Paige says Stephanie McMahon was there for her when she returned from injury.
Paige revealed in 2016 that she needed to undergo neck surgery and would be away from the ring for some time. After successful surgery, she made her triumphant return to WWE and formed a stable with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville called Absolution.
As she officially says goodbye to WWE, the former Divas Champion recently revealed she was pretty nervous coming back from surgery.
In her goodbye letter for The Players Tribune, Paige told the story of how she had a case of anxiety before coming back in 2017. She mentioned feeling uncertain whether the crowd would hate her for being gone for so long:
“Before I came back from my injury in 2017, I probably had the craziest case of anxiety I’ve ever had. I just kept thinking to myself, like, These people are all going to hate me now. With things having spiraled so out of control (and in such a public way) in my personal life, I had doubts about whether I still belonged, and about whether that connection I’d made with the fans had permanently been lost.”
However, Paige added that Stephanie McMahon helped her battle through her anxiety:
“And I’ll never forget this: As I was getting ready to go out there for my “re-debut,” Stephanie pulled me aside. And she just held me for a minute. She gave me the biggest, longest hug. And she said, ‘Hey — everyone out there loves you. They’re going to be excited to see you. You want to know why? Because you’re a survivor. You SURVIVED. And that means something. So hold your head up, and enjoy this moment. It’s yours’.
Stephanie was right (as usual). I went out there … and it was the most amazing feeling. No one hated me!! They were actually glad I was back. I was still Paige. The connection was still there.”