This has been a week full of surprises for wrestling fans, and former women's champion Paige becoming the new general manager of SmackDown Live was certainly shocking to most.
Monday evening during RAW, Paige gave an emotional speech in the middle of the ring, in front of the fans, officially announcing that she would be leaving WWE to find something else to do and retiring from in ring competition. Though part of a scripted wrestling show, it was evident that this was a very real moment full of heartfelt emotion from a woman who was one of WWE's fastest rising stars just a couple of years ago.
Then in a move that shocked everyone, Shane McMahon announced Paige as the new SmackDown general manager the very next night. According to Dave Meltzer, the move to make Paige the new GM was made by Vince McMahon himself.
Vince McMahon https://t.co/C068lP2ORz— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) April 11, 2018
According to Meltzer's colleague, Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Live, the Paige decision was made on Tuesday, the day of the show. Alvarez even speculated that Paige may have not known on Monday night when she gave her retirement speech that she would be announced as the new general manager the next day.
“On Monday Paige did her retirement promo and in her promo, she pretty much said you’re not gonna see me again. Like I’m outa here. Then the next day she was the SmackDown GM," Alvarez said. "That decision was made on Tuesday. It was a very, very last minute decision.”
“They decided on Tuesday she was gonna be the SmackDown GM. So that should tell you everything you need to know about the Superstar Shake-Up. They will be switching people on Monday and then they’ll decide who they wanna switch on Tuesday. I’m sure they’ve got some ideas about who’s going where right now. But nothing is official until they’ve been drafted one way or the other," Alvarez continued.
It was also revealed that Vince McMahon personally wrote SmackDown this week, a show that saw Nakamura continue his new heel persona, Carmella become new SmackDown women's champion, the debut of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, Randy Orton win a shot at the U.S. title, and AJ Styles versus Daniel Bryan in an absolute dream main event.
[H/T to Still Real To Us for the transcription.]