POST NEWS UPDATE: Saraya recalls time period when she was completely inactive at WWE, did not enjoy that & says she was miserable

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/05/23/post-news-update-saraya-recalls-time-period-when-she-was-completely-inactive-at-wwe-did-not-enjoy-that-says-she-was-miserable/

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** The Mark Hoke Show welcomed Saraya onto the podcast. She looked back on the period of her non-in-ring time with WWE when she was not actively involved. Saraya stated that they did not want her doing media and she was not given much freedom. That period of time was described as ‘miserable’.

It’s not replaceable though. The feeling that you get from something you love is just not replaceable. You can’t just fill it with something else. I was doing Twitch but I was also being held back so much when I was in the WWE because they just didn’t give me the freedom to do what I wanted to do, to even try and find something else that could potentially fill that void and then also, they didn’t want me doing media, they didn’t want me to do anything so I was sitting on my ass for a couple years and people thought I enjoyed that. No, I hated that. I was miserable, it made me very depressed. Not to the point where I started doing drugs and drinking again because I was a lot smarter by that point but it would make me so miserable, like not being able to do anything.

She further dove into the WWE Divas Championship win over A.J. Lee on her first night on Monday Night Raw. She stated that it was Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque pitching for her to be on the main roster. Saraya feels WWE came to the realization that they could make money with her.

Dude, seriously, I get chills every time (I think about my first WWE Divas Title win) but I think it’s because — Triple H was really wonderful with us in NXT. It was FCW then he took over and named it NXT. Yeah, so I just won the NXT Women’s Championship and it was the first-ever female match that was on the Network. Remember that? (She laughed) The Network? And so we were the first-ever females on the first-ever pay-per-view that was on it and then my t-shirt got released which was the ‘Think Again’ t-shirt that Triple H had made for me and it sold out instantly, like that. It’s done, it’s sold out so I think they were just like, oh, she could make us money and so they were like, let’s bring her up on the main roster and also, it was just something different. I feel like there was only one of me down in NXT at the time. The pale, goth chick who wore a lot of black and studs and stuff like that. Now it’s the norm and it’s really cool to see so many different alternative girls out there. But at the time, I was thinking about Lita when I was dressing like that. I was like, I love Lita. That’s who inspired me to be myself and my mother of course. She’s crazy but, yeah, I feel like it was a different flavor of ice cream and it was the shake-up that the division needed at the time too. It was Triple H who was the one like pitching for me to go on the main roster and Vince (McMahon) was like, ‘Fine! But she has to wear purple’ and that was it. So I had to get my purple wrestling gear and I slowly transitioned back into the black again eventually and he didn’t notice again.

** For a portion of Kip Sabian’s AEW run, he was paired with Miro. He told Sean Smith on the Sappenin’ Podcast that he enjoyed working with Miro, but the character Sabian was portraying was not really who he is. He added that he was prediabetic at the time on top of dealing with a torn labrum.

Then we (Sabian & Penelope Ford) had the thing with Miro which was great fun because I get on great with Miro. Shout out to Miro. He’s probably one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met. He was very, very enjoyable to work with… But with me, he was very enjoyable to work with because he was always open to the ideas that we had. But, as much as I enjoyed doing that, the character that I was portraying during all this time, it wasn’t really me, I couldn’t find the me that I wanted. I liked video games so we did the video game thing but, it wasn’t really me and I look back now and I’m like, ah, there’s a lot I would have changed. Plus, during this time, I was prediabetic at one point which was horrible, because American soda is full of sugar and I’m an idiot and drank too much of it. God damn you. So yeah, I was prediabetic and then I tore my labrum which, you know, progressively got worse but I wanted to continue the story we were doing so I kept it very close to my chest at that point that it was hurting as much as it was. So I was basically being held together by tape the whole time. But it wasn’t until I went away that I started to realize what I could do with wrestling from a creative standpoint.

When Sabian came back to AEW television, he would often be shown in the crowd with a box over his head. He recounted a time when a fan took the box off his head. Kip took the box back, snatched the fan’s hat and chucked it into the crowd.

Well there was one time when someone did that (took the box off my head while I was in the crowd). So I threw this thing on the stairs or whatever. I’d be like joking around, like left or right trying to — and this one guy was not having it. He was pissed. I found that this is kind of funny… And he just goes, grabs my box and takes it off my head and no word of a lie, I was so like, ‘You dickhead.’ So I grab my box back and put my box on and I grab his hat and I run up the stairs to the top of one of the higher balcony areas and I just throw it into the crowd, and no joke, I was sitting there, as soon as I did that and I went, oh, I hope I don’t get in trouble for this, and thankfully, nothing came of it. I guess it was an eye for an eye scenario but yeah, that happened.

Back in 2018-2019, Sabian was part of the World of Sport reboot. He thinks there was miscommunication within the promotion and the gaming division ended up editing the wrestling program. He stated that key pieces of in-ring work were edited out.

World of Sport came around. So, I did the Ring of Honor thing, World of Sport came around after that and I signed to do that because we were promised, ‘This is gonna be the resurgence of British wrestling. We’re gonna be on TV and it’s gonna be great and it’s gonna be wrestling, it’s gonna be wrestling and you know, it’s gonna be great and wrestling and you know, it’s gonna be wrestling’ and I was like, ‘Yo, I love wrestling. Let’s do some wrestling.’ So we went in there, we filmed the World of Sport tapings and everyone that was on those tapings was super happy with the matches that we put out. Unfortunately, there must have been a miscommunication situation where it must have been edited by I think the game show team. So they cut out all of the heat and all of the working and it just became a highlight reel for matches, which is why the wrestling fans that watched the show weren’t into it as much because it wasn’t wrestling to them. But that was a really good experience. So I did that.

** Joining Bobby Fish’s Undisputed Podcast was John Morrison. He shared that a friend of his was hired by WWE to be a writer. Morrison told said individual that if he was to express how he thinks there’s something wrong with the product, he would not last long. Morrison said his friend did just that and was let go in a few weeks.

There’s a buddy of mine, ended up getting hired as a writer and he kept pointing out to me all the things that were wrong with the storytelling and how WWE was run and I told him for a couple of months, ‘Everyone is aware. All the other writers know this and Vince and the whole office, they know this. I promise you, if you say all these things, you’re gonna last less than a month.’ Guess how long he lasted? Three weeks. So he moved to Connecticut and he’s a smart guy and a good writer. He wrote movies and TV. It’s just like what we’re talking about. We see the problems and then you have the choice. You can’t just speak up because that doesn’t solve or fix or change anything. They just fire you.

** There’s an interview with TJP on the Counted Out with Mike & Tyler podcast feed. As he was recounting his experience in the 2016 WWE Cruiserweight Classic, he claimed that Lucha Underground was going to make him an offer.

There was a time (during the WWE Cruiserweight Classic) I was consistently a little bit late. That sort of thing and usually, those are like zero strike offenses in that place and I found it odd that they didn’t care I didn’t follow dress code. If I was late for a meeting or orientation or something, they would bring me into a backroom and kind of be like, ‘Okay, don’t worry about that. We’ll catch you up on everything and here’s just what we need you to do for today’ and I was like, you guys are being so nice to me. This is odd. This is very backwards from previous experiences, you know? In retrospect and this is sort of Monday morning quarterbacking but I probably, if I was smarter, I could’ve guessed they’re treating me special for a reason. But I didn’t think about that at the time but there were clues even though I didn’t ask what I was doing. I just was gonna one-and-done and I was gonna go to Lucha Underground. I didn’t care to be there to be honest and then after each match with (Da) Mack and then with (Johnny) Gargano, it’s like the entirety of the who’s who of the office infrastructure was there waiting for me behind the curtain. Shawn (Michaels) and Hunter and (William) Regal, Terry Taylor, Norman Smiley, all the guys that were really important to that system were waiting for me and like, ‘Is everything okay? Do you need anything?’ Super complimentary. Literally, no criticism whatsoever and I know I’m good at this but I don’t think I’m that good. You can tell me something but they were almost coddling me and I remember thinking, this is not normal and again, in retrospect, perhaps if I really stopped and looked at the time, it’s like maybe I’m an investment for them. But then, yeah, at a certain point I was asked who a preferable opponent in the finals would be and that was after round two and I knew that, okay, they want me to do this, yeah, and it was just weird to me because everybody had not yet negotiated with the company. So it was like maybe one more round, they all sat us down, everybody, from (Kota) Ibushi to (Zack) Sabre (Jr.), all the way down the line. We all sat together in one big room all together and they had four different kind of areas set up. Terry Taylor and Hunter and Regal and Matt Bloom were all at different sections, Canyon Ceman, and they would call us up one by one to these sections and privately offer us what they wanted and I remember very vividly sitting next there with Sabre. Zack is an old friend of mine and he was like, ‘I really wanna get started with New Japan soon. I’m gonna ask them for a year. If I can come back in a year and talk about this again.’ Obviously, he never looked back and I told Zack kind of the same. I said, ‘You know, Lucha Underground is gonna make me an offer and I really wanna do that project. Very unique.’ Still is unique to me, I love that show. It’s a shame it’s not still going, and I said, ‘I’m not gonna accept the offer’ and I didn’t at first. It was weird that they were so invested in me even with all these major players still on the table and without a commitment from me.

The conversation turned over to NJPW Best of the Super Juniors and TJP remembered wrestling ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey early in Bailey’s career. TJP said Bailey knocked him out with a kick.

He (‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey) knocked me out the first time we wrestled (TJP laughed)… Yeah, knocked me out cold. He smoked me with a kick, I didn’t see it coming and we got through it. It was in New York, I think for EVOLVE, if I remember correctly. He was a lot newer and younger at the time and it wasn’t — not that it matters. It was just not the version of Mike that you’re getting now exactly but he was really good back then so, I guess that might be interpreted kind of wrong (he laughed). He was incredibly talented then and now he’s just as good, he’s incredible. But yeah, it was a funny story. We laugh about that often. He put me to sleep the first time we worked.

** Ahead of IMPACT Wrestling Under Siege, Trinity Fatu spoke to Darren Paltrowitz and shared that she’s been speaking to WWE ring announcer Samantha Irvin and former announcer JoJo Offerman about collaborating on musical projects.

I’ve been talking to Samantha (Irvin) about working on music with her, and JoJo, we recorded songs together like years ago that we just kind of got away from because of our lifestyle and work and family, all the things that kind of takes you away from it. So, we really want to, at some point get back together now that life is in a whole different space to get back on these passion projects and do some fun stuff and give our fans another side of us that we like and that they love to see from us.

** At NXT Stand & Deliver, Tiffany Stratton did a flip off a ladder and attempted to land on her opponents on the outside. She landed back-first on the floor. She told Comicbook Nation about that moment:

Yeah, it did (hurt when I landed on the outside at NXT Stand & Deliver). I think it hurt me more than it hurt my opponents. But yeah, that’s just the price you have to pay when you take risks and I take risks all the time. Sometimes I shouldn’t but, whatever (she laughed).

** Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair was interviewed by PEOPLE.com.

** Guest appearing on McGuire on Wrestling was Jimmy Jacobs.

** Episode #175 of Cultaholic Desert Island Graps featured PCO.

** Dragongate Japan Pro-Wrestling Results (5/23/23) Morioka Gym in Iwate, Japan
– Masaaki Mochizuki, Susumu Mochizuki & Yasushi Kanda def. Kzy, BIGBOSS Shimizu & U-T
– KAI def. Daiki Yanagiuchi
– Kota Minoura & Ben-K def. Genki Horiguchi & La Estrella
– Yuki Yoshioka & Don Fujii def. Dragon Kid & JACKY ‘FUNKY’ KAMEI
– Jason Lee & Strong Machine J def. Minorita & B×B Hulk
– YAMATO, Dragon Dia & Madoka Kikuta def. Shun Skywalker, Diamante & H.Y.O

** May 23rd birthdays: Alex Shelley and Kiana James.

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.