Former WWE divas champion and NXT women’s champion Paige is reportedly set to retire due to injury, at the shockingly young age of 25. Assuming the report is true – and it does lineup with other recent reports of Paige being seriously injured – this is truly a sad end to a promising young career. The daughter of two pro wrestlers, Paige began training for the industry very early, making her in-ring debut at the tender age of 13.
By September 2011, Paige had signed a developmental contract with WWE, and reported to the company’s developmental territory known as Florida Championship Wrestling. FCW would eventually transform into today’s NXT brand, and Paige would become a huge star with the NXT crowd in short order. In 2013, NXT held a tournament to crown its first women’s champion, which Paige won, defeating Emma in the finals.
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The night after WrestleMania XXX in April 2014, Paige made a surprise debut on Raw, officially transitioning over to the main WWE roster. That very night, Paige won the divas championship from AJ Lee in a stunning upset. It was clear that Paige had arrived. Paige remained a major player in the women’s division until badly needed neck surgery in fall 2016 put her on the shelf. Paige finally returned to WWE TV in November 2017, joining up with new NXT call-ups Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose to form the faction Absolution. Unfortunately, Paige sustained another injury during a match on December 28, 2017, and PW Insider now reports that she won’t be cleared to ever compete again.
The injury occurred in a match with Sasha Banks, and involved a move reportedly going wrong. This led to Paige losing feeling in her extremities, and being unable to get up for several minutes. Due to her prior neck injury, WWE has kept her out of the ring since, but clearly thought she would be okay, since they recently announced her as an entrant in the first ever women’s Royal Rumble match that’s set to take place on January 28. That announcement was apparently made prior to Paige’s latest round of medical tests, in which doctors determined that it was unsafe for her wrestle going forward.
It’s unclear what Paige’s WWE future holds, although she is said to be well liked by management, and could conceivably be transitioned over into a non-wrestling role within the company. Perhaps in the meantime she’ll continue to keep managing the other members of Absolution, although that would probably require some type of onscreen explanation of why she was no longer participating in matches. Whatever ends up happening, it’s truly a sad day for WWE to see such a gifted young talent have to retire so young.
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Source: PW Insider