Ex-WWE star Paige makes ‘f***ing WOW’ AEW debut in huge wrestling return

Former WWE and British wrestling legend Paige has made a shock comeback to the ring.

Norwich-born Paige, who now goes by her real name of Saraya, left WWE earlier this year when her contract expired.

And it was thought she would never wrestle again after a horror neck injury which has kept her out of action for the last few years.

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But she made a shock return to rival company All Elite Wrestling during the Dynamite Grand Slam special at the Arthur Ashe tennis stadium in New York overnight.

Saraya came out at the end of the four-way battle for the interim All Elite Wrestling Women's Championship between reigning champion Toni Storm, Athena, Britt Baker and Serena Deeb.

As soon as the match ended, with Storm winning, Baker started to beat down the champion with the held of Brit-born Jamie Hayter and associate Rebel – but Saraya came out to make the save, although she didn't actually get physical.

And she's tweeted her reaction to the fans blowing the roof off the stadium, as the wrestling world was shocked by the debut.

She wrote: “F*****g WOW!

“Absolutely blown away by the pop in the stadium and the reception outside of it.

“Been a long journey – couldn’t be happier to be in @AEW, thank you to everyone!”

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Saraya came out to a new theme song, too, having used the same one in WWE since her 2012 debut.

She previously came out to Stars In The Night by CFO$, the 30-year-old will now use Zombified by Falling In Reverse – fronted by her long-term partner Ronnie Radke Paige.

Former ECW manager Joel Gertner tweeted: “You’ve been to the moon and back, seen ‘em twice; brought back rocks.

“Take each and every flower – rooting – you got this.”

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And another fan posted: “The second I heard that riff I knew it had to be her yet it still shocked me. “THIS is how you do a surprise debut.”

Saraya comes from a long-line of wrestlers.

Her 50-year-old mum Julia Hamer – known as Sweet Saraya in the ring – is still an active wrestler, as her brother Zak Zodiac and half-brother Roy Bevis.

Her dad, Ricky Knight, is the owner of World Association of Wrestling in Norwich, while her mum owns Bellatrix Female Warriors.

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The younger Saraya's story was detailed in the film fighting with my family, which was a remake of a television documentary from 2012 of the same name.

Having grown up on a council estate in Norwich, she made her in-ring debut for her dad's promotion under the name of Britani Night aged just 13.

Having proven herself over the next few years as one of the UK's best, she joined WWE in 2011, and quickly became the youngest ever Divas Champion in 2014.

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Paige, as she was rebranded to, was often outspoken and the fans loved her for it.

She very quickly became a favourite, and won three championships during her time there – she was so good that Pro Wrestling Illustrated labelled her as the best female wrestler in the world in 2014.

But multiple neck injuries, and a few comeback attempts, ultimately ended up in disaster for Paige as she was forced to retire for good in 2018

Paige was retained by WWE as an on-screen General Manager – a role the fans loved her in – and she was also used as a brand ambassador around the world.

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But her injury hell still remained.

In recent years, formerly retired WWE legends Daniel Bryan (now Bryan Danielson in AEW) and Edge made comebacks from similar career-ending injuries after years away from the ring.

And that appears to have given Saraya hope of being able to do the same.

Despite being in AEW, Saraya will be appearing at her dad's WAW promotion next month to referee a bout between her two brothers.

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