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Paige Reveals She Was Cleared Just One Day Before Iconic Match

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Paige revealed that she wasn’t medically cleared to compete until just one day before one of her most iconic matches!

The WWE Network launched on February 24, 2014 and changed the game for wrestling content consumption. In addition to being able to view pay-per-views for a low monthly subscription fee, one of the selling points of the WWE Network was access to watch NXT, which at the time hadn’t become the well-known brand it is today.

Three days later on February 27th, the WWE Network aired its first attempt at live programming in the form of NXT: ArRIVAL. The show served both as a way to introduce NXT to the larger WWE audience who may not have been familiar with the program that previously aired on Hulu in the United States and also to work out any livestreaming kinks before putting on WrestleMania in just over a month’s time.

The NXT ArRIVAL card featured a number of memorable bouts, from the culmination of the incredible series between Antonio Cesaro and Sami Zayn to the crowning of Adrian Neville as NXT Champion when he defeated Bo Dallas in a ladder match in the main event.

However, one of the most talked-about matches on the card was the bout between NXT Women’s Champion Paige and the bubbly dancing challenger Emma. Women’s wrestling on the WWE main roster hadn’t yet achieved the prominence that it enjoys today, and many fans were surprised to see Paige and Emma put on a match where both the length and offense rivalled that of the men’s bouts as this was well before the days of the Four Horsewomen being featured at the top of the card.

When a fan on Twitter asked for Paige’s most memorable moment in her career, the former Anti-Diva revealed that this iconic match nearly never took place as she was only medically cleared to compete the day prior.

“So NXT was the first PPV to be on WWE network and we were the first women to be showcased. So it was immense pressure. Also I just got cleared that day after being out from having a huge ovarian cyst removed. That’s just one memorable moment!”

Paige also revealed in a separate tweet that the two women had to fight to be allowed to use certain offense in the match, as women weren’t generally allowed to fight in the same style as the men in those days. However, Triple H supported their efforts, and they were allowed to use a powerbomb, which encouraged the crowd to chant “Better than Batista” afterward and helped create a lot of buzz around the match.

“You have no idea how much we had to fight for a power bomb off the top rope. Luckily @TripleH trusted us enough. Because it was a time where women had to ‘fight like women’. It still wasn’t a full power bomb off top had to walk out first but it was a compromise”

After successfully defending her NXT Women’s Championship by getting a submission victory over Emma, Paige remained champion until her main roster debut the following April. She confronted AJ Lee the night after WrestleMania 30 and shockingly won the Diva’s Championship, ending Lee’s then-record title reign. NXT General Manager JBL would eventually strip Paige of the NXT Women’s Championship, saying that she could not fulfil her duties as champion on both shows.

Paige was forced to retire due to injury in 2018 and served in a variety of non-wrestling roles since then, including becoming the General Manager of SmackDown. While she recently teased an appearance in the 2022 Royal Rumble, she has yet to return to the ring.