Having not wrestled since December 2017, Saraya (formerly WWE’s Paige) makes her in-ring return at AEW Full Gear, facing Britt Baker.
The first NXT Women’s Champion and two-time WWE Diva’s Champion had a much-respected career in WWE with many hopeful for an in-ring return following her early retirement due to injury in April 2018.
Whilst we never saw this moment in WWE, things are looking much better for Saraya in AEW, having been cleared to wrestle once more.
Saraya recently spoke about her in-ring return with Chris Van Vliet on Insight with Chris Van Vliet, saying:
“I’m dying to get back in the ring again.
“I’m excited that it’s not too far away.
“I know there are going to be a lot of eyes on that match.”
She is aware, however, of the scrutiny that her return to active competition will be under, explaining:
“There’s a lot of pressure to make sure that I put on a good enough match where everyone is like, ‘welcome back, we like that she’s back.’
“There’s going to be a lot of nervous people watching me too because I feel that there are a lot of people, that aren’t haters, that are worried about me.”
She also very much prepared from the negativity that her match will no doubt garner, no matter the quality, saying:
“Then you have the haters on top of that, that just want to see me fail or hurt, are going to be watching.”
There’s no doubt that Saraya’s first match in almost five years is going to be heavily examined, and she’s ready for this:
“It’s going to be a big deal.
I’m going to be under a microscope that day.
Everything I’m going to be doing is going to be scrutinized.”
She has a plan to deal with the reaction to the match, though, commenting:
“I’m fully expecting, at this point after the match, I’m not going to look at social media or have it on my phone.
“I’m already too much in my head to the point where I just want it to be good and I have to focus on making sure that I keep myself safe and make sure Britt is safe, and the pressure of having a match is wild to me.”
There’s clearly a lot at stake in this match, and that’s beyond just the outcome of the contest itself, but with Saraya signed to a reported three-year-contract, it’s obvious that Tony Khan has high ups for her future in AEW.
Transcript from Fightful.
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