Former WWE Diva’s Champion Paige (Saraya) officially became All Elite last month, when she made her AEW debut at the AEW Dynamite Grand Slam show at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Paige most notably feuded with her frenemy AJ Lee on WWE’s main roster back in 2014, where the two were heavily featured even a year prior to the beginning of the ‘Women’s Revolution’.
The impact of the two is being felt on today’s generation of women’s wrestlers, namely NXT stars Cora Jade and Roxanne Perez, who are famously considered two of AJ’s ‘wrestling kids’.
Cora recently spoke to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, where she spoke about her early years as a wrestling fan, noting that even at a young age she noticed the difference in treatmet for the women in WWE at the time.
“When I first started watching, I was eight-years-old, 2009sh, I look at Undertaker and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25 as the match that got me into wrestling. At that time, I would go back and watch old women’s matches because I was so obsessed with it. I would be on my parent’s computer looking up old stuff. At that time, the women didn’t get a lot of time. Even as a young kid, I noticed that and noticed there were a lot of differences in the women versus how the men were presented. Even as a young kid, I knew I wanted to be here, but I wanted to be a pro wrestler and wanted to have matches like the guys got to have and wanted to do all the things they got to do. I didn’t want to do all these bra and panty matches I was seeing as a kid. Even then, I knew I wanted to be so much more than that.”
Speaking about who specifically inspired her to become a wrestler, Cora named AJ and Paige as the two WWE stars who inspired her.
“Seeing somebody like AJ Lee come in and even Paige and women like that, everyone after her. She [AJ] are the first one I saw as a kid. She was the first woman to have all this merch and none of the other women got to have that at the time and she was the first person that started to make everybody see that women can do the same stuff. They can make the same sales in merch, do all this stuff. To see her do that, she instantly became my favorite. She was so relatable and I saw so much of myself in her. She was a fan as well. I feel we had a lot of similarities. To see her do all this, it made me be like, ‘I can do all this too.’ I remember there was an interview I saw of her, maybe it was the Slammys, she said, ‘I hope that what I leave is for the women who come after me.’ That always stuck in my head because I’m trying to be in that position myself and hopefully, a few years from now, there is someone who is like me as a kid who was watching AJ, that I kind of helped as well. That’s definitely a goal of mine. To be the AJ for other girls as she was to me.”
Cora Jade was inspired by AJ so much that she dressed up as the former WWE Diva’s Champion for Halloween at an NXT live event last night.
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