For someone who is only 22 years old, WWE Diva Paige capitalizes on her debuts with all the wisdom of her counterparts who have been wrestling since long before she was born.
She won the WWE Divas title in her first match on Monday Night Raw and endeared herself to the Jackass generation with a marijuana-inspired prank in her debut on the reality show Total Divas (poor gullible Natalya).
You would think a seasoned champion wouldn’t have a problem losing to a rookie making her debut. But in the case of AJ Lee and Paige, that was anything but the case.
The night after WrestleMania XXX, the UK-born fair-skinned beauty made her first appearance on WWE’s flagship show. Already a fan favorite with followers of the company’s developmental promotion NXT, she was taking part in the hoopla surrounding the biggest event of the year.
When she reported to the arena in New Orleans that Monday, she had no idea she was even going to wrestle her first match on the main roster, let alone dethrone AJ for the Divas Title.
But was there sour grapes? Paige told me no way!
“She was really, really cool about it,” she said. “That day she came up to me and said ‘this is what’s going to happen and if you need any help’ and ‘what do you want to do?'”
They went over everything, and a few hours later the young grappler had gold around her waist. Flash forward a few months, and she’s parlayed her popularity into the opportunity to join the cast of the hit reality series Total Divas.
I had the opportunity to speak at length with the two-time Divas Champion ahead of the Royal Rumble on January 25th.
This is the first part of a two-part interview.
Here’s what you’ll hear.
– The whole story of Natalya and the “pot brownie” on Total Divas
– The full story behind her debut and who told her she was going to win the title
– Why WWE often doesn’t tell talent they’re winning a championship ahead of time
– Working with AJ Lee that first night on Raw
– The cliques in the WWE locker room and who she hangs with
– How familiar faces helped her feel comfortable when she joined the main roster
– How her relationships with other wrestlers have evolved since her debut
– Her experience wrestling as young girl paying dividends in WWE
– Why some new characters fall flat with fans
– Why it was hard for her to be on Total Divas at first
The second part of the interview will be released next week!
Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.
Follow him on Twitter @TheChuckCarroll.