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Saraya Can’t Be Another Ex-WWE Wrestler Who Gets Lost in AEW’s Noise

Leading up to Dynamite Grand Slam, Tony Khan promised a surprise, and AEW fans got a big one in Saraya. Formerly known as Paige with WWE, the company decided not to renew her contract in July. Several Impact wrestlers reached out to her about heading to that promotion. At the same time, some speculated that the new Triple H regime would be interested in bringing Saraya back into the fold. She landed with AEW, however, and it’s a significant shot in the arm for a women’s division that’s been limping along for months. Or at least that’s what Saraya should be now that she’s gone All Elite.


That doesn’t mean Tony Khan will book her as such, however, and his recent track record regarding former WWE performers is mildly concerning. Athena was viewed as a big get for the promotion when she debuted back at Double Or Nothing, and audiences hoped that she could help the company piece together a meaningful storyline with Jade Cargill. Instead, that feud got left on the backburner while AEW focused on building toward the Forbidden Door pay-per-view. By the time Cargill and Athena clashed, there was no suspense and no reason for fans to invest emotion into the match. Ruby Soho, another former NXT standout underutilized by WWE, also failed to make much of a splash following her exciting debut.

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The bloated roster is littered with former standouts who struggle to find airtime, both female and male. When Miro was in WWE as Rusev, journalists stumbled all over themselves to claim he’d be a world champion with any other promotion. These days, he struggles to get onto television. Ditto for Andrade El Idolo, who looked like a can’t-miss star during his days in NXT but fizzled out in WWE before landing in AEW and not doing much of anything. That same fate can’t await Saraya, who hasn’t wrestled a match since 2017. There’s a built-in story to be told here if AEW is willing to, for once, commit time, effort, and energy to someone in the women’s division.

AEW Can Change The Narrative With Saraya

Up until Grand Slam, the women’s division felt stagnant. Tony Khan has missed a massive opportunity to turn Jamie Hayter face to feud with Britt Baker. Thunder Rosa’s championship run essentially felt flat, while it’s unclear if Toni Storm is ready to be the face of the division at this time. Those questions don’t surround Saraya, even if she never reached the heights of a Becky Lynch or Sasha Banks while in WWE. At just 30 years old, Saraya has an opportunity to change the narrative surrounding her time in the wrestling business, and through that, AEW can shift how its fans view the women’s division. Much like how WWE leveraged the four horsewomen to shift how its fans viewed women’s wrestling.

It seems like the AEW audience still has an old-school mentality when it comes to performers who aren’t men, largely flipping the channel when someone like Thunder Rosa or Baker pops up on Dynamite. If booked properly (and that’s a major if), Saraya could be responsible for helping turn that tide for AEW and its fan base. Maybe for the first time, the women’s division is front and center in AEW and at the tip of everyone’s tongue. If Tony Khan is wise, he’ll bottle that energy and do something with it next Wednesday on Dynamite. Not a stop-and-start storyline. Not a segment on every third Rampage. Something consistent and at the forefront of programming every week.

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