster debut. For the next couple of years, Paige was on top of the women’s division.
Sadly injuries began to seep in. Paige missed the best part of 2016 and 2017 through to several neck injuries. She wrestled her last match in December 2017. Following surgery, news came out that this might be career ending. Something which caused her to miss the first Women’s Royal Rumble match.
In her farewell speech, Paige said she was “going to have to go and find something else” outside of wrestling. She thanked “every single female superstar” in the WWE. “We have all built this division to be huge – into something we didn’t imagine it could ever be,”.
Thank you Paige for being the light; for being a pivotal figure of the Women’s revolution. Thanks to you, women’s wrestling is invested in by WWE. We are seeing fantastic female athletes showcasing in matches as good as the men. What is sad is despite Paige’s success, we will unlikely ever see Paige fight in top level feuds with the women shaping the landscape of professional wrestling.
Thank you Paige and wish you all the best in your next chapter.