Saraya Explains Why She Wanted To Start AEW Run As A Heel

saraya toni storm outcasts ruby soho

Some girls just want to be bad and Saraya has explained why she wanted to start her AEW career as a heel.

When Saraya made her AEW debut in September 2022 at AEW Dynamite Grand Slam, she was brought in as a babyface with the thought that the woman formerly known as Paige in WWE would be cheered heavily by the crowd.

For many weeks, the fans did support Saraya, who beat Britt Baker in her AEW debut match at Full Gear 2022. That was Saraya’s first match in nearly five years after being sidelined with a serious neck injury that required surgery.

In the weeks that followed, Saraya started getting booed more and more. By January 2023, she was a heel as part of The Outcasts with Toni Storm (the current AEW Women’s Champion) and Ruby Soho, who would join the group in March.

In an exclusive interview with Kenny McIntosh for Inside The Ropes, Saraya spoke about how she really wanted to debut in AEW as a heel because she’s more comfortable in that role.

“I wanted to be a heel straight out the gate, and they told me I had to be a babyface. When I walked out, the first time I walked out, and I was like ‘I understand, but I just flourish better as a heel’.

“If I have to get comfortable I’d rather be a heel first because it’s easy to get people to hate you than like you, and so that I can just get in my stride and not be so offended if people are talking sh*t about me. So I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m just doing my job.’ You know what I mean?”

As she continued, Saraya spoke about how AEW’s President Tony Khan talked to her about his plan for her to be a heel.

“I spoke to Tony about it. And then he was like, ‘I have an idea. Just get yours and Britt’s match out the way, and then we’ll have the [talk], I’ll tell you my idea.’ And then he was like, ‘I want you and Toni to be together. Just at first you wanted to protect me and stuff like that a little bit, which I appreciated.”

Saraya would go on to talk about her alliance with AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm and Ruby Soho as The Outcasts and how happy she is to be working with them.

“I love Toni Storm, oh my gosh, she’s an absolute angel, her and Ruby are my babies, I love them so much. So at first it was like a protective thing. Then me and Toni took it and we were just like, ‘we love this so much’.”

“Then when we got told Ruby was joining us, [we were] just ecstatic, like this is awesome. I love both those women and we’re literally friends outside of wrestling. You know, some of my best friends, that are just so wonderful.”

“They have no ego about them, and [they’re] selfless people. There’s no leader amongst all three of us too, we all have things that we contribute to the group, which is really wonderful.”

“So I’m just being heel and having fun with it. Finally, and again, people are getting mad about it. But we’re we’re having a good time. So no one can p**s us off at this point. We’re having a great time, probably the most fun I’ve ever had.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Saraya spoke about how WWE’s Triple H didn’t really know her deal with the company expired when it did.

Thanks to Inside The Ropes for the transcript. Check out their fantastic interview with Saraya below.