Madison Rayne On Mae Young Classic, Final Battle 2018, Women’s Wrestling & More

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During a recent interview with The Mirror in the UK, ROH’s Madison Rayne spoke about all things wrestling as she prepares for the upcoming Final Battle 2018 event.

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You’ve had quite the year. Having reflected on all of these moments, is there any one in particular that stands out as a favourite to you?

It’s really difficult to pinpoint a favourite because they were all so special in different ways. Competing for the Knockouts title again and having the opportunity to potentially become the six-time Knockouts Champion was really special. Also the lead up to that match and things I was able to do with Su Yung, Tessa Blanchard and Taya Valkyrie was so much fun for me. I hadn’t wrestled with those three women prior to those several matches I had. I had so much fun with the pre-taped stuff with Su-Yung and that really helped to build to that match at Slammiversary, which was so much fun.

I don’t have to say why the Mae Young Classic meant so much to me. After 13 years, to have that opportunity to stand out there and look across and see the WWE logo on the turnbuckles, it felt like everything I had done came together for that moment.

Having been in the business for as long as you have, do you feel the way that women’s wrestling is received is different to when you started out?

To a degree, but I don’t want to say that I am used to it. For me Shimmer was the first big platform that gave me an opportunity, so many of us are grateful to Dave Prazak [Prazak established Shimmer in 2005]. It’s been different for me in the last few years in the sense that while I was always very concerned about in-ring work. In the early years of my career I was a part of the Beautiful People and was a big, larger than life character. At that time people looked forward to the backstage segments as much as the in-ring work.

I think there is a difference in the way fans perceive women’s wrestling now. There is an expectation now that the matches should be higher quality to what there was, say nine years ago. With that said though, IMPACT has always given great attention to its Knockouts division and I have been very fortunate to work with Shimmer, TNA and now ROH.

We are just over a week removed from another huge moment for you in 2018. You are competing at the ROH PPV Final Battle, which takes place at the famous Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. How do you find wrestling in the Hammerstein and what does it mean to you to be wrestling at this event?

It’s one of the most historic venues for pro wrestling and what better way to finish this year that has been so tremendous and successful than to have my Final Battle at the Hammerstein. It is the first time the Women of Honor World Championship is being defended at a PPV. Having taken part in a huge four way match at ALL IN, I guess four women matches are my thing. I am planning on going in and coming out on the other side feeling as proud as I did after ALL IN. I have wrestled all three of my opponents and know what they bring to the table.