Four years after she made her main roster debut in the same arena winning the Divas title from AJ Lee, Paige announced her retirement on the Raw after Mania episode.
While Paige has not wrestled since late December when she was injured in a six-women tag match at a non-televised live event, WWE chose not to address her situation on television until today.
An emotional Paige took the mic and stage after Mandy Rose defeated Sasha Banks and then proceeded to tell the crowd that she has been forced to retire due to her neck injuries. Paige thanked the women in the WWE locker room, her family, Daniel Bryan for giving her hope, Edge for showing her that there’s life after wrestling, the WWE for allowing her to live her dream, and the WWE fans for sticking with her.
Paige said that this will always be “her house” before putting down the microphone and a shirt bearing her logo in the middle of the ring.
The former champ has been signed to a WWE deal since April 2011, wrestling for Florida Championship Wrestling at the time before transitioning to NXT in 2012. She was the first-ever NXT Women’s champion, defeating Emma in July 2013. She made her main roster debut on April 7, 2014 on the Raw after Mania in New Orleans and defeated AJ Lee to capture the Divas title, making her the youngest Divas champion in history at the age of 21.
Paige returned to the ring following a lengthy layoff after neck surgery in November 2017 but her return only lasted a month after she suffered another neck injury during a non-televised show following a kick to the back by Sasha Banks. The match was stopped and referees and WWE’s ringside physician helped Paige to the back.
Several WWE women paid tribute to the 25-year-old Paige on Twitter following the announcement of her retirement.