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Paige said that an interaction with Stephanie McMahon reminded her of who she was ahead of her return from a neck injury in 2017.
In a piece for The Players’ Tribune, Paige, who confirmed she was done with that name and would be known moving forward as Saraya, detailed what McMahon said to her before she walked out for her re-debut.
And I’ll never forget this: As I was getting ready to go out there for my “re-debut,” Stephanie pulled me aside,” Saraya wrote. “And she just held me for a minute. She gave me the biggest, longest hug. And she said, “Hey — everyone out there loves you. They’re going to be excited to see you. You want to know why? Because you’re a survivor. You SURVIVED. And that means something. So hold your head up, and enjoy this moment. It’s yours.
“Stephanie was right (as usual). I went out there … and it was the most amazing feeling. No one hated me!! They were actually glad I was back. I was still Paige. The connection was still there. And in a lot of ways, that story is my time with WWE in a nutshell. It was far from perfect. There were some brutal setbacks. And to be honest, I was a bit of an ass for a couple of years. But they always believed in my will to survive, and in the person I could grow to become.”
Saraya is no longer signed to WWE and has accepted outside bookings on the independent circuit including an appearance at Starrcast. There is no word at this time whether or not she’ll attempt to make another return to the ring, though she says that is her goal.