Saraya has opened up on how she found out that her WWE contract was not being renewed and how Triple H had no idea.
After 11 years with WWE, Saraya left last July after being told she would not receive a new contract. Saraya joined WWE in 2011 and worked under the name Paige and became the only Superstar to hold both the Divas and NXT Women’s Championships at the same time.
Following a severe neck injury in 2017, Saraya was told she would never wrestle again. But despite not being able to wrestle, she continued to make appearances for WWE at signings and on screen including a run as a GM on Smackdown.
In 2022, former WWE VP of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis informed the English-born superstar that her contract would not be renewed when it ran out.
But according to Saraya, when Triple H took over from Vince McMahon (and Laurinaitis) in July 2022, he was shocked to discover that WWE bosses had made this decision as he thought it must have been Saraya herself asking for the release.
During an interview with Inside The Ropes, Saraya shared how the impact of not being able to wrestle came at a time when her life was in a better place, before discussing her call with John Laurinaitis.
“I was told I was never going to wrestle again. I was told that, so I kind of had that in my head. But you know how every wrestler, you can never tell them no, when it comes to wrestling. So the past five years or so it’s been really difficult. But at the same time, I’m in a really good mental space, which has been a really positive thing. If I would have lost my career a couple of years prior to that, I don’t know if I would still be around right now.
So I’m very, very fortunate in a way where it happened at a time where I have a really good community around me, like my boyfriend, my friends, my family, you know, I have a really good, stable community around me that’s always so positive.
I was sitting on my ass for a couple of years, which was the most frustrating thing ever. I wanted to do media, I want to go there and do stuff, but I couldn’t. And plus there was a pandemic, so they really didn’t have that much use for me since I wasn’t wrestling. They were like, ‘What are you gonna do? We could always do Zooms and all this kind of fun stuff.’
Anyway, after a while I got the call from John Laurinaitis, and he was just like, ‘We’re not gonna renew your contract.’ And I was like, ‘That’s totally fine. You know, I don’t wrestle anymore, I don’t know what you would have [done with me].’ And that’s, that’s perfectly fine. We left on really good terms, which I appreciate from Vince [McMahon] and Johnny.”
The AEW Star would continue and discussed how Triple H was surprised that WWE was letting her go, and offered her the chance to come back to the company.
“Then a month down the line, Vince and Johnny took a little hiatus and then Triple H came in and kind of took over and he had no idea that they didn’t renew my contract, he had no idea. He just called me and was just like, ‘So what was the deal? Did you just want to leave?’ And I was just like, ‘Well, it wasn’t that, it was just I wasn’t of use, I guess anymore, and that was on their side.’
I had that conversation with Hunter and he was really, really great. And he was like, you know, if you want to come back the doors open, you know, and it’s, he was really, really gracious and kind and he always has been.”
Saraya made an emotional return to action after signing with AEW, facing off against Britt Baker at AEW Full Gear 2022 and will be guaranteed a loud reception as AEW takes over Wembley Stadium for All In this August.
H/t to Inside The Ropes