Wrestling & MMA

(Part 2) Interview with WWE’s Paige of ‘Total Divas’ on E!

The season finale of WWE “Total Divas” is 9 p.m. EST Tuesday, Sept. 29 on E!. The stellar cast features WWE divas (from left) Paige, Naomi, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Eva Marie, Natalya and Alicia Fox.
The season finale of WWE “Total Divas” is 9 p.m. EST Tuesday, Sept. 29 on E!. The stellar cast features WWE divas (from left) Paige, Naomi, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Eva Marie, Natalya and Alicia Fox. Photo Courtesy E! Entertainment

Actor Peter Falk is best known for his starring role in the 1970s crime fiction television series “Columbo,” but WWE’s Paige knows him better as Harry Sears.

The 1981 American comedy drama flick “All The Marbles” featured Falk as Harry Sears, wrestling manager of the tag team The California Dolls.

Internationally the movie took the name “The California Dolls,” because “All The Marbles” does not translate. Paige is from England where she saw it; thus, she refers to it as “The California Dolls.”

It is one of Paige’s favorite movies, playing an integral part of her wrestling journey.

“When I first came up in the wrestling business, there was a movie called ‘The California Dolls’ about a female tag team -- girls who are struggling trying to make it in the wrestling world,” she said. “I started out in a tag team, and my name was Britani Knight, and my dad named us after The California Dolls. We were called The Norfolk Dolls.”

Her father, Ricky Knight, operates a wrestling school in Norwich, England and wrestling shows there and surrounding areas. He teamed her with Melodi, a.k.a Sammi Baynz, to form The Norfolk Dolls.

Paige recalled: “We re-created the whole scene where they [California Dolls] finally made it and have this extravagant entrance into the wrestling ring. We re-created that at one of my dad’s shows back in the day.”

She continued: “People who are not in the wrestling business don’t understand the struggles that all of us have to go through to really try to make it.

“Just making it into WWE is one of the hardest things, and then the select few who make it...so it’s really cool to see people re-creating that in a movie [The California Dolls] and really showing the people outside of the wrestling business how hard it is.”

Paige, 23, appreciates the hard work. She hails from a wrestling family with her dad and her two older brothers (Roy Bevis and Zak Frary) along with her mom, Saraya Knight, who is nationally and internationally renowned.

Her father runs the World Association of Wrestling promotion in Norwich, and her mom owns and operates Bellatrix Female Warriors, a women's wrestling promotion, also in Norwich, which is in Norfolk County.

Entrenched in the family business at an early age, Paige actually began wrestling at 13.

“My dad was always a great talker on the microphone, so I tried to learn a lot from him in that way,” she said, “and he’s very old school. He built the wrestling family that we have. My mom, she’s just a baller in the ring. My scrappy side and my aggressiveness are probably coming from her. My brothers, they’re just bump magnets. The moves I learned all from them. They’re so great.“

She loves them, and they love her.

Though, Paige neglected to tell them she got engaged to A Day To Remember guitarist Kevin Skaff as seen on “Total Divas” on E!.

“My mom was a little bit mad because I didn’t tell her about it, and she had to find out about it on social media,” she said. “I was like, ‘Mom, I wasn’t ready to tell you, yet,’ but they’re happy. They’re really happy.”

Paige is happy with her mom and her mom’s wrestling name.

“My real name is Saraya,” Paige said, “and she named herself after me when she started wrestling.”

Like her family members, Paige is making her mark and then some.

She is the first NXT women’s champ, winning the belt during a tournament in June 2013. On her first night on “WWE Monday Night Raw” in April 2014, she won the WWE Divas title. More recently, on “WWE Monday Night Raw” on Sept. 21, she is the first one to mock the Divas Revolution, delivering her divas rant by berating her co-workers and the company.

“I was very nervous, but at the same time, I was just ready,” the two-time WWE champ said. “I was definitely like, ‘OK, this is my time now. I’m going to take the divas on a different level.’...We needed that edge to it; so it felt so good to be able to bring that. Yea, I was nervous. I was very, very, very nervous.”

In 2011, Paige signed with WWE, and that’s where she learned she had scoliosis, a spine issue.

“I never knew I had it, until I came over here,” she said. “We have a personal trainer [WWE], and I was working out, and he said, ‘Wow, your back is very curved on one side. You may have scoliosis.’ So I got X-rayed, and it looked like a big question mark. It was crazy. Yes, I have scoliosis.”

Does it bother her?

“It’s fine,” she said. “You do have the aches and pains, but I never knew I had it, so I’m very used to it. They just say you can go to a chiropractor, do yoga. Those definitely help out, especially for wrestlers.”

It does not impede her from playing with her cats. Paige, who entertained thoughts about becoming a zoologist, loves animals.

She’s already rescued three cats.

“Jovi, I named myself. I’ve been a mommy [to Jovi] for about two years,” she explained. “Then there’s Mishi, who’s 9-years-old, and I rescued him about a year ago, and then I have Dusty, who I named after Dusty Rhodes. I found him [unfed] outside a house in the rain, and I just took him [chuckles].”

WWE Diva Natalya, who is also featured on “Total Divas” on E!, displays a fondness for cats, too.

“I’m not as crazy as her with my cats,” Paige said. “She’s a looney tune. She talks too much about the cats. We definitely bound, though, but everyone of the divas has cats. Me and [Nattie] just take it to another level.”

WWE is very active in the community (locally, nationally, internationally), assisting, leading and supporting various causes, groups and organizations. Paige is interested in doing something to help animals.

“I definitely pitched that a lot [to WWE],” she said. “I love animals more than people to be honest with you. So anything to do with animals I’m very supportive about it.”

You can learn something new everyday, especially on Twitter, like Paige is a big fan of Chipotle.

@RealPaigeWWE

During the interview, she revealed her go-to food at Chipotle is:

Chicken Burrito with mild cheese, sour cream, guacamole.

A very good choice.

- WWE “Total Divas” with Paige on E!

This season on Total Divas has seen the Divas bring the heat in ways they never have before.

Whether it was Brie Bella and WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan’s fertility issues, Paige’s unconventional engagement, Eva Marie’s impressive in-ring improvements, or Natalya (Nattie) overcoming her father’s substance abuse problems— no stone was left unturned for this eclectic group of Divas.

All of this drama combined with Nikki Bella reigning supreme over the entire division as Divas Champion has made this season a complete and total knockout.

“It’s been absolutely amazing,” Paige said. “With ‘Total Divas,’ I was pretty skeptical about it at first, but it sets you apart to where you can send out positive messages, which is absolutely amazing...I love that, and I love that I’ve been able to do that on ‘Total Divas.’”

Paige’s message to girls watching and everyone is to ‘totally and utterly” be yourself.

During a Q&A at Florida Supercon in July at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Paige said, “I had two tryouts in WWE. One of them obviously didn’t end very well. I tried to be like the rest of divas. I tried to be cookie cutter. I tried to get a tan. I died my hair. I took my piercings out, wore color [pauses in disgust]. I think I wore pink, and I hate pink. They saw that I wasn’t confident, and I wasn’t comfortable, and they said come back when you really believe in yourself.

“So I did. I came back completely dressed like me. I think it was a 2 1 /2 hour match [she smiles]. I was the only girl. One of the guys in the match was my brother, and the rest I didn’t really know, and I just got my butt kicked the whole time. Goldust and Jamie Noble loved it. So I got signed by completely and utterly being myself, and that’s the best part of being a diva because I get to project that message.”

In the season finale of “Total Divas,” Nikki, who is currently dating WWE Superstar John Cena, finds herself in a bind when her ex-boyfriend WWE Superstar Dolph Zigger says he wants her back. Meanwhile, Nattie faces career-ending news for her and her husband WWE Superstar Tylson Kidd (TJ), and Paige debates telling her fiancé her true feelings on their engagement.

The Total Divas season finale will air on Tuesday, September 29 at 9 p.m. EST/PST only on E!.

@TotalDivas

- Paige vs. The Miz

Paige landed a role in the WWE Studios’ film “Santa’s Little Helper,” co-starring WWE Superstar The Miz.

Paige said during Florida Supercon: “It comes out Christmas time, and I play the bad guy against The Miz, which is always great, because me and The Miz are always arguing like a brother and sister.”

She continued: “It was an amazing feeling, because I haven’t done a lot of acting before. I’ve done stunt work back in the day. So it was definitely a crazy, new experience. I loved it. It was great. The director [Gil Junger] was great. Miz was actually a sweetheart. [Paige looks at the crowd while smiling and says] Can you believe that? He’s a really nice guy, and he helped me a lot.”

- Bringing Paige The Horizon

One of Paige’s favorite bands, Bring Me The Horizon, provides the official theme music for NXT TakeOver: Respect on Wednesday, Oct. 7 live on WWE Network from Full Sail Live at Full Sail University in Winter Park, near Orlando.

NXTBringMeTheHorizon

#NXTLOUD

@bmthofficial

Bring Me The Horizon is a British rock band from Sheffield. “Happy Song” and “Throne” are the official tunes for that spectacular show headlined by a 30-minute Iron Woman match between NXT women’s champ Bayley and former champ The Boss Sasha Banks.

@WWENXT

- Pro Wrestling On the Web

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/fighting/

@jimmyv3

YouTube jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel)

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