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Paige, Former Divas Champion, Leaving WWE When Contract Expires July 7

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 10, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 05: WWE Superstar Paige attends the WWE Superstars For Hope Reception on April 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for WWE)
Brian Ach/Getty Images for WWE

Former Divas champion Paige announced Friday on Twitter that she is leaving WWE when her contract expires on July 7.

SARAYA @RealPaigeWWE

Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/WWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWE</a> ❤️ <a href="https://t.co/9OhGjov13s">pic.twitter.com/9OhGjov13s</a>

Paige thanked WWE and its fans for her time with the company and noted that she will be going by her real name, Saraya, moving forward.

The 29-year-old has not wrestled since December 2017 because of a neck injury that forced her retirement from in-ring competition, but she vowed Friday to wrestle again in the future, writing that the "day will most certainly come again."

At the age of 18, Paige signed with WWE in 2011 and quickly rose up the ranks. She won a tournament to become the inaugural NXT women's champion in 2013 and held the title for 273 days before relinquishing it.

Paige vacated the title because on her first day as part of WWE's main roster on April 7, 2014, she beat AJ Lee for the Divas Championship as a surprise opponent.

The British Superstar would go on to hold the Divas Championship twice, and she was a cornerstone in the WWE women's division for years.

Paige underwent neck surgery in 2016 and missed a year and a half of action before returning in December 2017 as the leader of a stable called Absolution alongside NXT call-ups Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose.

She was poised to be part of the inaugural women's Royal Rumble match in January 2018, but during a six-woman tag team match at a house show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Paige re-injured her neck.

Paige announced her in-ring retirement in April 2018 on Raw the day after WrestleMania 34 and transitioned into a non-wrestling role as general manager of SmackDown and later manager of Asuka and Kairi Sane's tag team known as The Kabuki Warriors.

Her last in-person appearance on Raw or SmackDown occurred in October 2019, as WWE shifted her focus toward the weekly WWE Backstage show on FS1.

WWE Backstage got canceled in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, and Paige's WWE responsibilities dwindled.

Now, Paige appears focused on returning from what was thought to be a career-ending neck injury, much like Edge has done.

While Paige didn't necessarily shut the door on her return occurring in WWE, she will be free to choose where it happens if she eventually gets cleared by doctors, meaning a move to AEW is a possibility.

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