Saraya has confirmed reports that she did talk to WWE’s Triple H before she decided to sign with AEW.
The woman known as Paige in WWE had her WWE run end in July 2022. After her contract expired after spending nearly five years out of the ring due to a major neck injury, WWE chose not to renew her deal, which made her a free agent.
That decision not to renew Saraya’s deal happened in early July when WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis decided they didn’t want to keep her. An earlier report stated that WWE’s executives at the time felt that the “case was closed” in terms of Saraya wrestling again because they believed it wasn’t going to happen. As most fans know by, McMahon retired as WWE Chairman on July 22nd while Laurinaitis was fired by the company.
When Saraya debuted in All Elite Wrestling on the September 21 edition of Dynamite in New York City, it was a big moment because it was her first time appearing on a major wrestling show that wasn’t WWE since she spent the previous decade as Paige. Since then, Saraya has started a rivalry with Britt Baker D.M.D. while also showing that can still fight although she recently stated that she will take things slowly regarding her return to the ring.
Saraya was a guest on the Talk is Jericho podcast hosted by AEW’s Chris Jericho where she talked about her decision-making process. Saraya noted that she did talk to WWE’s Chief Content Officer Triple H about re-signing with WWE after he took over Talent Relations and the creative team following McMahon and Laurinaitis being ousted from their roles.
“Hunter did reach out to me and he wanted to talk to me. He thought it was my decision (to leave) because he wasn’t there at the time. He thought it was my decision to leave. ‘No, bro’ [laughs]. ‘It was Vince (McMahon) and Johnny (Laurinaitis).’ We got talking, but then I sat and talked to you guys (referring to Jericho in AEW), and I was like, man, I miss that side of wrestling where you can pitch your own ideas, and you can just have fun. I haven’t felt excited about wrestling in a very long time so the first day of being here, it was awesome. Everyone is so nice. It’s crazy just how different it can feel.”
From there, Saraya admitted that she thought about going back to WWE until ultimately she decided to sign with AEW after having such positive conservations with key people there.
“I was. I was thinking about it. Again, I don’t have issues with WWE. I just wish that some things were done differently, that’s the only thing I have against them. There are so many years where I could have been utilized more. My friends were around me, I was so depressed about it. I was thinking about going back there. Then I spoke to you [Jericho], I spoke to Mox [Jon Moxley], I was speaking to Britt (Baker), I got on the phone with Tony and he was so excited. I was like, ‘I think I’m going to give this a shot.'”
Jericho would go on to say that he urged AEW Owner/President Tony Khan to reach out to Saraya to come to AEW because they really wanted to sign her instead of having her go back to WWE. Saraya admitted that Jericho pushing for it to happen was a factor.
“If you wouldn’t have pushed it. I understand Tony is busy, he has two different football teams, British and American, and also this big company he has to run. I understand he’s busy. A few months had gone by, I was like, ‘I feel like he’s not interested,’ and that’s okay and totally fine. I was getting the calls from WWE and was like, ‘Should I? Am I going to be 100% happy going back?’ Then you guys called me and made it sound so exciting.”