In a seemingly sad turn of events, it appears that WWE Superstar Paige may be forced to retire due to an injury relapse to her neck area following an errant kick from Sasha Banks at a WWE Live Event last week. PWInsider is reporting that after her results this past week were confirmed by the WWE, she was told she would not be medically cleared to ever compete inside a ring again. Other sources told PWInsider’s Mike Johnson that her career was indeed “over”. Last month on Lilian Garcia‘s podcast, Paige had commented that her doctor’s had warned her after the last neck injury – which kept her out of the ring for over a year – that she should retire and not return.
Interestingly, if she was indeed told on Monday that she was not going to be cleared, it didn’t stop her from posting the following on her Instagram today, that seemed to imply she was determined to work on a comeback once again.
If Paige is forced to retire – and reports suggest the condition is very similar to what forced Edge into early retirement in 2011 – it would be a sad ending to a story that was on it’s way to redemption. At only 25 years old, the Norwich, England native had a storied and often rocky life in the world of professional wrestling, but she was a star wherever she went. She started in her family’s World Association of Wrestling (WAW) when she was only 13 years old and by 19 was touring North America, working for SHIMMER. She was soon after signed by the WWE, starting in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) and then NXT, where she became the first NXT Women’s Champion.
She debuted on the main roster in historic fashion, defeating AJ Lee for the Divas Championship in her Raw debut in 2014 (and while still NXT Women’s Champion), becoming one of the most popular women on the WWE roster in the process. But a neck injury in the summer of 2016 kept her on the shelf for over a year, and in that time, her life seemingly began to fall apart. She began a disastrous relationship with Alberto El Patron and past illicit photos and videos were leaked causing her monumental stress. But she was finally cleared late last year and began training hard for a return, even ending her relationship with El Patron to focus on regaining her health (both mental and physical) and her career.
She made a triumphant return last December with a new faction, Absolution, and seemed poised to return to the top of the WWE Women’s Division, until the Live Event in Uniondale, New York on December 27, 2017, when the kick from Sasha left Paige stunned and barely able to walk out on her own. It was initially believed to be a stinger, but further testing seems to have found something much, much worse.