The November 9 AEW Dynamite broadcast saw the news of Saraya being cleared to return to the ring after five years of inactivity. She’ll wrestle her first match since December 2017 on November 19, wrestling Britt Baker at Full Gear.
News of the former Paige being cleared for an in-ring return had first been broken by Dave Meltzer. Writing in the October 7 Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Meltzer noted that Dr. Michael Sampson had medically cleared Saraya. This was followed by her getting physical on a subsequent Dynamite broadcast, all but confirming the reports.
“I’m Back” – Saraya Texted A Current WWE Superstar
Speaking with Renee Paquette on her podcast The Sessions, Saraya went into detail on getting the all-clear to return to the ring. Notably, she brought up current WWE Superstar Sasha Banks, who wrestled the then-Paige in her final match. Understandably, ‘The Legit Boss’ was ecstatic for the two-time WWE Divas Champion:
“I’m not going to be going absolutely crazy, but I also don’t want to be held back. I’m fully aware of what I can and can’t do. No, I’m not going to get kicked in the back of the head again, which was my fault, again, that was my fault.
The first person I text was Sasha, one of the first people. All that stuff [Sasha being blamed for the injury], that can mentally f*ck someone up, to end someone’s career. A lot of people pitched us against each other, her fans were attacking me, my fans were attacking her. There was a small percentage, but they would attack each other and they’re always the loudest. They were going at it, they’re still going at it. They would send me tweets, ‘I’m so happy Sasha broke your neck.’ People are tweeting at her, ‘How dare you end someone’s career. You’re unsafe.’ She’s not unsafe. It’s an accident. It happens in wrestling.
I told her, ‘Hey sis, I just want to let you know, since the whole thing was tough on you mentally, but my doctor cleared me and told me my neck is 100% ready to go. I haven’t told anyone else, but I know this will make you feel good. I’m back, haha.’ She was like, ‘I’m so happy.’ She was over the moon. I said to her, ‘I don’t want you to feel bad anymore’.”
Continuing, Saraya stated that the five years she’s had away from the ring were “for the best”, noting that she feels ready to return to the squared circle:
“I had that period of time away and that was actually for the best in the long run because I had time to focus on myself, get healthy, get sober, stop rushing out, and doing other things. I felt it was meant to be and my neck healed in record time, it was five years, and I’m officially back. I think that’s pretty f*cking inspiring.”