It’s been a while since I’ve been on here dealing with some external projects, but when I got the news regarding Paige, I just had to write an article on it. So for those of you living on Jupiter for the past 36 hours, news broke that private photos and videos of Paige wearing her birthday suit and exchanging in some lewd and explicit sexual content leaked over the Internet (and rumors suggest that more divas such as Emma and Summer Rae may be next). The content displayed Paige engaging in intercourse with former WWE personality Brad Maddox and former tag team champion and current RAW superstar Xavier Woods.
When I saw that the content had leaked and when I had heard that Maddox and Woods was involved, I instantly assumed that this was during Paige’s NXT tenure as NXT Women’s Champion, because for obvious reasons of him being in a relationship with Alberto Del Rio recently, this had to be sometime in the past. This also instantly reminded me of the time where explicit photos of then Mr. Money In The Bank Seth Rollins, who had nude photos leaked and posted a message similar to Paige:
I would like to apologize to all the WWE fans and my family and friends for private photographs that were distributed without my consent.
— Seth Rollins (@WWERollins) February 10, 2015
Lewd content and leaks happen all the time in the celebrity world and those in WWE haven’t been exempt from leaks happening. However, everything always seems to be circumstantial. For example, with the Rollins leak, he hadn’t face any real discipline, was a prominent face for WWE and never had a wellness violation. That leak also didn’t seem to impend his WWE Title run later that year. However, in Paige’s case, things become much more complicated. Not only did she have multiple videos and photos released, but she also been suspended twice. In addition, she is on some sour terms with WWE as of this moment, and this is sure not to help matters. This especially when you consider that apparently in one of the videos, she uses the NXT Women’s Championship as some sort of prop, essentially sullying the title that was also held by Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Bayley.
For one thing, I think this increases the likelihood of Paige never appearing on WWE television again. If WWE does decide to overlook this, it may be a while before WWE allows Paige back on television to allow some of the freshness of the controversy to dissipate, similar to what they are doing with Hulk Hogan after his racial comments were leaked. As mentioned before, Paige has had a shady history of out of the ring incidents that has negatively impacted her standing in WWE, and the relationship could get exacerbated with Alberto Del Rio’s appearance in TNA Impact. You can almost guarantee that if WWE were to bring back Paige once her injury has been healed, there will be some disrespectful group of fans who will try to rib Paige on it. Not to mention, there could potentially be heat with her backstage with some of the other talents. What I was even more shocked was Xavier Woods’ involvement and how this affects him.
What goes on in the personal lives of WWE superstars is none of our concern, and that shouldn’t change even after sensitive content is released. However, I really didn’t peg Xavier Woods to be the kind of guy to get himself involved in this. I’m not saying that what he did was bad, per say. I just didn’t see a guy like him participating in that kind of activity. I’ve only heard positive things about Xavier Woods out of the ring. I’ve only heard positive qualities of Xavier Woods as to how he’s an intelligent human being, pursuing a PhD and being a positive voice in WWE. Not to mention he is involved with the tag team that has the longest reign in WWE history, he also just reached 1 million subscribers for his UpUpDownDown YouTube channel. What I would hate for is to have this incident negatively impact how people may perceive him. In spite of this, I still believe Xavier Woods to be a man of upstanding caliber, and I don’t think this incident that had to have took place around 3-4 years ago changes that fact. It is surprising, to say the least. News came out that Woods and his wife were expecting their first child in December of last year, so this may also cause marital issues that may not have been there before if they were together during the time when the video came out.
Again, I do not believe that activity done out of the ring should result in any severe disciplinary action unless it affects a superstar’s ability to perform or if it would adversely affect WWE’s image by having them on television. So now the question is does this fall into that category? Well, Paige is recovering from surgery so her health may be okay down the line, but does this affect WWE’s image? In the short term, it may. Certainly, the stigma attached to her activity may not leave her if they bring her back any time soon, but I do believe that this may lessen in significance towards the end of this year. I’d hate to think that Paige’s days in WWE were numbered if they weren’t already, but I do believe a settlement between Paige and WWE has to be made. If Paige is highly concerned about her image (and with all of her incidents she may), then it may be a while before we see her. If what Paige has done is deemed to be over the top, then we probably won’t see her on WWE television again. Either way, it will be interesting to see what WWE decides to do going forward.
As a quick aside, I see many people sharing the content online. Believe me, I understand why some people would want to see it, but I’m greatly concerned about Paige’s mental health regarding this. She has stated since then that she has already reached rock bottom so there is little that can affect her, but if this gets more exposure than is needed, then this, God forbid, could get very ugly. Not only for Paige’s sake, but for Woods’ as well. I always believe in trying to see the best out of every human being and we all make mistakes, but I think we can do both of them a great service by simply not spreading it and giving the story legs. We all know there is a ton of ignorant people out there, and don’t be mistaken that celebrities can take it upon themselves to act if it gets too severe. So for those on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, don’t try to make an unfortunate situation worse.