Video: Norwich’s Paige becomes double champion of the WWE wrestling world
14:25 09 April 2014
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009
She was brought up on a Norwich council estate and, at 21, is now the youngest person and only woman to be double champion of the wrestling world.
21-year-old Saraya-Jade Bevis, or Paige, as she is known in WWE, is the current NXT Women’s Champion and, as of the early hours of yesterday, the WWE Divas Champion.
From a family of wrestlers, Saraya originally wanted to be a vet but got a taste of life in the ring at the age of just 13 when her dad asked her to stand in for someone else at the last minute.
Her brother Zak said the whole of Norwich had been behind Saraya, flooding his and other family members Facebook pages with messages of support.
“It shouldn’t be called Facebook today - it should be called Paigebook,” he said. “And she has been trending worldwide on Twitter all day. She was crying down the phone when I spoke to her, saying ‘I can’t believe I have done it’.”
Saraya, who was watched by millions across the globe, claimed the second title after stepping into the ring to congratulate world champion, AJ Lee. The American did not take kindly to her support and put her belt up for grabs in a challenge.
“My sister beat her in two minutes,” said Zak.
“And now she is double champion. We just can’t believe it.”
Saraya’s father, Ricky Knight, who is also a boxer said he was “over the moon” after watching his daughter on TV.
“Since she has been over in America, her success has been phenomenal,” he said.
“She has always trained and worked hard with her family but she was never interested in being a professional wrestler. After I asked her to stand in for someone when she was 13, she got the buzz and has never wanted to go back.”
Mr Knight said he was especially proud of his daughter for remaining humble throughout her incredible journey.
“I don’t think she will ever get an ego,” he said.
“She is just a normal girl, a girl that everyone loves.”