Paige dishes on the return of WWE Total Divas and evolution of women’s wrestling

Paige is as excited as anyone for the fifth season of the popular E! reality show WWE Total Divas.

Then fans can finally find out firsthand what happens next regarding her engagement to A Day to Remember guitarist Kevin Skaff.

(Photo by James White/E! Entertainment)

(Photo by James White/E! Entertainment)

“You’re going to have to see the first episode, so I can’t give anything away,” Paige said during an interview leading up to the premiere 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, Jan. 19.

“It has been a crazy couple of months. If I say anything it will give it away. You will just have to tune in next Tuesday. I talk to people all the time who ask me, ‘Are you still engaged?’

Even though the popular women’s wrestler is tight-lipped on this subject, she does shed some light on her absence from WWE television as of late.

“I took a bad bump in one of my matches,” Paige said.

“WWE has been absolutely great with the wellness program and wanting to make sure I’m back on my feet and completely healthy before getting back in the ring again. I’m losing my mind because I’m not at work right now, so it’s been a few straight weeks of not leaving the house. I do go to the PC (WWE Performance Center) and get back in the ring there and see the doctors to make sure I’m a good kid and taking as much ImPACT tests as I possibly can.

“I hope to get back in the ring soon. It’s just a slight concussion. No big deal. Not a crazy one, but WWE is obviously very protective of their talent. I’m like, ‘I’m fine. I promise.’ They’re like, ‘No, we have to make sure you are 100 percent.’ They are like parents.”

The break from the road comes after a very busy 2015. Paige was not only part of Total Divas and competing many times a week around the world. The busy Brit also starred in her first movie Santa’s Little Helper and served as the Simon Cowell-like judge on the WWE Tough Enough reality show competition on USA Network. It was there Paige first met Amanda, who is the newest Total Divas cast member. The blond bombshell signed with the company shortly after finishing as runner-up on Tough Enough.

“During that season I was on top of Amanda because I initially saw her as kind of a brat,” Paige said.

“When she got interviewed for Total Divas, you will see my reaction. At first I was very shocked. We were all very shocked, but I definitely think she is a great addition. We needed to spice things up a little bit. What better way to do it than with a girl who is a diva 2.0. I just told her yesterday to make sure she trained and worked hard on the road. I wanted her to know to work hard because there are a lot of girls who bust their butt every single day on the road. Nobody ever gets any sleep. We definitely want girls who can do it all.”

Paige has welcomed the latest crop of talents called up from NXT, WWE’s developmental brand. She spent recent months entrenched in a storyline with Charlotte. As their rivalry intensified so did the fan opinions.

“I really drove myself,” Paige said.

“I feel like what I did on the microphone, people started to take it personal and saw me as a heel. But then they started to think, ‘Hey, what she is saying is kind of accurate.’ Then it slowly started turning me into a good guy a bit. I definitely really enjoyed it. We got personal, which always is good. I love that. It makes it seem more real. I really enjoyed myself with her. We still do live events together. I think one day she will be a great heel. She is basically right now. I love working with her.”

With Charlotte’s legendary father by her side, it got some thinking about the potential of bringing Paige’s grappling mother in to even the odds. The proud daughter would enjoy seeing Saraya Knight in a WWE ring, but says the decision is ultimately in the company’s hands.

“You can’t force it. If it happens, it happens,” Paige said.

“It would definitely be a dream for me and my mom and all my family. Hopefully, one day. Either as opponents, in a tag team or even if she is just my valet; it would be great to have her there. It could be Charlotte and Ric Flair with me and my mom. My mom would love to slap Ric Flair, too.”

Paige is pleased overall with the direction of women’s wrestling in WWE. Looking at it from a spectator’s perspective, there was a time when she wasn’t so sure. However, now the passionate personality can see small steps moving the division in the right direction.

“With the girls you can’t really tell who was the bad guy or good guy,” Paige said.

“From the WWE standpoint you have to give people a chance to get to know you first and then they start giving you more with characters and storylines. People didn’t know the new girls coming in. Yeah, they were in NXT, but they have to get to know them on the main roster and then they start to break them off. That’s where we are at right now.

“I think Sasha Banks is going to be next, which is exciting. Viewing it as a fan, I have really enjoyed it. Charlotte and Ric Flair is my favorite thing to watch right now. It’s like what is Ric Flair going to do next? Then you have Becky Lynch, who is such an underdog.

“People just love her because it’s really hard to come on the main roster and be a good guy and for people to like you instantly. It’s so much easier to get people to hate you than to like you. So Becky has really been able to do that because she is this big underdog. So it’s been interesting to watch. I can’t wait to get back in there.”

In the mean time, traveling to the Performance Center has given her the chance to catch up with familiar faces. At the top of the list was NXT women’s champion Bayley.

“Bayley is literally my dream girl,” Paige said.

“She is like the best wrestler I have ever seen in my life. She was so good to see. I was getting stretched out by the doc and she sat with me for a good 45 minutes just seeing how I was. She is such a good person. I feel like she will hopefully be called up really soon.”

Ever since Paige signed on for Total Divas during season three it has been a learning experience. The 23-year-old finds herself growing as a person inside and outside the ring. After some initial trepidation, she is happy to open her life and set an example for others.

“I love Total Divas,” she said.

“We just did a bit more filming a couple of days ago. I totally enjoy it. The crew is always super nice to us. They treat us so well. They are always so respectful. I’m definitely using it as a platform to send a positive message, which I think is happening. I want to show how real and relatable we are.”

When it comes to the upcoming season, the bar has been raised in Paige’s eyes. She has high hopes.

“I feel like this one is definitely an award-winning season,” Paige said.

“There are a couple of episodes and a lot of things that will hit home to everyone. It’s emotional. It can make you angry. It can make you feel all these things. This one is my favorite season by far. I know everyone says that because they are going to get you to watch their show, but honestly this is one of my favorite seasons. I enjoyed every single bit of it. I’m excited for people to start watching it.”

  • E’s Total Divas premieres 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, Jan. 19.
  • Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN.

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Photos Courtesy: WWE/E! Entertainment

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2 Responses to Paige dishes on the return of WWE Total Divas and evolution of women’s wrestling

  1. Gil says:

    totally diva skevin saff ante show act be filmed inmidst diva slive brawl that carried from ring to locker rooms trying break em up when he saw pal paige take flop to ground almost loosing her tooth saff suffering shiney in butt and eye during the brawl

  2. Leann Bennett says:

    Can’t wait for total Divas to start. I have been hooked since season 1. Paige you ROCK!!!!!

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