Pale-skinned with black hair, tattoos, and piercings, Paige has been a mysterious force to be reckoned with every since she first signed with the WWE. She’s been the source of controversy in- and outside of the ring which has made her a favorite to some, a foe to others, and even a one time love interest to her fellow WWE Diva.
Born in 1992 in Norwich, England, Paige’s rise to stardom was unlike many of her counterparts. She’s been more concerned with being a great wrestler than being the hottest diva in the room, but that hasn’t kept her from showing off her sexy in the ring. Collectors have clamored over snagging her action figures, fans hope to get her autograph before a show, and little girls have waited in long lines to give their wrestling idol a hug.
She was Rolling Stone’s Diva of the Year in 2014 and has amassed a number of titles including WWE Divas champion two times over. We get to tune in to watch what the WWE plays out for us to see, but even though Paige doesn’t keep her personal life a secret, there’s still much that people don’t know about the organization’s bad girl. This has proven to be a rough year for Paige balancing a new love and setbacks. She’s dedicated most of her life to the dangerous sport that her family groomed her to succeed in, but between bar fights, neck injuries, surgeries, suspensions, and her new-yet-still-married fiancé leaving the WWE, the fate of her career has been a hot topic of speculation. Controversial or not, this Brit has become an international wrestling treasure who keeps a hot fire lit under the WWE.
16. She Was Named After Her Mother — Sort Of
Julia Hamer-Bevis, Paige’s mother, was a professional wrestler who competed under the name Sweet Saraya. In a story that Paige loves to share with anyone who will listen, Bevis was unaware that she was pregnant with her baby girl and continued to wrestle until she found out she was pregnant at eight months.
It seemed only fitting, then, that Bevis would keep her wrestling name in the family. Paige was born Saraya-Jade Bevis andand never performed under that name. Born in England, Paige would travel and compete in the independent and amateur circuits as Britani Knight, but it wasn’t until she signed with WWE in 2011 that she settled on the name Paige.
Speaking on how her name came about, she told Crave Online, “So when you first get to, it was FCW back then, you give them a list of names of what you want and they bring it down to maybe — they will choose it or they will give you like three. […]It was Echo and [laughing] I said ‘No.’ Then there was Mara, from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [Rooney Mara]. So that was the one that stood out to me.”
15. She’s Following In Her Parents’ Footsteps
Paige is strong, beautiful, and a standout performer, but she didn’t just happen to stumble into professional wrestling by accident. She’s always been a longtime fan of the sport, but it was her parents, mother Julia Hamer-Bevis (aka Sweet Saraya) and father Ricky Knight, who were wrestlers, who gave their daughter a behind-the-scenes look at what it was like to treat it as a job.
The hot shot WWE Diva didn’t grow up with hopes and dreams of being the next Sweet Saraya, but she couldn’t fight the wrestling spirit in her blood and followed in her parents’ footsteps. Growing up she witnessed her parents coming home with mild to serious injuries and didn’t want any part of wrestling, opting to become a zoologist instead. She began attending her father’s wrestling training school at around 11 years old and at thirteen she made her debut. With the help of her well-seasoned family members and professional trainers, her promising career lived up to its expectations.
14. She Got Great Career And Personal Advice From The Rock
Paige says that she’s looking forward to a long wrestling career that will one day land her in the WWE Hall of Fame, but for now she’s taking her matches and story lines one day at a time. She’s mentioned in the past that on the day of WrestleMania 30, not too long before she was to make her Raw debut, she got a key piece of advice from none other that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, himself.
She said that he was familiar with her wrestling family and her strong connection to them. He told her he noticed how hard of a worker she is, and left her with the words of wisdom “I just want you to stay humble and hungry.” She took those words to heart and thought about them for months which has surely helped shape her into being one of WWE’s superstars.
13. She’s A Coffee Company Owner
Capitalizing off of coffee addicts worldwide, Paige entered a new joint venture, The Dark Gypsy, with Bobby Schubenski and Jim Somers who co-own Blackcraft Cult clothing company. Schubenski also happens to be WWE Diva Rosa Mendes’ boyfriend.
Paige first let the world know about her dipping into the coffee business back in September 2015 when she tweeted that the company was just a week away from launching. The coffee brand matches that of Paige’s dark, mysterious, and gothic style, and promotes coffee products with names like Death Before Decaf, The Dark Gypsy, and Better Than Blood. Getting hold of a bag of your own will prove to be difficult seeing as how The Dark Gypsy’s website shows that they’re all sold out. However, they still have apparel and mugs available.
12. She’s The Youngest WWE Champion in History
Paige was just 21 years old and the NXT Women’s Champion when she made an appearance in the WWE to congratulate AJ Lee being the longest reigning title holder. AJ slapped Paige in the face in her WWE debut, setting the storyline that would lead to Paige and AJ fighting in a match for the championship.
Surprising fans, Paige won and not only took the title from AJ Lee, but she became the youngest WWE champion in history. She now held two titles for NXT and the WWE, but that didn’t sit well with everyone. John “Bradshaw” Layfield was General Manager of NXT back then and made it known that he thought because Paige would be wrestling for the WWE, she should give up her NXT title. She went on for 308 days undefeated before she finally turned over her belt.
11. She Was A Bartender At 15
Before she began touring the world at 14 and competing in matches, she worked as a bouncer — and sometimes bartender when her parents weren’t around — at the family bar. She sat down with Stone Cold Steve Austin for his podcast and chuckled as she told a story about how she would be in charge of the bar because her brothers would have “one too many” drinks and get a little rowdy. She recalled one time that her parents were in town and slinging drinks while two women were fighting at the front of the bar. Paige said that before she knew it, she had taken one of the ladies down and put her knee on her head while she had the other in a headlock as she punched her in the face. Those are some serious skills for a teenage girl but it set the tone for some of her more professional take downs.
10. A WWE Diva Had A Crush On Her
It’s not just men who have taken a liking to Paige. On Total Divas, Rosa Mendes made her attraction to Paige very clear, although those feelings didn’t seem to be reciprocated. Paige didn’t hold back by saying that she’d been with a woman before because, as she stated, “It’s the 21st century,” but she just wasn’t interested in Rosa other than being a friend. That didn’t stop Rosa from making a move which turned out to be an awkward kiss. The two flirted for a number of episodes and after they got together for dinner and drinks, Rosa grabbed Paige’s face and planted a smooch on her lips. Paige was visibly uncomfortable and taken aback and it was just as awkward for viewers. After a bumpy road, the two have been able to maintain a close friendship and working relationship, but their one moment of unrequited love that was captured by reality television cameras will be talked about — and shown — for all of WWE history.
9. Her Mother Was a Drug Addict
Paige’s mother Julia had a difficult life growing up. Born in Penzance, Cornwall, Julia was abused as a child by both her mother and stepfather. Unable to stand the pain and suffering, she decided to run away at 15 years old which lead to a number of years living on the streets. She said during those times she would use public swimming pools to bathe and kept a close circle of unsavory characters. While out on her own and trying to survive she was a raped and struggled with drug addiction. When she was 18 she tried to take her own life by overdosing on pills, but she had her stomach pumped and survived the harrowing ordeal. From that point forward she decided to get clean, but she refuses to have a relationship with her mother because she abandoned her in her time of need.
8. She Was Rejected At Her First Tryout
Job interviews can be stressful for anyone trying to impress a potential new employer, and Paige found that out the hard way on her first audition for the WWE. When she was just 17, one of their talent scouts approached her about joining their team, telling her that when she turns 18, she should come in for a tryout. Instead of going in and just being herself, she turned into a person that she thought they wanted. She said she dyed her tan, got a tan, wore a blue dress, and presented herself to be something that she wasn’t.
Intimidated by being around wrestlers she’s idolized since she was a kid made her nervous and everyone could see right through her charade. They rejected her the first time around, but did email her asking to try out again six months later because they saw potential. At the next audition she was pale, wore all black, and kept in all of her piercings. Out of the 16 candidates, she was the only girl, but it was her strength, talent, professionalism that blew the judges away, even though she was told she wasn’t pretty or good enough to be there. When she was in the locker room afterward she was told that they wanted to sign her to the roster and Paige said she cried a few “in your face” tears of joy.
7. She Got Into A Fight With Fans At A Restaurant
Paige and her WWE Diva bestie Alicia Fox made headlines back in 2015 when a fun time out with friends turned into a bar fight. The two were at Supano’s Prime Steakhouse, Seafood, and Pasta in Baltimore, Maryland when their break away from the ring turned into an all-out brawl.
The ladies were sipping on cocktails when, as the story goes, one of the bar’s regular customers got a little rowdy. The woman was allegedly taking photos, video, and harassing the divas who were trying to have a private time together. Soon they were shouting at each other and a verbal match turned into margaritas being thrown across the bar from both parties. The restaurant’s staff had to jump in to stop things from escalating even further, because the last thing anyone wanted was for two professional wrestlers to fight patrons at their bar. Spilled margaritas and broken glass were everywhere and everyone involved were kicked out of the restaurant.
During an appearance at Comic Con in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania not long after the incident, Paige told her side of the story. People accused both her and Alicia of turning up the drama because they were being filmed for Total Divas, but Paige said that wasn’t the case. She explained that they were singing karaoke when a woman began filming and taking pictures of them. They asked her to stop but she continued, and a few choice words turned into the drunk woman hurling drinks at them. They returned the favor and everyone was asked to leave. According to Paige, the woman tried to continue the fight outside of the bar, but gave up and left.
6. When She First Came To WWE, No One Liked Her
She’s sassy. She’s feisty. She speaks her mind and, at times, has no filter. Those qualities don’t bode over too well with other WWE wrestlers. She’s stated that she had to prove herself all over again because people would treat her as if she was just some kid from another country, completely unfamiliar with her career. She felt as if other wrestlers didn’t respect her because of her age, disregarding that she’d traveled to nine countries around Europe, competing since she was 14.
She didn’t let the negativity get to her and continued to hold her own inside and outside of the ring. Paige told the WWE in an interview that she wasn’t a complainer and would stand her ground against any naysayer. “If someone gave me crap, I wouldn’t be a wimp about it. I would stand up for myself,” she said. “I don’t take that kind of thing. But everyone got on and understood me pretty quickly.”
5. She May Not Be Able To Have Children
In an episode of Total Divas, the reality show that followed the ups, downs of the WWE’s Divas, Paige made a personal revelation that shocked fans. The ladies were celebrating Diva Rosa Mendes’ baby announcement by attending her baby shower, but Paige seemed distant. She didn’t want to attend the shower and though she was initially happy about her friend having a baby, it reminded her of her possible inability to give birth to a child of her own.
Paige said that at 18 years old while living in England, she became pregnant but miscarried. She said she had the baby’s name already chosen and she wants to be a mother, but she had to have surgery to remove an adenoid cyst which could limit the possibility of her getting pregnant and delivering a child one day. However, her friendship with Mendes was more important so she told her friend she wants to be the best Auntie Paige to Mendes’ little one.
4. She Was Taken Into Custody
After WWE’s Money in the Bank match in Las Vegas, Nevada, Paige was spotted by cameras being handcuffed and placed into an ambulance. According to the Las Vegas Police Department they received a call about a disturbance outside of the Caesar’s Palace. When they arrived, instead they were asked to help a woman that was seen running in the streets that turned out to be Paige.
They were able to catch up to her quickly and place her in handcuffs, and after a brief conversation they determined that she needed to undergo a medical evaluation. She wasn’t arrested, just detained, but the reason why is still the subject of gossip. Some say she was drunk, others say she may have hurt herself, but nothing was confirmed. Paige was soon released, no charges were filed, and no actions were taken by the WWE.
3. WWE Has Laid The Smackdown On Her
The WWE organization loves its pale-skinned, dark-haired diva, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t had run ins with their superstar wrestler. In August 2016, the WWE announced that they suspended Paige for 30 days “for her first violation of the company’s talent wellness policy.” It was unclear as to what the specifics were behind her suspension considering that the WWE Talent Wellness Program tests brain and heart functions, as well as for substance and drug abuse.
Following the first black mark of her record, Paige took to Twitter to defend her reputation. “However, let me be clear that I was not suspended for failing a drug test, it was merely due to a procedural issue,” she wrote in a text photo. “I took the test, I passed it. I arranged said test to happen after I wasn’t at my home when aegis contacted me. So I drove 200 miles to do it. Unfortunately, I didn’t do it in time, according to Aegis.” Coincidentally, her new fiancé Alberto Del Rio was also suspended for the same violation at the same time as Paige.
However, her hiccups didn’t stop there. In October 2016, just two months after her first setback, Paige was suspended again for the same reason, this time for 60 days. She tweeted her grievances with the decision, writing “Same shit different day. Kids..Please don’t get prescriptions or doctors notes. Not acceptable. Rules apply depending on your status.” While Paige’s explanation suggests that she provided the organization with a list of medications from a neck injury she’s been recovering from, the WWE wasn’t happy about her snide tweet. They issued a statement to the New York Post that said Paige’s drug test did come back positive, but not for prescriptions.
2. She’s Had Rock ‘n’ Roll Boyfriends
Models and musicians used to be the power couples in entertainment, but when you’re hot and one of the most famous WWE Divas on the planet, you can change the rules. Two of Paige’s most notable and public relationships were with band members Bradley Walden, singer of Emarosa, and Kevin Skaff, guitarist of A Day To Remember.
Her tense romance with Walden was played out on the wrestling E! network reality show Total Divas as the two were filmed fighting and on the verge of breaking up with every conversation. The two were on the road to taking their relationship to the next level by moving in together, but after she went home with him to visit his family, Walden’s sister spilled his secret beans and told Paige that her brother was once married. The news was too much for Paige to handle and the relationship spiraled downward from there.
1. She Proposed To Alberto Del Rio
In May 2016, just a few months after breaking up with ex-boyfriend Kevin Skaff, Paige and fellow WWE wrestler and president of the Mexican MMA promotion Combate Americas Alberto Del Rio, real name José Rodríguez, went public with their budding relationship. The two haven’t been shy about their hopeless romance, especially Paige whose Instagram is littered with photos of the couple fawning over each other.
Being a woman who goes after what she wants, Paige surprised Del Rio at the WWC Aniversario 43 in Puerto Rico where he was competing. She entered the ring, dropped to one knee, and proposed in front of a screaming audience. He laughed, said yes, and when the couple hugged, fans erupted enthusiastically.
In a video recorded backstage immediately after the proposal, Paige sat down for an impromptu interview where she giggled like a schoolgirl and said she was just happy Del Rio didn’t reject her in front of everyone. While she’s all smiles about her future with her beau, he first has to finish his divorce proceedings with his estranged wife, Angela.