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    Saturday, January 13, 2018

    What's Next For Paige?

    If you also woke up to the news from PWInsider that Paige was reportedly done from being an in-ring performer in WWE, then you must be devastated, or at the very least, sad. Whether you like her or not, it's never easy to hear about someone being told that they can no longer do what they love—what more if you were actually in their shoes.

    It's no secret that things haven't been easy for Paige over the last couple of years, both in her personal and professional lives, that we here at the Smark Henry offices empathize with her as she struggles with this heartbreaking news.

    That said, we totally see her in any of the following non-wrestling roles in the future.

    Absolution's Manager—or anyone else's, for that matter

    Let's start with the obvious. Paige is already aligned with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville; so why not keep her with the two up-and-comers as their manager? She can be a valuable source of advice and input for the two of them both in kayfabe and in real life. Plus, Paige should still be able to get heat as a manager, much in the same way Lana used to when she was managing Rusev. WWE already started the Absolution storyline, so it wouldn't really make sense for them to pull Paige out of the group just because she can no longer wrestle. And even if Absolution flops, Paige has proven to be a more than capable talker, so why should that stop Paige from managing anyone else?

    The Next RAW General Manager?

    Since the brand split in 2016, being the RAW General Manager hasn't exactly been a spot that's been conducive for a long tenure. Just look at Mick Foley and his quick run. Kurt Angle's term as GM seems pretty safe right now, but it's also highly likely that he might be in the hot seat once WrestleMania season kicks in and his feud with Triple H from Survivor Series is revisited. 

    RAW has also had a history of having female GMs, with Paige's former running buddy and rival, AJ Lee, having held the position in 2012. I, for one, would be interested to see Paige in that role because that could present a different dynamic with this crop of RAW Superstars. 

    Possible Color Commentator

    When Daniel Bryan had to retire from in-ring competition in 2016, one of his first new gigs in WWE was to be the color commentator for the Cruiserweight Classic. His dynamic with Mauro Ranallo, coupled with his unbridled passion for the game, made their duo the most exciting commentary team to listen to in all of wrestling throughout the tournament's duration. Maybe Paige can follow in Bryan's footsteps by being the next color commentator in the next Mae Young Classic, whenever that'll be. I'm sure Corey Graves will be pleased that he'd end up laying a blueprint for other wrestlers like him, who had to retire earlier than they'd intended to.

    Or she could pick up where Renee Young left off. Not a lot of fans may remember that Renee was an occasional color commentator on both NXT and Main Event. On her own, Renee Young wasn't necessarily great, but she brought a different perspective as a female character, who interacted with the Superstars, but was neither necessarily an active in-ring competitor nor part of the storylines. Obviously, Paige can bring a different nuance to this given that she actually competed in the ring, took part in major stories, and even held the NXT Women's Championship once and the Divas Championship twice.

    An Honorary Spot in the First-Ever Women's Royal Rumble Match?

    I don't really know how they'll write Paige out of the Women's Royal Rumble Match, or if they'll even acknowledge the real-life injury at all. That said, it would be a nice touch to give Paige some sort of moment in the inaugural Women's Rumble. After all, she was one of the faces associated with the Women's Evolution, particularly in its infancy.

    Some fans have suggested online that Paige could still be an entrant, eliminate a Superstar or two, and then get tossed herself in a safe way, without risk of injury. I'm not entirely sure how that's possible, but I wouldn't mind seeing Paige at least make an entrance or to make her presence felt. Maybe WWE could save one of Mandy Rose or Sonya Deville for the 30th slot, have Paige's music hit, have her appear, and then psych everyone out by having Mandy or Sonya come in instead?

    At the very least, Paige deserves some sort of role in the Women's Royal Rumble Match. It'll be too painful to keep her out of it entirely. But WWE could do her right by at least letting her participate in it somehow. Now if only they could do this for Emma, too...


    As painful as it is for us to see Paige retire as an in-ring competitor, we have to remember that health should still be the top priority. Neck injuries are serious business and have ended the careers of Superstars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Lita, and Edge. They could also have long-lasting effects that carry over into their personal lives for years after they've retired from full-time competition, like in the case of Kurt Angle. We at the Smark Henry offices wish Paige all the best as she goes through this tough time, and we have no doubt that she'll rise up again and find a new path for herself. And then she can claim that, too, as her new house.


    Photos from WWE
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    Item Reviewed: What's Next For Paige? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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