Ahead of her in-ring return at AEW Full Gear, Saraya spoke with Chris Van Vliet to promote her match and to talk about her neck, how she was cleared, and several other topics.
Saraya talking about her neck healing over time:
“In five years, I couldn't believe it. I was like, everyone's body heals differently. I know that like Cena had his neck surgery and within a couple of weeks, he was back in the ring again, or something like that. Edge, it took nine years for him to finally come back to the ring. So I just fought mentally. For a while I couldn't do it because I was too scared. But also, I just didn't know how far my neck came compared to how it was when it first got injured. So I was very fortunate in a way that my neck healed the way it did. I couldn’t believe it. I cried my eyes out. I called my family straightaway. I Face Timed them, and they're all crying and stuff because like wrestling is their life. You know, and for somebody to like, you know, had their career taken away from it at such a young age without, you know, an end in sight when it comes to it. It is just a miracle and absolutely fantastic. So I was just over the moon.”
Saraya said that Sasha Banks was one of the first people she informed that she is back:
“One of the first people I texted was Mercedes, Sasha Banks because Sasha went through a lot too. She wasn't the one that was hurt, but she was the one who accidentally ended someone's career. She went through a lot mentally, like, social media were cruel to her. Then it just messed her up in general, because she was just like, 'I can't believe that happened.' It was a freak accident, you know, wrestling is wrestling, you're gonna get hurt eventually. Luckily, if you don't, you know, in your whole career. you don't get hurt, that's a miracle in itself, but it happens. I just wanted her to be one of the first people to know that I was like, 'I'm back. You don't have to stress anymore, like I'm back. You didn't end it, I'm good.' She was just over the moon. She was so happy. She was very pleased for me. She was very encouraging. I just like the fact that it kind of took all that weight off her shoulders too.”
Saraya said she wanted to have a match with Sasha Banks:
“I really wanted to have that match for Sasha. Like, I wanted to have that rematch with her, because we have a built in story you know, so I really wanted that. But she's kind of going down her own path and stuff now, doing her own thing. You don't know where she's going to be. She has an exciting life going on right now. I'm very pleased and like she's building her career outside of wrestling too, you know, awesome, and Naomi. So it's really really cool to see. But I get to face Britt too, who I've always wanted to face, and then in this brand new company as well. The crazy part is that she's always been like a big fan of mine. I've seen the interviews with Britt. I've seen them all. She was a fan of mine so it's kind of cool that I get to have a comeback story with her, and she's so supportive. So I'm excited. I'm excited to have that match. One day I'll have that match with Sasha, though."
On the reaction from the crowd on her AEW debut:
“I have never had a pop like that before in my life, and I had a good reaction coming back the first time. I was like, I'm back, you know? That was crazy. Then like my debut just for the Divas Championship was crazy. Even when people didn't know who I was back then, you know, but it just felt really good to have just all the support from so many people. It just felt really good. I was like, man, they really did miss me. Because again, you get in your head a lot. You're like, well, maybe not because social media is real. Then it's, you know, the trolls that follow us on social media. You think the whole world hates when in fact, it's just like six people with different, like multiple accounts just attacking you.”
On getting into an argument with Sebastian Bach:
"He's an as*hole, I was so disappointed. So this is the story right? My boyfriend was about to go and do this festival and then his laptops got stolen. He didn't know where they were. But the laptops are so important because they have the lighting, it has the rap beats, it has the synths, it has everything right? It doesn't have his vocals and stuff on there. He's naturally so gifted with his vocals, but these laptops went missing and he doesn't like to put on half assed shows, right? So he was like, I'd rather cancel than put on a show that's 50%. So Sebastian Bach saw that and said that he's not a real rock star and all that kind of stuff and you shouldn't have to use laptops. It's just like, I don't know if you listened to my music, but I rap in my music too, as well as sing so like the band can’t just do these like rap beats like, you know, you can't just do that using your instruments and f*cking beatboxing. You need laptops, there's laptops for that and for the lights and stuff like that. Then Sebastian Bach tried to say that he never canceled shows, which he has. But he also said that he doesn't use laptops, which he does. Like, there's literally videos of him with the laptop. I don't know what he's talking about. But he just decided to say that when he's not a real rock star. We didn't realize how much Sebastian Bach was f*cking hated. This guy is a menace. He got into an argument with Chris Jericho at one point, like he is a menace.”
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Also, be sure to subscribe to "Insight with Chris Van Vliet" on your mobile device by clicking here if you have an iOS device or here on your Android device.