I didnt think Id be alive – now Im wrestling at Wembley, says AEWs Saraya

Wrestling superstar Saraya is arguably one of the most high profile British wrestling talents in history.

And just days before taking on Toni Storm, Britt Baker and Hikaru Shida in front of 85,000 people at Wembley Stadium this weekend, she tried to sum up the roller-coaster journey she's been on.

For most non-wrestling fans, the 31-year-old, who was born in Norwich, is probably most known for her infamous headline-grabbing personal life – but those days are firmly behind her.

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Speaking exclusively to the Daily Star ahead of the for the All Elite Wrestling Women's Championship, Saraya said: “I've literally gone from being in a small city in England, a smaller company and doing the independent shows, and managing to finally get signed to WWE, to having a movie about my life, winning the Divas championship, winning the NXT Women's Championship, to then completely come crashing down.

“No pun intended but I completely hit rock bottom, I fell into addictions, I was with someone that wasn't good for me, I had friends around me that weren't good for me, and I dealt with really bad mental health issues.

“I had those (sex) tapes come out and just I had all these things kind of happen all at once and then I made a big comeback, and I finally come back . . . and then I'm told I'll never wrestle again.”

But skip forward a few years, and Saraya, who was known as Paige in WWE, is now fully healed and had just one three-word phrase to sum up the entire ride.

“What the f**k?!,” she laughed.

“I never thought in 2016, I would be where I am today, that's for sure – I didn't know if I would be alive, but also, I would be out of WWE.

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“I was just a huge loyalist to them, but those things come to an end and I still adore them but I'm absolutely in love with AEW, and I just feel so lucky.”

Saraya's full interview with the Daily Star can be seen on our YouTube page, and during the chat she also talked about her family's legacy.

Her parents, Ricky Knight and Sweet Saraya, are both wrestlers and run the World Association Wrestling promotion in Norwich.

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Her brother Zak Zodiac, also a wrestler, is rumoured to be making an appearance at the AEW Wembley show called All In.

Her half-brother Roy and nephew Ricky Knight Jr are also wrestlers, with the latter competing at both PROGRESS Wrestling and Rep Pro Wrestling shows over the weekend.

And although they're all arguably successful in their own right, none of them compare to the in-ring career Saraya has had, as a one time NXT Women's Champion and two time WWE Divas Champion.

She said: “We've been surrounded by wrestling our whole lives, and to have one of our own showcased at the biggest stadium in England is massive.

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“My family have been so supportive, and I remember telling them I could wrestle again – we all just cried our eyes out.

“Wrestling is our blood, it's our lifeline – we eat, sleep, s*** wrestling and we love it.

“They're like wrestling royalty in the UK and to just have them again, ringside and be there for me, is such a big thing . . . not just for me, but for the whole Knight family.”

The last time Saraya laced up her wrestling boots in front of a home town crowd was in 2016 when she was with WWE.

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She joined forces with Alicia Fox, Eva Marie and Natalya to beat Lana, Summer Rae, Naomi and Tamina.

Women's wrestling is in a very different – and arguably much better – place these days, with Saraya getting to mix it up with three of the best.

But what's changed about Saraya since those WWE days?

“I've definitely matured, and I'm sober which is really nice,” she said.

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“I've been sober for five years now.

“I'm just very much at peace with who I am, and obviously It's really strange because in those years I retired and got told I would never wrestle again, I was going for a big rough patch of my life around that time, which was very much on the Internet for everybody to see.

“So just seeing the young Saraya or Paige to me now, I just feel a lot more confident in myself and I feel very lucky that I healed the way I did both mentally and physically.

“I get to be part of history again, but with a different company."

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