Paige Breaks Silence on 'Terrifying' Career-Ending Injury
In January, Paige saw her WWE career come to a heartbreaking close. The 25-year old suffered an acute injury to an already surgically repaired neck and was ruled out from ever competing again. She hasn't spoken on the matter until now.
The new SmackDown Live General Manager joined fellow WWE peers, Edge and Christian on their podcast and opened up on the previously undisclosed details of what actually happened.
At a WWE Live event, Paige was on the receiving end of an errant kick from Sasha Banks. Just moments later, it was all too obvious that something was wrong.
"I lost all feeling in my legs and my arms. It was literally the terrifying experience in my life and I would never wish that upon anyone. It was so scary," she recalled.
Paige walked Edge and Christian through her stream of consciousness as she looked up from the mat that night.
"I literally was like 'Oh my gosh, I'm done, I'm going to be in a wheelchair now, this is it, I've pushed myself too much,'" Paige admitted. "Because I really did, because every time I was in the match I was like 'its okay, I'll do the comeback, I'll take the bump, I'll do this, I'll do that' because I was just so eager to get back in the ring you know. I feel like I pushed myself too hard to the point of where my body was like 'stop.' You know I've been doing this since I was thirteen as well and my body was like 'you need time to grow woman.'"
Paige had just recovered from significant neck surgery and was only a few weeks into her official WWE comeback. Her sustaining another serious injury seemed like a cruel fate, but it was one she came to grips with in the moment.
"I remember being in the match too and experiencing that and like 'maybe it's just my arms right?' So I'm like 'no I'm going to keep going.' And I remember trying to grab Sasha's legs and my arms felt like there were just no bones in them you know. So I'm trying to grab her legs and then like 'wait let me try to stand up and then I'll be good to do the comeback' and Sasha is like 'noooo, absolutely not.' Then I tried to stand up and I just look drunk. Like I just start stumbling and falling back," she said.
As shaken as Paige was, it was her ring-mates who were visibly distressed.
"But actually I feel like the girls were more terrified than what I was at the time. Like I was petrified, but the girls were crying at ringside and stuff and then they see the stretcher coming out and I was like 'please, please,' and it's just like horrible," she remembered.
The footage of the injury had the wrestling world braced for the worst. And just a few days later it came. Reports of Paige being forced to retire mad rounds across the internet, but Paige waited until the day after WrestleMania to divulge the worst kept secret in all of WWE.
I refused to believe I was hurt, I remember doing this. Coming back to Orlando to go get my MRIs and stuff and I felt good, I could get back in the ring again even though I just experienced temporary paralysis. I was like 'No I'm good, I can do this, please don't make me be out.' And I was like begging them, 'Please I don't want to be out anymore, please don't let me be out.' I was just crying to the doctors and stuff. So then Dr. Maroon was like 'I'm sorry you cannot get back in the ring again.' It was horrible, it really breaks your heart....it really does.
[H/T Reddit u/FuzzyWuzzyMooMoo for the trascription]