Over the years, Paige (real name Saraya-Jade Bevis) has become one of the most controversial female wrestlers in the business. From her debut in the ring at the age of 13 to winning the WWE Divas Championship in her very first match with the promotion, there's no doubt that Paige is meant to be one of the great wrestlers of our time. Certainly, she has what it takes to rival female wrestling giants like Diva of the Decade Trish Stratus and Lita. Wrestling is simply in Paige's blood, and few have reached the heights that she has in the ring and as a sexy WWE Diva.
Yet, her public persona has become a bit...problematic in the last few years. From being suspended for violating the WWE's wellness policy to a high profile relationship with fellow wrestler Alberto del Rio to rumors of drug abuse to sex tapes that were leaked on the internet earlier in 2017, Paige has had a few rocky years recently and hasn't been in the ring since mid-2016. Rumor has it that she's going to be released from her WWE contract once the movie based on her life, Fighting With My Family is completed. Here's the story of how Paige, once considered the future of women's wrestling, fell from grace:
15 The Daughter of Professional Wrestlers
When I said wrestling was in her blood, I meant it quite literally. Paige was born in Norwich, Norfolk in England. Her parents are Ian Bevis and Julia Hamer-Bevis, who are better known as the wrestlers Rowdy Ricky Knight and Sweet Saraya Knight. In fact, Paige comes from a whole wrestling family. Her brothers, Zac and Roy, are also professional wrestlers. So it's safe to say that Paige has been around the wrestling ring her entire life.
In fact, Ian and Julia still run their own wrestling promotions to this day. They own the World Association of Wrestling, which is based in Norwich. Julia also runs Bellatrix Female Warriors, a women's wrestling promotion that's separate from the WAW. They are very supportive of Paige to this day.
14 Trained in Her Father's Wrestling School
Paige began training at her father's wrestling school at the age of 10. During this time, she practiced with her brothers and got a feel for the ring. Interestingly enough, when Paige was little, she was actually scared of wrestling, primarily because she would witness the types of injuries her parents would suffer during matches. It was undoubtedly a gruesome scene and painful to watch. In fact, Paige once thought she'd be a zoologist and stay as far away from wrestling as possible.
Of course, that didn't happen. There's no doubt that practicing and training at such a young age made her fall in love with the sport. Perhaps that's what's made her such an electrifying presence in the ring. She's been wrestling for so long that it's no wonder she's so good at it. You can thank her formative years for that.
13 Wrestling Debut in 2005 in the European circuit
Believe it or not, Paige participated in her very first wrestling match at the age of 13, which is pretty nuts but also impressive. Why did Paige find herself in the ring at such a young age? Let's set the scene: it was 2005 and her father was running a show. When another wrestler failed to show up to a match, Ian asked the young Paige to replace her. She's been wrestling ever since. You have to imagine that she was pretty nervous, but all of those years of practicing had prepared her for this debut. While I wasn't there to witness it, I doubt she disappointed.
Paige began wrestling under the name Britani Knight. She mostly participated in WAW matches early on. She even teamed up with her mother, Sweet Saraya a few times, including in a triple threat tag team match.
12 Defeated Her Mother in Several Matches
You can't blame wrestling promotions for wanting to pit Sweet Saraya against Britani Knight can you? The mother versus daughter angle is undoubtedly epic in scale. Plenty of promotions took advantage of this mother/daughter duo and booked them on opposite sides of the ring. Britani's first major win over her mother was in August 2009. She defeated Sweet Saraya in a two-out-of-three-falls match for the Herts and Essex (HEW) Women's Championship.
Britani also faced off against Saraya in their family-owned Bellatrix Female Warriors. Daughter defeated mother for the WAWW British Championship. Britani also defeated her mother, Chelsey Love, and Stacey Baybie in an elimination match for the (RDW) Women's Championship. Saraya also got some wins in, but Britani's were all the more impressive because she was much younger and inexperienced.
11 American Debut in Shimmer Women Athletes
Paige followed her mother to Shimmer Women Athletes, once again being billed as Britani Knight. They teamed up as a tag team duo known as the Knight Dynasty, which is pretty fitting considering the entire family wrestles. Their first match was against Nikki Roxx and Ariel, which they won by disqualification. Soon after that, they wrestled Hiroyo Matsumoto and Misaki Ohata (better known as the Seven Star Sisters) for the Shimmer Tag Team Championship, but lost.
After a few more losses, Saraya turned on Britani and they began to feud. (It's just so tempting to pit mother against daughter, isn't it?) Britani's final match at Shimmer was a no disqualification match against Saraya, which she won. This was the final time they met in the ring.
10 First NXT Women’s Champion
Paige eventually made it to Florida Championship Wrestling, a developmental territory for the WWE, after two tryouts. She began wrestling in house shows under the ring name Saraya before making her FCW TV debut as Paige on February 26, 2011. Her first televised in-ring appearance was a in a tag team match with Sofia Cortez (they were known as the Anti-Diva Army) against Audrey Marie and Kaitlyn on March 19 of that same year.
It wasn't until the WWE rebranded FCW as their exciting semi-pro stable NXT that Paige really grew into her own, quickly gaining crowd support and winning match after match. In July 2013, NXT held a tournament to declare its inaugural Women's Champion. Paige demolished her opponents to become the first NXT Women's Champion. Things only got better for a while for the young Paige.
9 Won WWE Divas Championship in Debut Match
Not many wrestlers can say that they won a championship in their debut match, but that's exactly what Paige did in her first match with the WWE on April 7, 2014, the day after WrestleMania XXX. Paige faced off against AJ Lee in an impromptu match for the Divas Championship, which the young star won, becoming the youngest woman to become Divas Champion. She was only 21, and was also holding the NXT Women's Championship at the time.
Paige went on to defend the belt several times, making more of a name for herself. You could say that this was her peak moment with the WWE. She's held the Divas Championship two times in total, and if it weren't for her injuries and subsequent scandals, Paige would probably have won more titles by now.
8 Number 1 Female Wrestler in the World in 2014
Paige was at the top of her game in 2014. Not only had she proven herself in NXT by becoming the first NXT Women's Champion, but she'd also become the WWE Divas Champion in her first match in the big leagues. Really, how could Pro Wrestling Illustrated not name her the number 1 female wrestler in the world in 2014? Here was the next shining star of wrestling with nowhere to go but up.
Of course, you could say that Paige's career is now in a downward spiral, but for a couple of years it seemed like she was the next big thing. Watching her triumph time and again, there was the sense that she was the future of women's wrestling and that she would take the division to new heights. That has sadly not been the case in the last few years.
7 Paige Suspended for Violating WWE's Company Wellness Policy
Things started to get ugly for Paige when she suffered an injury in late 2015, which took her out of the ring for a couple of months before she returned in January 2016. But she'd once again have to step away due to a neck injury. It was revealed on August 3, 2016 by her mother on Twitter that Paige was on hiatus due to the injury. But just a few days later, on August 17, Paige was suspended from the WWE for 30 days for breaking the company's wellness policy.
The official statement from WWE read, "WWE has suspended Saraya-Jade Bevis (Paige) for 30 days effective tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 18, for her first violation of the company’s talent wellness policy." Interestingly enough, Alberto Del Rio was also suspended on the same day. What does he have to do with Paige? Well...
6 Goes Public About Her Relationship with Alberto Del Rio
Paige's relationship with Mexican wrestler Alberto Del Rio has been wrapped in scandal. Some might even say that Paige's fall from grace really started when she got involved with Del Rio, who has been a problematic presence in the business in the last few years. They first went public with their relationship in May 2016 while they were both working with the WWE.
In October 2016, Paige got on one knee in the ring during a wrestling event in Puerto Rico. After Del Rio's match, Paige entered the ring with a surprise. She proposed to del Rio and he accepted to cheers from the crowd. They've been engaged for the last few months, which hasn't fared well for their private lives, as you'll see in just a minute.
5 Underwent Neck Surgery
Dr Uribe is one of the best Drs out there. (The video got more graphic but I cut it short.) he saw me, saw how bad my neck has become and fixed me without question, straight away. He not only worked miracle on my neck but he arranged private rooms, private X-rays in my room and private waiting rooms to make me feel comfortable. The hernia ended up being bigger than expected but he fixed it up and put 3 screws in my neck, straightened it and surprisingly straight after the operation table I was feeling great. So thank you with all my heart Dr Uribe for what you have done for me and thank you for everything you've done with Alberto. You're making this day so much easier for both of us. You're a good man. 🙏🏻❤️
Still suffering from the neck injury, Paige finally underwent surgery in October 2016. This would presumably allow Paige to return to the ring in the coming months. But that's not happened yet. More problems ensued for the young star, most of them involving her fiance Alberto del Rio, who was by her side during recovery. Paige wrote about Del Rio's support on Instagram that, "Not left my side the whole time. I know I post about him a lot.. Maybe too much! lol but when you have someone who loves you and you love that person just as much and they're constantly there for you whenever you need them. Someone who protects you. Takes away your insecurities."
"Also surgery went well. The hernia was bigger than expected and my neck was straightened now this girl has 3 screws in her neck," wrote Paige on Twitter.
4 Suspended Again for Illegal Substances
Just a few days before her neck injury, Paige was once again suspended from the WWE for breaking the company wellness policy, this time for 60 days. According to Paige, it had to do with a prescription she was given by a doctor for her neck injury. She wrote on Twitter that, "Same shit different day. Kids..Please don't get prescriptions or doctors notes. Not acceptable." She later added: "Rules apply depending on your status." A clear shot at the WWE.
But the WWE fired back soon after in a statement to the New York Post, "Saraya-Jade Bevis tested positive for an illegal substance, not a prescription drug. In addition, WWE is providing world-class medical care for her in-ring injury.” Things have undoubtedly been rocky between Paige and the WWE ever since.
3 Several Sex Tapes Leak
Think things can't get worse for Paige at this point? In March of this year, a series of sex tapes were leaked online. Not only did they show Paige performing sexual acts but it was with fellow WWE stars Xavier Woods and Brad Maddox. This was the moment many fans feared would put Paige over the edge with the WWE. Could the promotion finally release her for the leaks?
Paige addressed the leak in a message on Twitter soon after the videos had gone viral. She wrote, "Personal and private photos of mine were stolen and unfortunately they were shared publicly without my consent." Paige later said on Twitter that, "I had days [where] I wanted to physically harm myself. Not only for what millions was telling me but because my family and my husband were suffering the same fate from the internet because of my mistake.”
2 Allegations of Domestic Violence
One of the most recent developments in Paige and Alberto Del Rio's relationship is allegations of domestic violence. An incident in early July 2017 at Orlando International Airport and posts by Paige's brothers on social media would seem to point at the fact that Del Rio has allegedly been verbally and physically abusive to Paige for at least the last six months.
Paige's brother, Roy, wrote on Facebook that the family has pictures of the aftermath of Del Rio's beatings. "We got pics from the last 6 months bro of her beating I’m glad she’s finally sticking up for yourself..the reason there [sic] fighting yesterday is cause my uncle on his last legs in hospital and he wished him dead." Del Rio was being investigated for domestic battery after an altercation at Orlando International, but he was ruled out as a suspect.
As of now, Paige was being investigated as a possible perpetrator of battery and the investigation into the airport incident is still ongoing.
1 Possible Health Issues?
The most recent development comes from a picture Paige took with Alberto Del Rio and three friends in Mexico. Fans are concerned about how skinny Paige looks as of a day ago when compared to the shape she was in during her time at WWE. Some fans have posted comparison pictures on social media to illustrate the difference in Paige's shape. She does indeed seem out of shape.
It's no surprise that she might be having some health issues, considering the recent leak, her hazy relationship with the WWE, her allegedly abusive relationship with Del Rio, and the rumored drug abuse. It's expected that the WWE will let Paige go if domestic battery charges are placed against her, but then again, we're a little surprised she hasn't been released already.