Former WWE Superstar Paige announced she will leave the company after a decade of service.
Paige was a hugely influential presence during her time in WWE. Her unique look, attitude and wrestling style, broke the “diva” mould. As the first-ever NXT Women’s Champion, she helped usher in a new era of women’s wrestling.
She continued that trend on the main roster winning the Divas Championship on her Monday Night Raw debut from AJ Lee. While not part of the ‘Four Horsewomen,’ Paige was an integral part of the ‘Women’s Revolution,’ paving the way for the likes of Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
Unfortunately, her career was plagued with a neck injury, which forced her to retire from competition long before her time. She returned to television as SmackDown Live General Manager and then manager of the Kabuki Warriors before staying off WWE programming until her contract ran out.
Despite retiring from in-ring competition, the comebacks of Edge and Bryan Danielson gave her hope that she too, could get back inside the ropes. In fact, speaking after announcing that she would be leaving WWE, the British star expressed her desire to wrestle again, revealing that she’s feeling great and back in training.
Now that Paige has left WWE and her first post-WWE appearance announced, she could get to realise her dream and return to the ring for AEW, IMPACT Wrestling or the indies. If she does here are five dream opponents who await her.
5. Deonna Purrazzo
While Paige and Purrazzo have never crossed paths before it’s impossible to believe that if they did so, it would be anything less than excellent.
Since making her own exit from WWE, Purrazzo has established herself as one of the premiere female wrestlers on the planet. Her second reign as IMPACT Knockouts Champion, lasting 343 days, cemented her status as one the most dominant champions in the promotion’s history.
Paige was the same as the NXT Women’s and Divas Champion during her time in WWE. She ran through the best the company had to offer at the time. Therefore it would a pleasure to watch two of the best from their respective generations go at it in the ring.
Purrazzo is a highly-efficient wrestler with years of experience and makes the perfect opponent for Paige upon her return to the ring.
4. Ruby Soho
Aside from their Punk-inspired look, the two women share a desire to do their own thing and exist on their own terms, both in and out of the ring. Their in-ring styles would undoubtedly lead to a terrifically hard-hitting brawl should they wrestle on a big stage.
In another first-ever match up on the list to see Saraya and Soho across the ring from one another would be a special moment. It could be argued that Paige opened the door for wrestlers like Ruby Soho in WWE, therefore it would great for Soho to face her in AEW.
Both excellent on the mic, they could make a tasty feud full of wicked promos, intriguing tales and top matches, something AEW’s women’s division is always in need of.
3. Jordynne Grace
Jordynne Grace is one of most impressive wrestlers around. Her strength, power and charisma have made her one of the major players in IMPACT Wrestling.
If Paige were to head to IMPACT, who boast a more than solid women’s division, it would bring eyes and attention to the brand as she would be the biggest name to land there in quite some time. Her arrival would ensure a clash with Grace in another exciting and first-time fight.
Should the two meet in the ring it would be an interesting dynamic. Paige has never faced anyone like Grace so it would provide a new challenge to the tenacious Brit and one she would surely welcome.
The former Ember Moon is one of the best of women wrestlers in North America right now, and following her move to AEW, her stock has arguably never been higher.
Athena possesses awesome athleticism while the British star brings the fight. It would be an interesting clash of styles while the Eclipse vs. the Paige Turner is a battle that could happen if Athena is to have her way.
In a recent interview, Athena spoke about Paige’s influence on women’s wrestling, and how she would love to face her in AEW:
“Everyone says the women’s evolution started with The Bellas, I highly disagree. It started with Paige and Emma, or Tenille and Saraya, it started with them, that was the first like mainstream women’s match that got time that made people like want more and knowing that she’s capable of that not to mention seeing her story in the movie and I’ve wrestled her mom on the indies before and just got my ass handed to me excuse my language, but like of course like she’s someone I’ve always wanted to wrestle with. I actually rolled around with her when she was training to come back.
“She is an invaluable superstar in her own right. She is absolutely phenomenal whether she’s going to be a mouthpiece, whether she’s able to get back in the ring like any company would be like stupid not to try to snatch her up. I think her eventually returning to wrestling anywhere would be beneficial to whatever companies snatches her up, but I think AEW will be a smart move again because there’s something to be added to the women’s division”
1. Britt Baker
Paige and Baker have a similar rise to fame in wrestling and it would awesome to see that intertwined in storyline.
In NXT, and she moved onto the main roster, the former Divas Champion put an entire division on her back and spearheaded a new era. By comparison, Britt Baker quickly rose to the top of AEW women’s division and became one of the biggest stars in the company, accomplishing a number of firsts along the way.
A lengthy rivalry between the pair could easily become one of the hottest stories in AEW. The promos would be worth the price of admission alone.
Once in the ring, both fighters would bring it with their signature grit and determination, while an intriguing battle of submissions would make for an enthralling encounter. Baker’s Lock Jaw hold has tapped many opponents and Paige’s PTO is a submission that also claimed multiple victims.
A promo battle for the ages outside the ring, and a ferocious battle inside of it, what more could fans ask for?