Much like when she won the WWE diva’s championship in her debut on the main roster, Paige made an immediate first impression joining Total Divas in season three.
Since then viewers have watched the youngest cast member of the hit E! reality series get into her share of trouble. However, the drama has been a learning experience for the 23-year-old.
“I was very worried at first being on there,” Paige said in an interview heading into the season four finale 9/8CT Tuesday, Sept. 29.
“Everyone was trying to get to me a little bit. I definitely feel this has helped me and is definitely a platform to send out all these positive messages, which is absolutely amazing. I don’t care about the red carpets or being in the spotlight. I’m just happy I can help other people. That is the main goal. It makes me feel good. It has helped me grow and mature. It has helped me figure out that, okay you can’t party as much as you want Paige because there are these cameras on you and TMZ and there is this and that.”
A recent episode presented a milestone moment for the raven-haired beauty. Fans were surprised when Paige said yes to a marriage proposal from boyfriend and “Day to Remember” guitarist Kevin Skaff. The scene was shot three or four months prior to airing, meaning she had to keep it under wraps.
“I wanted to keep it a secret,” Paige said.
“People found out and with my mom, she texted me mad that I didn’t tell her. I just didn’t want anyone to know. You can’t help it if you’re on a reality TV show. Nobody knew. I felt pressure and worried about being engaged. Just let me get to used to it, then I’ll start telling people. You’ll have people on social media throwing it everywhere, and it ends up trending. It could be a nightmare.”
Those familiar with Paige know she comes from the famous Knight family of professional wrestlers. The English butt-kicker says her family was fine with the news.
“My dad and mom don’t care if the guy is a wrestler,” she said.
“My mom is actually a big fan of his band, so she was like over the moon. He was so sweet that when the band did the Download Festival in England he got my mom and her friends backstage and on the side of the stage and into the festival. They had a wild time, so she loved him.”
“Me and Foxy are shopping for my Hall of Fame dress, I walk out for a second, and this girl comes crying down the street,” Paige recalled.
“She walks up to me telling me I helped her get over her eating disorder and burst into tears. She says that I’m not afraid to be myself and have taught her to be herself and not care what everybody else thinks. I thought that was amazing. I love that helped her.”
Paige thinks the show portrays hard working women, and chance the perception the life of a WWE diva is all glitz and glamour.
“We are working our butts off every day,” she said.
“We have the same troubles as every single person out there. There are things that are relatable to every man and woman out there. We’ll have these stories, and they will air. People will say, ‘I’m going through a breakup,’ ‘I’m mad at my sister too,’ and ‘I’m not going to be afraid to be myself.’ It’s definitely a great show to show women who want the help the world and community.”
It has been a perfect storm for women’s wrestling with “Total Divas” being so successful combined with the “Divas Revolution.” There has been a focus on female grapplers like perhaps never before in WWE. Paige is proud to be part of the progression.
“It’s absolutely wild,” she said.
“It has progressed in a short amount of time with my career. So it has been amazing. I’m so excited for the new generation of NXT with Bayley leading the way with Nia Jax, Carmella and all these chicks that are going to be absolutely amazing. Then you have Jessica McKay, who I was on the independents with for so many years. It’s just nice to see. It’s going to be absolutely awesome.”
The “Divas Revolution” was given new life on Raw after the outspoken Paige delivered a promo for the ages. The biting words about her co-workers drew buzz throughout social media.
“I felt like the whole ‘Divas Revolution’ thing started to get stale,” she said.
“I thought it definitely needed a kick in the ass a little bit. Vince [McMahon] and our writers were so cool with the promo. They definitely gave me the freedom to say what I wanted. I kept it as tame as possible. I wanted to go a little bit harder, but I thought, ‘Nah, I’ll save it.’
“It was definitely an adrenaline rush. I wanted to be the bad guy and am happy to be the bad guy. I don’t mind being hated. But the crowd was so receptive to it and great. They were cheering most of it. I was like, ‘No, that’s not the way it was supposed to be.’ It was great. I was very nervous before doing it. I just wanted to get out there and kick some butt and light a fire under the ‘Divas Revolution’ again.”
By the strong response, it appears she has done just that. After a solid start to the initiative, having the same matches involving three teams was getting repetitive. The story was on cruise control. The former member of PCB (Paige, Charlotte and Becky Lynch) added a much needed spark.
“It was cool the first couple of nights with the NXT girls coming up,” Paige said.
“It was something new and fresh. Then we kind of went back to this stale state of having tag matches. We weren’t telling a story. Where was this going? With the whole Charlotte and Nikki [Bella] story, it was similar to me and Nikki. People were complaining about that. I feel like that a ‘Pipe Bomb,’ or ‘Paige Bomb’ as I call it, is what was needed. Now a team has split up and everyone is going for everyone, which is great. I’m looking forward to seeing where everyone else goes.”
The edgy diva is excited about the future of her onscreen persona.
“I see it as a challenge,” Paige said.
“Some towns will boo me out of the place. Other towns will love me. With the Paige character, I want to evolve back into her. She is not a smiling babyface. She is a bad ass who doesn’t care what other people think. She is this lone ranger, and that is what I am.”
As for the “Total Divas” season finale, look for a “to be continued…”
“It’s going to be a huge cliffhanger,” Paige said.
“You’re going to look forward to the next season for sure. I don’t want to give too much away, but it is about mine and Kevin’s engagement. There are some other stuff going on with the other chicks, but I don’t really want to give it all away. I will say you are going to absolutely love that episode.”
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Photos Courtesy: WWE/E! Entertainment