Update: It’s not all sad news for Paige fans. Just a day after announcing her retirement on Raw, we learned on Smackdown that general manager Daniel Bryan was resigning, now that he’s back to wrestling. And it didn’t take long to find a replacement GM: Paige. Shane McMahon announced the news on Smackdown, ensuring that we’ll still be seeing her around for the foreseeable future. The original story follows.
While it wasn’t publicly talked about on WWE television, most wrestling fans knew that Raw superstar Paige was injured and forced into retirement. Sadly, on the Raw After Mania, she officially announced it and gave thanks to those who helped her along the way.
Back in December, during a house show, Paige was kicked in the back, which caused her neck to snap. Since then, she has not been allowed to wrestle inside a WWE ring. However, she has been working as the leader and manager of the stable Absolution, alongside Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. She did not partake in the women’s Royal Rumble match nor the Women’s Battle Royal at Wrestlemania. She sat on the sidelines during both events.
On the Raw After Mania, Paige grabbed the mic after an Absolution match and announced she is retiring. “I would like to thank every single female superstar back there today,” she explained. “Be proud to be a part of this division. We have all built this division to be something huge.”
She went on to thank Daniel Bryan, who recently came back from a career-ending injury at Sunday’s Wrestlemania; his return gave her hope. She also thanked Edge, who was also forced into early retirement. She said that Edge showed her there is a life outside of WWE, and she has to go find “something else.” What that means for her fans is unknown at this time.
Paige made it seem like she won’t be returning to WWE programming at all, not even as the manager of Absolution. She debuted four years prior in New Orleans where she won the Diva’s Championship–while still the NXT Women’s Champion. Paige explained that she wanted to retire where she debuted. The crowd thanked her by chanting, “This is your house.”
WWE’s women’s division would not be where it is today without Paige. She was the first female superstar from NXT to help elevate the women’s main roster to where it is today. Because of her contributions, the Diva’s title was retired, women have main evented PPVs, and women have competed in Hell in a Cell, Royal Rumble, and Money in the Bank matches. Thank you, Paige, for helping make WWE’s women’s division what it is today.