Who remembers Paige? She’s been away from WWE for quite a while and nobody really knows why. With a couple of suspensions in the past year putting her firmly into the bad books of Vince McMahon, it’s a bit of a surprise that she still has a contract with the company. And when you then take into account a film is being made on her family with The Rock making the movie, it all gets a little weirder.
It’s no secret that she’s in a relationship with Alberto Del Rio and her hiatus has coincided with Alberto’s second departure from McMahon’s company. And if you put all of the last year she’s been gone into a real life, non-wrestling situation, Paige would probably not have a job had she been in a normal industry. But WWE is far from normal and, as such, she might actually return to the company at some point.
Although the company might keep mentions of her to a minimum, she’s not hiding herself away from any form of publicity and fans can keep up with her through social media. Thanks to that, here are 15 images of Paige since she disappeared from TV.
15 The Squad
Towards the back end of 2016, Paige was injured, Del Rio was departing WWE and the film industry was being taken over by the hugely popular Suicide Squad. And in November, Paige tweeted out an image of her and Del Rio with two people dressed up as Harley Quinn and Joker, which gave the chance to take a look back at some of the earlier replies to Paige’s tweets.
From “back off Del Rio Paige is mine you’re no good for her” to the more generic “love you Paige,” it’s safe to assume that some fans didn’t see their relationship lasting. But through public appearances, dates and the sharing of images together through both their social media accounts, Paige and Del Rio have shown that they are… squad goals.
14 Meet & Greet
If you’re as famous as Paige and Del Rio, there’s probably not an hour that goes by where a wrestling fan doesn't thrusts a camera into their face or asks for a signature on whatever they can find. And since getting together, you can bet that a selfie with the both is a must for anyone who even remotely recognizes them.
Paige’s popularity with the WWE Universe continues, with constant speculation about when and even if she'll return, having helped to add something much needed to the women’s division; actual wrestling. Del Rio may have struggled to get fans caring at times during his WWE runs, but he was still a big draw and, as such, people want to know what he’s doing and meet him if they get the opportunity. Two former champions in the biggest wrestling industry in the world, keep your eyes out for them.
Third day down of physical therapy. Feeling great 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻🙏🏻😍 pic.twitter.com/qY6VfQ4BXM— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) January 25, 2017
Every wrestler goes through injuries and with Paige being in the ring virtually from birth, surgery was an inevitable part of her progression. It’s spoken about quite a bit throughout this article because well, she’s not been wrestling mainly due to her injury. But throughout her recovery, she’s kept fans aware of how things are going and this picture was just one way.
Having been out of action for months now, Paige updated followers earlier this year when she had started to take on physical therapy, with doctors saying she’s well ahead of schedule. For the career of Paige you have to hope that is true, with the women’s division strengthening every week with the addition of NXT stars and the impressive progression of storylines.
12 The Tattoos
It takes a lot of dedication (or alcohol) to get a tattoo that is entirely devoted to your partner. If things go wrong, you're left with an unwelcome reminder of when things were good before it all went a bit sour. For Paige, she’s not had any worries about that though. With not one but two tattoos dedicated to ADR, the English Superstar has no fears.
With a ‘Papi’ on her finger followed by ‘Alberto’ on her chest, the WWE are in for a bit of an issue if/when Paige returns. It’s fair to say Del Rio didn’t leave on the best of terms and if Paige does head back to the company, she’ll be constantly subliminally promoting Del Rio. And with that, you can bet Vince McMahon will tell her to cover up to avoid reminding the world of the fall out. It might just be the first time he asks a female star to put clothes on.
11 The Outsiders
Travelling the independent circle with Del Rio, you can assume Paige hasn’t really had the chance to see some of her (technically) current colleagues. But the couple managed to find time to catch up with The Shining Stars and R-Truth at the back end of January.
Del Rio and Paige surely didn’t have many good things to say about WWE, but they may well have been in good company. R-Truth hasn’t exactly been given much to work with in the last four years, as he's turned into a comedy character with appearances at a premium. And for Primo and Epico, nothing really works for them. It was widely believed they’d depart WWE prior to their current gimmick and they might now wish they had, considering the lack of interest in their characters.
10 The Second Engagement
I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but Paige and Del Rio are engaged. I know, it’s shocking and nobody knew about it until now. But at the start of 2017, Paige tweeted out: “He did it right back! Love of my life! @VivaDelRio luckiest girl alive!,” which obviously meant it was a perfect start to the year. Traditionally, it's the man who pops the question, but let’s face it, Paige isn’t what you’d call a traditional kind of girl.
The rock that she now wears on her wedding finger certainly stands out, but we all know that it wasn’t Del Rio who first proposed. Not that we want to give away the surprise… Hopefully when Paige returns to wrestling she’ll take it off, because it would bring us back to the days of William Regal’s brass knuckles.
9 The In-Laws
Left one family yesterday, came to another 😊🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/oawoudNxsW— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) February 20, 2017
Meeting your significant others in-laws is always a daunting task and when your partner is a national hero, it probably makes it a bit tougher. But Paige and the Del-Rio’s (actual name Rodriguez’s) seem to get on well judging by her tweet last month: “Left one family yesterday, came to another.”
Sporting a winter hat and vest top, one can assume she’s probably in Mexico when this picture was taken. But let’s not turn this into a fashion blog because nobody really want that. It’s probably not a hard task to spot Paige when in Mexico, considering her pale white complexion makes most British people look tanned. You have to laugh at the top tweeted reply to the picture though, with one user saying: “Del Rio looks like her dad.”
8 The Supporter
With no chance of actually getting in the ring herself so far this year, Paige has been practicing her management skills over recent months. Well not properly, but she has had the chance to watch rather than take part and she’s been Del Rio’s biggest supporter as he continues his tour around the world.
Del Rio has spent considerable time fighting in Britain and with a recent switch to TNA, she’s sure had the opportunity to be on the other side of the ropes for once. You have to imagine it’s a tough situation for Paige, being so close to the action without actually being able to get involved. But with a return on the horizon in the next couple of months, all that watching could be coming to an end.
Speaking as a British person, the idea of going to the magical Disneyland is a very exciting prospect. And Paige clearly feels the same way as the rest of us do when it comes to visiting the land of Mickey Mouse. You could argue that both Paige and Del Rio are living the dream working in the wrestling industry, but deep down, isn’t everybody’s dream to go to Disney?
The couple spent time visiting the parks during their downtime from wrestling, something they wouldn’t have been able to do with the hectic schedule the WWE packs. With shows on an almost nightly basis, finding family and personal time is near impossible for the stars of today, so it’s no surprise to see Paige enjoying some quality time away from the ring.
It’s no secret that Paige’s family are wrestling mad and they are arguably the most important family in all of British wrestling. The downtime in the last few months has given Paige the rare chance to go back to her roots with WWE commitments off the agenda and she’s made sure to return home to visit the family.
Her brothers are the UK Hooligans, who continue to impress in their home land, while her father (Ricky Knight) is the owner of World Association Wrestling in Norwich. And as for her mother, she's arguably the most impressive of them all. A wrestler and promoter, Saraya Knight revived the Women’s version of her husband’s company and British broadcaster Channel 4 put the spotlight on them with a documentary in 2012. But that won’t seem like much compared to the upcoming film.
There have been negative comments said about the relationship between Paige and Del Rio and this is mostly to do with the significant age gap between the two. With 15 years between the two and Del Rio having a previous marriage very recently behind him, you can understand fans reservation about the pair. At first it wasn’t only fans, with Paige’s family not overly keen.
But the pair are clearly in love and with marriage on the cards in the not so distant future, they're more than happy to show the world all is well through social media. You could put just 15 pictures of the pair looking very happy together in this list but really, that wouldn’t have much variety. So we’ll just stick with this one.
4 Neck Injury
Though there have been the two suspensions, the big reason behind the disappearance of Paige from WWE is due to injury. Having undergone neck surgery in October 2016, Paige is still taking time to recover after the first major injury of her career. Last seen in-ring way back in June, the former Divas Champion chose to go under the knife after tweeting: “Makes you think about risks you have to take when it comes to this business, the things you put your body through to entertain the masses.”
For a bit of a reference, Nikki Bella was out of action for a full ten months after having surgery on her neck, aside from her WrestleMania appearance. Any injury is a huge blow to a wrestler, but when it comes to the neck, it becomes a real worry not only for their career, but also their livelihood. The likes of Stone Cold and Edge were both forced into retirement due to neck injuries.
3 Rule Breaker
Paige on TV is portrayed as a bit of a maverick and a rule breaker, but you have to question how much acting goes into the role. Because at Money in the Bank 2016, Paige did actually find herself in trouble with the law and it was partly to do with a certain Mexican former World Heavyweight Champion.
Paige and Del Rio got into a bust up with a couple at the event and the English star found herself detained by local authorities after the situation got a little bit out of hand. It’s not the first time Paige has had some sort of controversy either in real-life or storyline. Who can forget the whole Reid Flair incident, where Paige actually mentioned Charlotte’s recently deceased brother on air, saying he didn’t have much fight. You really have to question the thought processes of the creative team on that one.
This beautiful little lady has a birthday today.(The taller one☺️) she's 4!! Happy birthday little princess 😘❤️ papa throwing a fun party!☺️ pic.twitter.com/dzoTvKAV7p— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) January 31, 2017
At the back end of January this year, ADR and Paige were both at a party rather than at the Royal Rumble. That’s not much of a surprise, but that party was for Del Rio’s young daughter, who Paige referred to in a tweet as “princess.”
You have to imagine that even a year ago, Paige never thought she’d be taking on the role of step-mum any time soon, especially with a 39 year-old co-worker. There was big controversy after the engagement was revealed with Del Rio’s wife claiming they were not officially divorced, but things must be a little more civil if Paige is already on good terms with Del Rio’s daughters. For Divas, it's often difficult to have children as it means losing your place in the company, but Paige may not have to worry about that for the time being.
1 The Engagement
Paige has got wrestling fans around the world talking throughout her career. Whether that be due to her record breaking ‘youngest ever Divas/Women’s Champion’ or the whole licking of Natalya’s face, she’s not one to shy away from the publicity. But it’s away from the ring that she has unsurprisingly got people noticing her. And that’s largely thanks to the proposal.
After a relatively short time, Paige decided to pop the question to Del Rio in the middle of the ring, drawing disbelief from anyone who knows anything about wrestling across the globe. The October 2016 proposal followed their relationship starting only five months earlier. Many thought it was a joke but as it turned out, it's an actual thing. Good luck to the both of them (not sure if Vince McMahon would say the same).