Saraya, the former Paige, had such uncontrollable personal problems at one point that she nearly caused Fighting With My Family, the film that told the story of her life, to be cancelled.
The film was announced in early 2017 and most of the filming was done by February of that year. Production began soon after and the film was released in January 2019. But the entire process wasn’t an easy one. Saraya was dealing with several problems at the time, including injuries, surgeries to heal some of those injuries, two WWE Wellness Policy violations a leaked sex tape along with nude photos, as well as her relationship with Alberto Del Rio falling apart.
All of this added onto the extreme stresses of being a professional wrestler/travelling non-wrestling personality and the rigors of making a film, caused Saraya to have major problems with her behavior. Speaking on Chris Jericho’s Talk is JerichoPodcast, Saraya admitted that she was in an awful place and caused stress and concern for many people.
“It [Fighting With My Family] went into production, but it took years to be made. It was going to be stopped at one point because of me doing drugs and just being an absolute chaotic psychopath. It was not good press at all and I was just completely crazy. So at one point, they were scared that I was going to die first of all, but also they were just like, ‘This movie is just bad timing because she’s just not getting any better.’
So at one point, I think it was Carrano that reached out to me and he was just like, ‘You need to get it together. There’s gonna be a lot of things that are just going to be thrown away.’ So there were a lot of wake up calls, but eventually, obviously, I did leave Texas and come back to Florida and get back in the ring again, and then the movie was finally made.”
Saraya’s in-ring career appeared to end in late 2017 after she suffered another neck injury. After that, she retired from in-ring competition and focused more on non-wrestling roles. These included being an on-screen authority figure, a manager, and a contributor for WWE Backstage. Once promotion for Fighting With My Family ended, Saraya wasn’t used and her contract was allowed to expire. And now that she’s in AEW, Saraya has been medically cleared to wrestle for the first time in four years.
h/t WrestlingNews for the transcription.