LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — AEW wrestler Saraya is ready to take on Las Vegas for the company’s “Double or Nothing” pay-per-view event.
The ‘All Elite’ wrestler spoke to Las Vegas Now host JC Fernandez about where she got her unique name. As it turns out, it has a unique story.
“My mum was tripping on acid at a Slayer concert in the 80s,” said Saraya. “She misheard Slayer for Saraya, and that’s how I got my name.”
The wrestler’s real-life path to the world of sports entertainment was dramatized in the 2019 film Fighting With My Family, where actress Florence Pugh portrayed her. Then called Paige, Saraya was a champion in World Wrestling Entertainment before neck injuries forced her from the ring. She said her former company gave her two options for her ring name.
“It was Mara, like [Rooney Mara] from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or Echo, and I was like, ‘I am not going to be called Echo. That’s so embarrassing,'” said Saraya. “I liked the show Charmed, which is Rose McGowan — she’s pale with a butt chin just like me — and I was like, ‘that’s me.’ Her name was Paige on the show.”
More recently, Saraya has returned to the squared circle with All Elite Wrestling to a thunderous ovation. During her debut with the company, she wasn’t confident fans would immediately recognize her after the name change.
“I’m like, ‘They’re never going to know who I am,'” she said. “And then my name popped up, and they went ballistic. […] I just didn’t expect that reaction from the crowd.”
She said her return to the ring didn’t come easy.
“I was done with my wrestling career. Done,” she said. This was before she was checked out by medical professionals who, five years later, told her there was nothing wrong with her neck and that she could return to the sport she loved.
“No one tells you how intimidating it is to get back in the swing of things, and then you have to take bumps where you throw your body on the ground, you have to let somebody like throw you around,” she said. “So it took me a while to get my confidence, but my confidence is back now.”
Those reactions changed as Saraya partnered with Ruby Soho and Toni Storm to form ‘The Outcasts.’ She said the negative reactions are what she’s looking for.
“The more you boo me, the happier it makes me, and it’s easier to get people to hate you than love you, that’s for sure,” she said. One of the ways The Outcasts leave their literal mark on the competition is by spray painting their moniker on opponents.
“Even when I’m not in the match, I spray paint all the fans, too,” she said. “So if you’re in the front row, be careful.”
Saraya will be part of the Double or Nothing pay-per-view event scheduled to bow at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday, May 28. The tentpole event will not be the only AEW show coming to the “entertainment capital of the world” on Memorial Day weekend. Additionally, on Wednesday, May 24, and Friday, May 26, televised AEW events will originate from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
While Saraya’s place on the card hasn’t yet been announced, she’s calling out AEW’s deadly dentist, Dr. Britt Baker, DMD, with whom she has had run-ins in the past few weeks.
“She’s always trying to come after me,” she said of Baker. “She’s trying to get that little star power rub. You’ll get up there, baby girl. You just started, though.”
In addition to the pay-per-view, All Elite Wrestling will hold a Fan Fest event at the MGM Grand Conference Center on May 27 starting at 10:00 a.m. The event will include on-stage shows and meet and greets available to purchase as an add-on to tickets. Tickets for Fan Fest are available on AXS.
Scheduled matches for Double or Nothing include AEW champion MJF vs. Jungle Boy, Darby Allin, and Sammy Guevara in a four-way match and FTR vs. Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett for the AEW tag team championships. Tickets for the pay-per-view are available on aewtix.com.