How Paige Can Stay Relevant in WWE Despite Career-Ending Injury
After recently returning to the ring following a 17-month hiatus due to an injury to her neck, Paige reportedly received some terrible news regarding her future.
According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com, another neck injury from a match on December 28 will force the 25-year-old to retire from in-ring competition.
The former NXT and Divas champion now finds herself in the same position as Edge, Daniel Bryan and countless other performers who have been made to hang up their boots in their prime.
As someone who came from a family deeply ingrained in the British wrestling scene, Paige likely never planned on doing anything else until much later in life.
While this situation is unfortunate, it doesn't mean she has to leave the business completely. Many former Superstars have found positions in different areas of the company and made successful careers for themselves.
This article will look at some of the ways Paige can continue to work for WWE without having to put her health on the line.
Most of the best managers originally started as professional wrestlers, so the transition would be easy for someone such as Paige to make.
Bobby Heenan, Dutch Mantel, Paul Ellering and Sherri Martel all got their starts in the ring before using their talents to help other Superstars find success.
Paige has the mic skills necessary to carry someone without the ability to deliver compelling promos. She could help any number of men and women in NXT and on the main roster find their voice.
WWE doesn't have as many managers as it used to, so there is a lot of room for her to make a name for herself as the next great manager in WWE.
She could even run a stable with a group of Superstars much like J.J. Dillon did with The Four Horsemen, or it could be more of a loose affiliation like the many wrestlers Paul Heyman used to manage at once in The Dangerous Alliance.
Many wrestlers end up opening their own wrestling school or working for WWE as a trainer at the Performance Center after they retire, and Paige could follow in their footsteps.
She has more experience at the age of 25 than some wrestlers do in their 30s due to her family history in the industry, and it would be a shame if all that knowledge went to waste.
Paige could be a great addition to the crew at the PC. She could help get the next crop of wrestlers ready for WWE alongside Sara Amato, Matt Bloom and Shawn Michaels.
The company has done a great job putting women in more key positions in recent years, but there is still plenty of room for experienced performers such as Paige to help train future champions.
WWE loves to have someone in a position of power on television, even if that person has no actual authority behind the scenes.
Raw has Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle controlling the show, while SmackDown has Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan to keep the train running on time.
If Bryan decides to pursue a wrestling career outside WWE once his contract is up or Stephanie decides she wants to devote all her time to her corporate responsibilities, Paige could serve as a good replacement.
She would be different from past authority figures due to her age, style and background, and that may be what makes her perfect for the role.
With the exception of Vickie Guerrero, Tiffany and AJ Lee, general managers have historically been men over the age of 40, so Paige would be a breath of fresh air in the position.
Other than Renee Young's short stint in NXT, WWE's commentary team has never had a full-time female announcer—this needs to change.
Young's time at the table proved having a female voice in the background of matches can create a different show altogether.
WWE has wanted to increase the size of its female audience for years, and having Paige calling matches might give young girls more reason to care about what is happening in the ring.
She can offer a different perspective than male commentators, especially after having spent years traveling the world as a wrestler.
The only downside to putting Paige in this position would be any potential backlash from male viewers with outdated views about women in sports, but that group is slowly diminishing while the rest of the world continues to evolve and support female athletes and sportscasters.
The women's division continues to break new ground with each passing month, but it can only go so far with a bunch of dudes writing all of the scripts.
WWE needs a strong female voice to work within the creative team to help ensure women are being represented properly in and out of the ring.
As hard as it is for some men to admit, there are fundamental differences between the sexes we will never comprehend. We can try to listen and learn as much as possible, but some things have to be experienced to be understood.
Paige knows exactly what it's like to be a young woman working in a male-dominated environment, so she could be a valuable addition to the creative team.
She can make sure scripted lines sound more authentic, which would lead to WWE's female characters becoming more relatable to the audience.
Some people may not realize this, but WWE's producers have a completely different job than the writers on the creative team.
The writers come up with the overall storylines and put the scripts together while producers work directly with the Superstars to set up their promos and choreograph their matches.
Producers are typically Superstars with a history of putting on great matches. As one of the women credited with starting the Women's Revolution, The Glampire has established herself as one of the better wrestlers on the roster.
Almost all of the people in this role are former workhorses such as Paige, so she would fit right in with Dean Malenko, Fit Finlay, Arn Anderson and Billy Kidman.
The world of entertainment is always evolving, and WWE has tried to keep up with the changes with varying success over the years.
YouTube wasn't even a thing 15 years ago and now there are people making millions of dollars creating short videos about everything from playing video games to providing makeup tips and movie reviews.
Television used to be just cable or satellite, but now people can choose from a variety of streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and WWE Network to complement or replace those services.
WWE could easily give Paige her own YouTube or network series. It could be wrestling-related or it could focus on something entirely different to help WWE continue branching out into different areas of the entertainment industry.
With WWE touring the country most of the year and the rest of the world for a few weeks at a time, it's surprising the company hasn't tried to do some kind of travel show before.
Paige could do something similar to Anthony Bourdain in Parts Unknown where she visits local restaurants and hotspots in each city WWE visits with other Superstars tagging along for the fun.
She would be able to describe what it's like to live on the road for the majority of the year while giving recommendations for anyone looking to visit whichever city she is in that week.
Another possibility would be something similar to The Edge and Christian's Show That Totally Reeks of Awesomeness with more of a variety-show feel.
Paige has a lot of different options other than wrestling, but it's up to WWE to recognize her value and give her the chance to succeed in a new way.