Saraya — formerly Paige in WWE — returned to the ring at AEW’s Full Gear pay-per-view and defeated former AEW Women’s World Champion Dr. Britt Baker, DMD It was Saraya’s first match since being forced to step away from the squared circle due to a serious neck injury sustained in 2017. While the former WWE Divas Champion did not get cleared to return to the ring during her final years with WWE, she did get the all-clear after signing with Tony Khan’s promotion. In response to online rumors surrounding how she was cleared, Saraya has addressed the process that ultimately led to her in-ring comeback.
“I feel I have to clear this up because I feel like the internet just creates their own stories about how I was cleared and who cleared me,” Saraya told the “AEW Unrestricted” podcast. “So people think I went to multiple doctors. I didn’t. I went to one doctor. You know, AEW doctors, Dr. Sampson, and also Tony Khan, they were like, ‘We can’t let you wrestle until we know you are a thousand percent cleared.’ They did it the right way.”
Saraya arrived in Khan’s promotion at “AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam” on September 21, three months after her WWE contract had reportedly expired. Her surprise appearance came following a fatal four-way match for the AEW Interim World Women’s Championship involving then-champion Toni Storm, Serena Deeb, Athena, and Baker. On the October 5 episode of “AEW Dynamite,” Saraya got physical with Baker after a heated verbal exchange, which ultimately led to their pay-per-view showdown.
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