Finding out that you’re going to be winning WWE’s top women’s championship on your main roster debut is one thing, having WWE legend and Hollywood mega star Dwayne Johnson casually break the news is quite another.
After making her wrestling debut at just 13-years-old Saraya headed to the United States after impressing WWE during a try-out in April 2011. After signing with the company she initially appeared in Florida Championship Wrestling before it was rebranded as NXT.
In NXT, the star became the first-ever NXT Women’s Champion and arrived on Monday Night Raw in April 2014, the night after WrestleMania XXX. Upon making her debut, the star known as Paige, defeated AJ Lee to become Divas Champion. In the process she became the youngest Divas Champion in history, the only woman to hold the NXT and Divas Titles simultaneously, and the only woman to win the title on her debut.
Dwayne Johnson Told Saraya She Would Be Winning The Divas Title
Speaking during a new interview with Chris Van Vliet, Saraya discussed Dwayne Johnson making a movie about her life and her family, which eventually became Fighting With My Family. As it transpired, it was also Johnson who told the British star she would be winning the Divas Championship in the most casual way possible. Saraya revealed that when she first got a text from “DJ” she had no idea it was Dwayne Johnson.
“I know, I was 21 when Dwayne first told me that he was making this movie and I’m like, a 21 year old is being told they’re about to have a movie made about that life. Like by The Rock, that is the wildest like I’ve had a really wild life, a good life, with some ups and downs, you know, but like, I have to be grateful for what I have, like his I’ve had some really cool opportunities. And I mean, just having the movie I should like, a person should be dead when they get a movie, right? That’s usually how it works. But not me, I was alive and kickin. So it was the day before.
I’ve told this story a lot, but people need to hear it if they haven’t heard it, it’s just surreal. So like, obviously, you know, you’re in NXT, or FCW, or whatever it was. But when you go up onto the main roster for big pay-per-views, you get to experience everything, right. So I was up there at WrestleMania and I was sitting in catering and then I get a text from my friend being like, hey, it’s DJ I would love to see you at some point. And I’m like, who the f*ck is DJ and why is he texting my phone? I was like, who is this person? And so Dean Malenko was like it’s Dwayne Johnson.
And I was like, oh, oh my gosh, Dwayne Johnson is texting my phone this is crazy. Like, freaking this legend is texting my phone. So I was like, okay, so I was like, Yeah, I’m available at any point you know like, whenever you need me just try to be cool, you know. And so he sent someone to come grab me. I go to his locker room I walk in, and then he was just like, hey, I’m DJ. And I’m like, yeah, I know, this is crazy. Hello, I’m Saraya. And he was like I know, I watched your movie, or I watched your documentary that your family had.”
Saraya went on to break down how Johnson told her she was going to be winning the Divas Title, news that left her in tears.
“He was like, I couldn’t sleep one night while filming Fast and Furious, which thank God for insomnia, because it helped me here. But yeah, he watched it and he just fell in love with my family. And he was just like, I want to make a movie on your life. And I was like, Oh my gosh, what the f*ck? Are you serious? And then he was like, yeah, and then I was just in the writers room, and tomorrow, you’re gonna debut and you’re gonna win the Divas Championship. And I was like, what? And so there’s just overrun with this emotion. And I was just crying my eyes out.
And he’s like, handing me all these tissues like, like, you know, because I’m like, sobbing, I’m just like, I can’t believe it. I can’t believe this is happening at 21, this is so crazy. And so um, he was like, don’t tell anyone, no one’s supposed to know this, like any of it. And I’m like, I have to try and keep the secret? Like you’re telling a kid to keep something secret? I’m Okay, good luck.
But I went to walk out, Tamina was coming in because they’re cousins, she’s gonna go say hi. And then she looked at me like really confused why I was even in his locker room, you know, and I’m just like, crying and she was like, are you okay? And I was just like, I’m just a really big fan of Dwayne.
Like, I didn’t know what to say to her because I was like, I can’t tell you why. You know, so I’m just like, acting like the biggest f*cking fangirl, which I was, but I was just like sobbing. Then, you know, I leave.
The movie doesn’t get made until a few years later, you know, everyone is in production and then nearly got, like, stopped completely because the mistakes I was making so publicly, you know, and so like, I need to get my sh*t together because I was like, if this movie doesn’t get made because of my actions, I’m going to run the rest of my life. So I eventually did though, and it did come out and I did get my sh*t together, and the movie was a hit.”
During her time with WWE Saraya helped usher in the ‘Women’s Revolution’ and played an important role in transforming women’s wrestling in WWE. However, she was forced to retire in 2018 as a result of two serious neck injuries. It was widely believed that she would never wrestle again, but it has been announced that she will be back in action at AEW Full Gear where she’ll take on Britt Baker, less than two months after signing with AEW.
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