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For the first time in over a decade, Saraya “Paige” Bevis is not under a WWE contract. The first NXT Women’s Champion departed World Wrestling Entertainment this past July, announcing that her longtime company would not be renewing her deal upon its expiration. While Paige has not wrestled since December 2017, she remained on WWE television in various on-screen roles. She took over as SmackDown general manager in April 2018, but was quietly removed from the role that December following WWE’s decision to do away with on-screen authority figures. Paige would make sporadic appearances since then, including as a manager for Asuka and Kairi Sane as well as an analyst for WWE Backstage.
The recent in-ring resurgence of wrestlers like Bryan Danielson and Edge, who were both forced to retire for a duration of time due to career-ending injuries, has led to Paige flirting with a wrestling comeback. While another match very much remains a “what if?” scenario, Paige has her sights set on one particular “end goal.”
“I set goals for myself when I got to WWE. I’ve done pretty much everything I wanted to do,” Paige told The Bellas Podcast (h/t Wrestling Inc). “But like, I wanted to be in the Hall of Fame so bad.”
As of 2022, there have been 234 total WWE Hall of Fame inductees, with 124 of those being individual wrestlers. Recent female inductees include Queen Sharmell (Class of 2022), Molly Holly (Class of 2021), and Torrie Wilson (Class of 2019).
“Not everyone gets to be in it,” Paige continued. “Not a lot of women are in there. It would be huge. You have to make history to be in there.”
Nikki and Brie Bella are Hall of Fame inductees themselves (Class of 2020). The decorated duo stressed that while fans will debate on who deserves to be in before others, WWE is looking at timeliness over everything.
“[Order of inductees is] not what they’re looking at overall. It’s like, what’s impactful right now,” Nikki said.
Paige ended her WWE tenure as a three-time champion, collecting two WWE Divas Titles and an NXT Women’s Title over her six-year in-ring career with the company. The Anti-Diva was never defeated for that NXT Women’s Championship, as she was forced to vacate it upon her main roster call-up, where she won the WWE Divas Championship on her first day. Paige is the only WWE superstar, male or female, who can lay claim to holding the top prizes within both developmental and the main roster simultaneously.
Paige Comments on a Potential WWE Hall of Fame Induction
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