AEW Star Saraya Never Expected To Wrestle Again After ’16 Neck Injury | TMZ Sports

AEW Star Saraya Never Expected To Wrestle Again After '16 Neck Injury | TMZ Sports

[Music] Someone just made a massive comeback Their first match back inside a Wrestling ring after a five-year Hiatus From what was said to be a career-ending Neck injury tell us all about that one I Have so many questions about it yeah Yeah so like I wasn't actually expecting To wrestle at all like that wasn't in The back of my head I always wanted to Go back into wrestling again but like You know with Edge and uh Stone Cold and Stuff like that they waited years before They even like tried to even think about Getting in the ring again so it's been Five years and then I was speaking to Tony when I you know when we negotiating Some things about going to aw and stuff And I was just like you know what I Would love to see if I can you know Because he was just like you know we'll We'll bring you in and you can do all These different things you know be an On-screen character you know you know But I was like no I want to see if I can Wrestle like you know and like starting Somewhere fresh you know I I just wanted To start again so we went on Halloween I went to a doctor and this doctor is Fantastic he's based in Marina del Rey He does NFL players NBA players he does Um hockey players he does these big Celebrities too like the celebrities That they told me that were in there I

Was like oh my gosh how cool this is a Really cool place like his whole Building is just covered in these Pitches of all these people that he's Done and I mean he's just topped here so I was like I want to go to him I don't Want to go to a wrestling doctor I don't Want to go to a WWE or an aw doctor like No offense to them but I just want it From an outside perspective you know And so um yeah so Halloween I went in There and um the doctor straight away Was like okay let's get you an x-ray so We checked the x-rays he's like oh these Look pretty good it's like okay but he's Like the contrast the x-rays you have to Go in with the MRIs and CT scans to Triple check and I was just like oh okay And then the last time I had an MRI the Thing that was going to cause paralysis For me was uh I didn't have any fluid Around my spinal cord around where I had My my second surgery so if I would get Would have got kicked there that's it I'm toast right So I've seen a few MRIs in my time I'm Not saying I'm a professional but when I Saw it I noticed that there was Florida On my spine and I was just like oh that Looks good and then he was like no your Neck is 100 fantastic diffusions have Fused perfectly 100 he was like you have No fractures in your neck like they're Bone spurs no nothing like it just

Looked so clean and good and I just like Bust into tits I was like oh my God Wrestle and he was just like yeah you Can do whatever you want and he said I Could go 100 too but I was like you know What the last time I came back I went a Little bit too crazy with all the Matches I would rather take it slow and That was my decision and uh thankfully You know Tony Khan was receptive to that So that was a big surprise aha moment For you when the doctor said that you Didn't see that coming you just assumed There was still going to be some sort of Weakness deterioration yeah no fluid Still you had no idea that was coming no I had no idea so I thought I wouldn't be A hundred percent and then maybe I could Do one or two things but nothing too Crazy kind of like how Stone Cold did With Kevin Owens you know and how it was Just like uh he didn't bump too crazy I Was like well maybe I can get away with Doing that but seeing that there was Like all the blood around my neck I was Like so tell me about this paralysis Thing he was just like oh it's red now If you get kicked you have a lot of Christian there and I was like okay Great I have a I have a second or third Chance now which is incredible that's Unbelievable and of course Stone Cold Steve Austin Edge two of the greatest Names in professional wrestling with

Your resume you're right up there with Them among those those Legends so my Question for you as someone that has Pioneered the women's wrestling game and We'll talk about that here in a second Going into that first match what were You more nervous about was it the injury Was it the ring rust or even perhaps the Pop the reaction you were going to get Coming out because we've heard Triple H Son Michael say that before when they Came back from injuries that was the Thing they were worried about going out On top and coming back and hoping that The fans care about you as much then as They did before when you're at your Peak So the pup thing I wasn't too focused on The when I thought well when I first Debuted in aw I was worried about the Pop because I was like they'd know me as Paige now I'm going to be SRAM in this Whole brand new company and there's like This whole like WWE versus aw thing Going on the internet which I'm like so Not for I'm just like there's plenty of Places for people to work now and I Think it's fantastic but um the thing That I was worried about yeah was the Pulp when I first Pretend and that was the biggest Pop I Ever got in my whole career I was just Like oh my gosh and I'm sorry and I'm Trending for the first time Mr Rhea it Just felt really fantastic

And then um my boyfriend's twerking in The background right now What's up Ronnie So funny Um so yeah that was my first initial Thing before I started wrestling and Then when it came to the wrestling side Of things the thing that I was worried About is if my wind was going to get me Through And it did but I was dying I was just Like Jerry Lynn was actually like Everyone was really fantastic like Jerry Lynn was backstage he's like this old School wrestler like you know and Legend And he was like you kept your head down A lot you need to pick it up and I was Just like bro I couldn't keep my head up I was blown up like I could not I could Not breathe I was like I was like I Can't believe I went out and did that I Think he did like a total of 14 minutes And the first initial thing was everyone Was really excited that was in the ring Right so they're very hyped and then I Did like the first bump and I wanted to Do that first bump where I was like I Psyched everybody out because everyone Was like as soon as she takes the first Bump she's gonna break her neck because It's really crazy to me that people were So supportive of the men coming back but I don't know if it's like a female thing Or not but like you know and I don't

Want to make it about that really but Like coming back there was a lot of Mixed reactions about it like people Were supportive or they were just really Mean to me and I'm like what is Happening like shouldn't this be a very Cool thing for people to witness you Know So I wanted to go out there and like Prove everybody wrong but also uh troll Them a little bit with the first bump so I psyched him out and pretended that I Hurt my neck But they're quiet in the arena they were Like like that and then I got up and Just started like laughing you know and Then the crowd went quiet again because After that all the bumps they were all Just like oh my God please don't get her And I realized afterwards is because People just genuinely don't want me to Get hurt in the ring again you know it's A scary situation and there was that Viral video of me getting hurt in the First place so I understood it then once I got through it everyone was clapping Afterwards like whoa she got through it You guys good job you know and that's a Great thing in professional wrestling of Course you can take advantage of coming Back off of these injury angles Especially with one as detailed as yours Being away from the ring for five entire Years before you were able to get back

To this moment that can add for a fun Wrinkle to your point about this kind of Um I don't want to say unspoken rivalry Competitive rivalry rivalry we'll call Between WWE and aw I remember a time When you weren't really supposed to Tweet mention even say the others names I thought it was really cool how it Seemed like every wrestler professional Wrestler on a WWE roster tweeted out in Support of you anyone that had a Professional or personal relationship With you All rallied around you despite chills Yeah no I I realized uh how much support I had because obviously leap into the Other company it was not like anything Malicious or anything personal or Something like that I just wanted a Fresh start right and so and the one Thing that I was like I was really Grateful thing with Tony is that he was Like you can have the freedom to do Whatever you want like we just want you Over here we'll take care of you you Know and you get to decide what when and What you want to do you know so it felt Really good to have like power like for Myself like having control of what I do With my you know with with story lines Or my body like in the ring like it just It was just awesome so again it was Never anything personal taking the leap Or anything like that it was just where

I'm at in my life I just I'm 30 now I Want to like take things slower you know And so um yeah and then debut in I got a Ton of support but like actually getting Back back in the ring I feel like even WWE is not going to stop people from Congratulating someone that did Something so incredible like that I mean That's that's an inspiring thing and and I don't yeah I just don't think they Would ever get mad at someone like Bailey or you know or anyone like that To be like hey don't you congratulate Someone on like coming back after a Life-ending injury you know but it felt Really great to have like both sides be So supportive when I got backstage after The match everyone was like yeah you're Like coming up and hugging me and just Like it felt really incredible and then My phone being blown up from all the WWE Crew too like just it was really really Nice to see Yeah and you spoke about having that Control over your career and that being A big reason as to why you went to aw Instead of going back to WWE from what I've noticed and I think this is the General consensus here During that time away you were really Able to show the world how giving Yourself some control over your own life Would be a great thing because of all The success that you've been able to

Accomplish outside of the Ring even if I Took it all the way back to you know Fighting with my family the the story About your life a movie you did with the Rock that was just a mega hit very Inspiring movie not only for wrestling Fans but just any person with a family Out there was very Universal then you Talk about all these other things that You were able to do being top 10 in the World globally a top 10 earner on Twitch Which is absolutely ridiculous Considering all the athletes musicians Entertainers everybody all the users on On Twitch you were top 10 in the world You've been in music videos uh even with Someone twerking in the background But you've been able to do all these Things so my question for you is now That you have that control over your Career like you've always wanted you got Everything going in aw we're all gonna Have to stay tuned to watch what's Coming up next there but do you have any Plans outside of the ring for any Appearances television shows movies any Any places we can see you pop up oh yeah I can't really give away too much but Like now I have a hundred percent Freedom to do whatever I want because I Did all that stuff being Shackled you Know like I I kind of had to go do that Stuff as you know Mojo like as much as It's incredible being in WWE you're kind

Of limited to what you can and can't do Outside the companies you have to like Get permission to do things you know and So and it was during a pandemic too you Know so I was trying to like be I was Trying to since I was sitting at home And not being used on TV I was like I Need to try and do something with my Life and try and continue to do stuff And even though it was limited I still Got things done which is great but now That I have no shackles no loving and I Have so much Freedom there's just I it Feels really good to have people Approach me like so many production Companies approach me so many like book Editors production uh Like come up to me you know like there's Just so many different people that like And then obviously work with you know UTA and stuff like that and they were Just like I can't believe all these People like we don't even have to like Ask them to do it they they're coming to Us to work with you and I was just like That feels incredible like it feels like Like uh I I because I got really scared That I was kind of like Uh I I felt like a bum after a while Because I was sitting around so much and I hate not working so now I'm working Constantly I have like 25 freaking cools Today but I I'm just very excited about The future and there's so much more to

Come like 2023 is gonna be a huge year for sure For Saraya [Music]

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