This week on “Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia,” Lilian invites back to the show, Smackdown General Manager, Paige. In this episode, Paige jumps right into the heartwarming feedback that she received after the last time she was on “Chasing Glory.” Paige discusses how she’s been since she was forced to retire in early 2018 due to a neck injury and goes into detail what she was thinking during her last match and exactly how close she was to being paralyzed. She talks how she was able to get through the process and what advice Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gave her. Paige also discusses if she blames Sasha Banks for her injury after their last match together and how their relationship is today, along with why it was important for her to officially retire in New Orleans after Wrestlemania. Paige has strong words about the backlash that Brie Bella received recently as well as the tension that she and Lana had while filming the latest season of Total Divas. Hear the exclusive reaction Paige gives about her ex-fiancé Alberto Del Rio’s recent social media comments regarding their relationship and how Paige is able to move forward through positivity. Paige also gets very real discussing the need to break down her walls and the team she has around her to help her do just that. Find out why her family biopic got pushed to 2019 and why that may be beneficial for the success of the movie. Below are some transcribed highlights:
On her injury: “I got the kick, wasn’t a [unintelligible] fall. My neck wasn’t as strong as it was before. I was the one who called that move in the first place, so I end up getting complete paralysis in my body, temporary paralysis. I’m laying the ring and I could feel it. I just knew it. Laying there I was like, ‘This is it. I’m not wrestling anymore.’ And I felt it. I already knew. I had never had that…in both my arms and both my legs, I couldn’t feel anything, nothing at all. I just laid there and I’m not in pain. I was just so upset that I just started crying and the trainers were there and Jamie Noble was there and I looked over at Jamie and was like, ‘This is it. I’m done.’ I was so sad. They were like, ‘We brought a stretcher,’ and I said, ‘Please, I don’t want to go out in a stretcher. This could be my last match ever. I want to go out walking.’ I was there for like five minutes in the ring. It felt like an eternity; but, it was five minutes and then I started getting feeling back and the doc goes to me, ‘You get to walk,’ and I was like, ‘Absolutely.’”
On meeting with WWE doctors after the injury: “So I go see Dr. Maroon and he was very cool about it. He was like, ‘Look, your spinal cord pretty much has the same impact as a severe car crash. Around your spinal cord you have that fluid. There’s no fluid around the top and the bottom.’ He was like, ‘If you get one more kick, one more whatever, you will be permanently paralyzed. You are very lucky you weren’t paralyzed in the ring that moment. You are extremely lucky. I don’t know how you aren’t paralyzed right now. You have two options; but, they both end the same. You could retire right now or you can have another surgery where we take out the three screws, the fusion that you had, or put in some [unintelligible] in your neck, but ultimately you will be retiring too. I’m gonna give you the option; but, I will not allow you to be back in the ring again.’”
On her reaction to having to retire & Vince McMahon’s reaction:“I just called my mom and dad and I just broke down. I couldn’t stop sobbing. I was sobbing. Everything I knew my entire life, like literally for 26 years all I’ve known is wrestling and for it to be ripped out of my hands just like that – and it’s no one’s fault, it just comes with the business sometimes, like spinal stenosis with Edge and Stone Cold, it happens. For it to be cut short, it’s devastating. It’s horrible. My dad was just crying and he was like, ‘Everything is gonna be OK sweetheart. You’re gonna do bigger things now. Don’t worry this isn’t the end of your story,’ and I was like, ‘Thank you dad.’ That same day, I was just devastated, Hunter called me to make sure I was OK. I went to work and Vince [McMahon] gave me a big hug and said, ‘We’ll look after you. We just want you to look after yourself first.’”
On if she blames Sasha Banks and accidents that happen in the ring: “Accidents happen. It’s kind of like what happened to Brie [Bella] and Liv Morgan this week. Accidents happen in the ring. I’m not gonna hold Sasha accountable for what happened to me. It is what it is and we’ve all been doing it for years. At one point or another one of us is gonna hurt each other. We can’t be perfect all the time. I feel so bad for Brie. She’s never hurt anyone. This is the first time she’s hurt someone and she gets blamed for it? Come on dude, it’s an accident. Liv doesn’t blame her.
On her issues with Lana: “The thing is, I’m one of those people that’s like, ‘Don’t try to get a storyline. Don’t go into business for yourself and go on the internet and talk crap and pretty much try and get a storyline through that without my permission.’ So, it was like every tweet and I could never really forgive her and I feel like I was very petty for doing that. That I was being very petty. She said that I bullied her. She tweeted out all this long tweet about me bullying her at NXT and people just looked at me like I was just horrible, like I was this horrible bully and I’m not like that at all. So, I was mad about it. I was like, ‘What are you tweeting? Why are you tweeting that I was mean to you and that I bullied you? I don’t understand.’ She was like, ‘It’s just a storyline.’ I was like, ‘You can’t just do that.’ I was like, ‘You have to ask me before.’ We got it all worked out. It’s all good. You’ll see. It’s in Lake Tahoe. I lose it a little bit. At the same time, I’m at a stage in my life where I’m maybe a little bit overly defensive because of what I’ve been through over the last year and a half so Lana it’s kind of been a long time coming with her and I felt like we needed that to really get over the speed bump we had in between us. It did [bring us closer]. We are friends now.”
On Alberto Del Rio’s recent attacks on her: “I chose not to reply to that at the second. It hurt my feelings; but, I didn’t want him to know it hurt my feelings at that point. It wasn’t like it hurt my feelings in like, ‘Oh, I can’t believe you said that about me.’ You’re making fun of someone that had mental health issues. Like, who does that? I’m glad that he’s moved on and found someone. I love that. I want him & I want his family to be happy. I just wanted him to leave me alone. After a year of us not being together, I never expected him to bring me up. I was like I’m not even gonna respond to that right now. I wish him the best of luck. You don’t make fun of someone that has mental health issues. He knew I was depressed and how I was at the bottom and I wanted to kill myself. He knew all that stuff, so to throw it out there like that is pretty mean. It’s uncalled for, unnecessary. I was like, ‘Am I being bullied right now? What is going on here?’”
“I told my family straightaway. I was like, ‘Don’t reply to him. He’s not even worth it.’ Right now, I’m at the stage of my life where I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and I’m not gonna let someone like him bring me down. Maybe he’s not as successful as he wanted to be, I don’t know; but, I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time for that kind of stuff. I don’t know if it’s jealousy; but, it’s immature. He’s 41 years old. Don’t talk like that about a woman first of all, especially on the internet for everyone to see, especially when you’re in the public eye. Just keep your mouth shut. You don’t like me. That’s fine. We haven’t had any contact for over year. It just baffles me. Like, ‘What? Just leave me alone.’ It’s kind of laughable in the end. It’s like, ‘Come on dude, you look sad.’”