IT’S the American reality show that’s taken the world by storm and if you still haven’t tuned in to Total Divas, then you’re missing out. The series, now in its third season, follows the personal and professional lives of female wrestling ‘divas’ – and it’s pretty kick-ass.
Saraya-Jade Belvis, known in the ring as Paige, works for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and recently joined Total Divas. She’s the only British cast member. The 22-year-old from Norwich grew up in a wrestling family and fell in love with the sport when her dad convinced her to stand in for a girl who missed a show.
She told us: “I started properly when I was about 14. I had my try-out for WWE when I was 18. It’s a pretty rare job but it’s incredible. It’s the most odd job to ever have. I completely adore it and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
When it comes to diet and fitness, it isn’t all hardcore workouts and super clean food 24 hours a day. In fact, Paige admits she and the girls can’t resist tucking into calorific fast food every now and again.
“We do have a lot of McDonald’s and Burger Kings,” she says. And I do love burgers and pizza. I’m not actually a big chocolate fan but I like cheesecake so I eat a lot of that.”
And how does she burn off all that junk food?
“I go to the gym four times a week and I do a lot of lifting. Sometimes I’ll run up the stairs at stadiums too. My favourite is squats though. I love to squat. Weirdly, I love the feeling of the pain.”
Squats aside, a big part of Paige’s life at the moment is centred around Total Divas. And she’s already gained a new best friend in the form of fellow WWE wrestler Alicia Fox.
She said: “I’m really happy that I get to give Alicia Fox to you guys, we’re just best friends and she is the best. But I do get on with everyone, they’re all really sweet and helpful to me. The girls are all big sweethearts. I love my girls.”
Paige’s fellow Total Divas are already used to her British accent but fans of the show are still surprised.
“A lot of people forget I’m British and so they see the show and they’re like ‘Oh wait, she has a really cool accent’.”
Being a good role model is vital for Paige who likes to teach young girls not to be afraid to stand out and be themselves.
She explained: “It’s really cool because these girls look up to me and they’ll write to me saying ‘I can be myself now, you’ve saved me’ and I just love that. That’s the kind of role model I want to be.”
Her advice to wannabe female wrestlers comes from superstar wrestler and actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who told her to ‘Stay humble and hungry’.
“That’s the best advice I could ever give anyone. If you stay humble and hungry the whole time, you’re gonna get very far.”
We’ll make sure we do that then!