Emotional and raw are the words that describe WWE’s latest Chronicle, as it shows the journey of former WWE Divas Champion, Paige.
British-born wrestler Paige takes us on a journey with her as she shows her return back on the road on the November 20th 2017, edition of Raw. It was great to see the vulnerable side to Paige, as WWE fans will know, we only see this confident side to her. WWE Chronicle showed us this side to Paige that was scared to mess up and not be welcomed back with open arms.
It was amazing to see Paige come back and to reclaim what is rightfully hers, her house. Before going out to see the thousands of fans, it was a really touching moment to see Stephanie and Paige have an encounter. It’s moments like this, that make watching WWE, or any form of wrestling worthwhile. We don’t see Stephanie show off her soft side, so seeing this, as a fan, was really nice to see.
Her return wasn’t just about her though, she returned with the debuts of NXT talent, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. This was special for Paige, as she was one of the judges on Tough Enough and now it was shown that she was the mentor to these rookies. It clearly meant a lot for Paige, as she wasn’t the only fresh face on the road. Paige’s alliance with the two rookies was called ‘Absolution’ and they made an impact attacking some of the top women on the Raw division.
The following week on November 27th, before Absolution made their way out, we get to see an encounter of the three women backstage and again this was something that WWE never shows. Rose and Deville have been portrayed as heels so it was refreshing to see a different side to the women.
Throughout the programme we swap from action taking place in the ring, to a direct conversation with Paige. This was real. It was direct to the audience. It made the viewer feel like Paige was almost having a conversation with them and it made me appreciate her a lot more. She talks about mental health and family problems. It’s vital that performers, such as Paige are open about their personal lives, as it allows for conversations such as mental health be a common and acceptable thing to talk about. This particular part was strong and hard-hitting.
We then see Paige’s moment, the moment she had been waiting a year and a half to do. Wrestle again. I felt for the performer, as this is something that was new to her.
The editing that was done for her return match was breath-taking and I felt every hit. By the way it was edited it was shown to be dramatic and the result of doing this was effective. Following her return match, we return backstage were I was touched as I was watched Paige’s interaction with Triple H and Vince McMahon. It was sincere and it was effective while watching the programme.
On the December 18th edition of Raw, it saw the announcement of the first women’s Royal Rumble. A massive step for the company and giving women a bigger platform. This was something that women, such as Paige had worked hard for and seeing her reaction was absolutely amazing. Watching Raw, you wouldn’t have realised how much of an impact it had on Paige individually but watching this, it really highlighted the impact it had on her.
However, the week after, things started to go downhill for the former champion, as she suffered severe whiplash, which caused her not to be able to feel her body. This was intense to watch and I felt for Paige. While the clip of her struggling to move in the ring was shown, there was a voiceover of Paige talking about it felt to be in that moment. It was a well done voice over, which you saw the pain and struggle of the wrestler.
Some content produced by WWE in terms of reality TV, is subject to question. However, when Paige was on the phone to her parents talking about the end of her career, it was incredible. I was moved because it showed the audience how much wrestling meant to her. It was heart breaking to watch but it was real and the message that WWE wanted to get across about her, was certainly received.
With her injury nearly causing Paige to be paralysed, she missed the Royal Rumble match, which she was gutted to miss. However, it all came to an end in April 2018, where she announced her retirement and she said to the fans that it will “always be my house.” It was a sad time to see Paige leave but it wasn’t the end of her WWE career…
A powerful Chronicle produced by WWE, showcasing emotional and powerful moments of the former champion, in particular her retirement from the ring. We saw a different side to Paige and it was welcoming to see, as it was an excellent watch.