Paige (Saraya-Jade Bevis) penned a special goodbye to the WWE via a letter for The Players' Tribune on Wednesday. The former WWE Divas Champion broke the news last month that her WWE contract is set to expire on July 7 and that there were no plans to sign her to a new deal. The British star had to retire from in-ring competition in 2018 due to a number of severe neck injuries but continued to work for the company as the SmackDown General Manager, the manager of The Kabuki Warriors and an analyst on WWE Backstage.
Titled "It's Hard to Say Goodbye," she started off by thanking some of the biggest roleplayers in her career, including A.J. Lee, The Bella Twins, Natalya, Emma, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and so many people working behind the scenes.
"I'm also grateful for the CURRENT group of female wrestlers in WWE. Everyone seems to have a different idea on where and when our Women's Revolution started, but to me the where and when don't matter. What matters is that it happened, and that women's wrestling is in good hands with the talent on this roster. I'm incredibly honoured to have gotten to be a part of something so special, and can't wait to see what the future brings," she wrote.
She also addressed her more tumultuous latter years with the company — "The truth is, it was easy enough for WWE to get behind me in those early days. I was a young woman who could wrestle at a high level and cut good promos and move loads of merch -- I was probably one of their top assets, you know what I mean? And you don't learn much about people from how they treat you when you're on top. You learn about people's true nature, I've found, from how they treat you when you're closer to the bottom. And a few years ago I got pretty close to the bottom. It was like, almost overnight, so many things changed: Suddenly my neck was f—ed and I couldn't wrestle. I popped a drug test. My sex tape leaked. I got depressed. I started drinking. And I became less of an asset to WWE, and more of a liability, for a long time. I'm sure of it.
"But they never lost faith in me — they never once threw me off to the side. They got me the help I needed when I needed help, and they gave me the time and space I needed when I needed time and space," she continued. "They even gave me a full segment on Raw to announce my in-ring retirement. I'll cherish that for the rest of my life. Not just getting to make the announcement like I did, but also the respect it showed on WWE's part, that they viewed me as worthy of that kind of treatment — the kind normally reserved for an Edge, or a Daniel Bryan, or an HBK, or a Hunter. That they viewed me as someone who'd built a legacy of her own."
She closed out the latter by writing, "And in a lot of ways, that story is my time with WWE in a nutshell. It was far from perfect. There were some brutal setbacks. And to be honest, I was a bit of an ass for a couple of years. But they always believed in my will to survive, and in the person I could grow to become. So I wanted to say thanks. And I want to thank YOU ALL -- truly, anyone who might be reading. From my bosses to my coworkers to my friends to my fans. For the past 11 years, you've let me live out my dreams. More living to come. I'll see you down the road."
Bevis will appear at Starrcast V later this month in Nashville to address her post-WWE career. Stay tuned for full coverage of the event!