Saraya Reveals AEW Backup Plans
Saraya debuted with AEW in September 2022
When Saraya rocked up in AEW at Grand Slam 2022 in September it was a welcome surprise, with the former WWE Divas Champion soon getting the all-clear to wrestle once more.
Saraya would end a five-year in-ring hiatus with victory over Britt Baker at Full Gear in November, but as Saraya herself revealed to Bleacher Report’s Chris Mueller, even if she couldn’t get physical she was still down to fulfil a role in AEW:
"I was always going to have a place, whether it be behind the scenes or even kind of like a GM role or a manager. They were always going to find a position for me there. But straight out the gate, I said to Tony, ‘I want to be able to wrestle.’ And he was just like, ‘Well, maybe we can do it where it’s just tag matches. Once you get cleared.’ I said, ‘Nope, I want to have a singles match. That’s what I want.’ And he said, “OK, well if you get 100 percent clear, then absolutely fine.’ So, then it was Dr. Sampson.
“That’s another thing that people kind of decided they were going to have an opinion on [via] the internet. They thought it was all AEW doctors who cleared me, and it wasn’t. They actually didn’t want to clear me until they had a full rundown from an outside doctor. Just to see everyone’s opinions on it. And luckily, everyone’s opinions were the same. And my neck was 100 percent ready to go,” said Saraya
Saraya’s match with Baker was highly anticipated, and Saraya herself credited Baker with dealing with added pressure heading into the bout:
“I just want to say it because a lot of people don’t realise how much pressure Britt was under to be the first person to wrestle someone who was completely out with a career-ending injury and then coming back again on such a sensitive part of my body,” Saraya said. “The fact that she took all that pressure and was like, ‘OK, I’ll be the first person. I want to be the first person to wrestle you.’ And she said, ‘We’ll go as fast as you want to go.’ Even afterward I said, ‘I’m so sorry. I was so slow in there.’ And she said, ‘Are you kidding? I had the time of my life.’ And she was; she’s just been very positive, even in my promos.”