Born to wrestle: An interview with ex-WWE Divas champion Paige

WWE's Paige
WWE's Paige delivers a classic wrestling move called a "clothesline" to Naomi on Smackdown. -- PHOTO: WWEPHOTO: WWE
WWE diva Paige
At only 22, WWE diva Paige has already been a two-time Divas champion. -- PHOTO: WWEPHOTO: WWE

Something curious happened to WWE wrestling diva Paige before she was born.

Her mum, Saraya, had wrestled in England while she was seven months' pregnant with her.

"She didn't realise she was pregnant and she wasn't even showing. The trainer gave her a gorilla press (an overhead wrestling move) over the top rope onto my dad," she laughed in a recent call from Tampa, Florida.

Paige is one of a handful of second-generation wrestlers in WWE and more remarkably, one of a select few wrestlers to have won a championship in their debut match.

Paige beat fellow WWE diva AJ Lee for the Divas' championship on Raw, the night after Wrestlemania 30, in April 2014, a match this writer had covered. She was only 21 then.

"It was absolutely amazing. Just because being the Divas champion was one of my dreams, one of my goals.

"It's one of the ultimate titles you can get as a diva. I was over the moon. I couldn't believe my luck."

Fast forward slightly more than a year and Paige is now a two-time Divas champion and judge on WWE Tough Enough, a reality show.

Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, Paige will not be coming to Singapore for a WWE Live show at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on July 2.

Instead, other WWE superstars comprising United States champion John Cena, NXT champion Kevin Owens, King Barrett and Dolph Ziggler will be performing.

Despite having accomplished so much at such a young age, Paige has her sights trained on attaining more glory in the ring.

"I always tell myself I want to be the Divas champion again (Nikki Bella is the current Divas champion). I want a Wrestlemania match so I work even harder.

"There's so much more I can do. I want to be the woman who has held the Divas championship the most and who has the most title reigns. I have a lot of motivation that keeps me going."

If she could choose, she would love to wrestle WWE's chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon, who is part of The Authority on WWE television.

"I would also love to wrestle Alundra Blayze or Bull Nakano. If i could wrestle a guy, I would...Stone Cold Steve Austin or Bray Wyatt," she quipped.

Despite wrestling being in her blood, Paige's first ambition was to work with animals.

"If I weren't wrestling, I'd have probably become a vet or something.  I love animals more than people," said Paige whose two brothers are also wrestlers.

Her father runs a wrestling school in Norwich, England.

Paige is also part of the cast of Total Divas on E!, a reality show which follows several WWE divas both at work and in their private lives.

"It reaches a different market of fans, not just wrestling fans, and women who actually don't watch wrestling.

"I get to preach a message to other fans and young girls that you can be yourself."

Tickets for WWE Live on July 2 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium are still available at www.sportshub.com.sg/sportshubtix

WWE Raw airs on StarHub SuperSports 2 Ch 202 on Wednesdays, 10pm.

leecmei@sph.com.sg