Ring Of Honor star Madison Rayne was a guest on this week’s The Jim Ross Report. Rayne talked about balancing family life with professional wrestling, whether she prefers working as a babyface or a heel, the Women’s Revolution, and more. Highlights appear below.
(Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, WrestleZone)
Rayne On Balancing Family Life With Her Wrestling Career:
I went back to wrestling, when I was with IMPACT, when my daughter was ten or eleven weeks old, as quickly as my body would let me back in the ring, I was back in action. At first, I was really nervous and I didn’t know how – being a first time mom, as it is, was nerve wracking enough – but how was I gonna balance all these things? I was fortunate enough that IMPACT wanted to have me back.
As the years have gone on and I’ve kind of figured out my groove, I’ve realized that the amount of time that I’m gone is far less than somebody who works a normal 9-5, Monday through Friday. I’ve been able to spend time with my daughter that some people don’t get. I’m actually very fortunate and very thankful that my career has allowed me all the freedom, and all the time that I’ve had to be home before she started her school career. I’ve been really lucky.
On Working With The Beautiful People Early In Her IMPACT Wrestling Career:
I went into my first year at TNA wrestling completely blind. I was an independent wrestler just chasing my dream. When I signed my first contract, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. All I knew is that I wanted to wrestle and I was very fortunate that when I first started wrestling on TV people put me in The Beautiful People. It was already an established group. Angelina [Love] and Velvet [Sky] had already done incredible things for women’s wrestling at that time and created that group. I was given a golden opportunity to step into that role. I was well taken care of. Those two helped me tremendously in learning how to be a heel because in the four years I spent on the independent scene. I was 22 years old, 110 pounds, and blonde, so I was always cast as the babyface. I was learning to be this new character on television, but I was so young and just excited to be there that I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know to be nervous, or to overthink things at the time. I guess that was a blessing in disguise.
Rayne On Whether She Prefers Working As A Heel Or A Face:
I’ve gone back and forth over the years. My first several years at IMPACT, I loved being a heel and the character as The Queen Bee kind of just came to be really. Vince Russo gave me a lot of creative freedom that way and I did pageants and things when I was younger, so it was kind of revisiting an aspect of my youth, but turning it up and being a heel character, so that was a lot of fun.
As my daughter has gotten older and old enough that she can understand that she can come to a show and watch and know that I’m not really (knock on wood) getting hurt, it’s fun for her to be in the crowd and hear everyone cheer for me, so that’s fun, but I’ve always been told that I’m a natural heel. I don’t know, if that’s a compliment or not.
On Room For Growth In ROH For Women:
Absolutely [there’s room for growth]. I had my first big stage to wrestle on at Ring of Honor before I started my journey at TNA. At that time, it was very sporadic that they would have women’s matches. If there was a female presence on the shows at that time, most of the time it was in a managerial capacity, but the way they have over the last 2 or 3 years invested back into the women, and giving them this brand of Women of Honor, and bringing in international talent, and really being selective about the women they bring in.
It’s an exciting time for women’s wrestling across the board in all promotions, but I think there’s something really special and unique about Ring of Honor, and about Women of Honor, and that’s what drew me to wanting to call Ring of Honor home. I was so fortunate. I had a great 2018. I thought there was something special and to your point, a lot of room for growth. That’s how the Knockouts Division felt for me back in 2009 when I started there. My goal in being a part of the Women of Honor brand is to be able to help that brand grow in the same way I hope I was able to do with the Knockouts.
On The Women’s Revolution In WWE:
I love it. I’m 100% behind it. A lot of the women that are there now, I was able to work with on independent promotions or at Shimmer where it’s all women’s wrestling. I know how hard the current group of women have worked to make those individual brands and the women’s divisions on RAW, and SmackDown, and down at NXT, so successful. On a personal level, it makes me happy to see people that I’ve watched work so hard be able to step into the spotlight the way that they deserve. I’ve been asked in a variety of ways how I feel about the Women’s Revolution and this person says that this woman did it first, and this other group says WWE did it first. For me, at the end of the day, I’m just really happy that women’s wrestling is where it is right now and it’s a collective effort. It’s not just this generation or the one right before this one. We wouldn’t have a Mae Young Classic – I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to compete last year had it not been for women like Mae Young. I think it’s been a journey, and a long process, and a collaborative effort of a lot of generations, and I’m thankful to be able to be a part of it in a small way, and also thankful to be able to sit back and watch what the women in WWE are doing.
On Opening Doors For Future Generations:
I think we acknowledge that the spotlight we’re being given right now is not something to be taken lightly. As we, I’m speaking of females in the business this time in general. I feel we have an obligation to do it right because opportunities like this don’t come around everyday. If we can all do something as special as what we’re given the opportunity to do right now, then that will continue to open doors hopefully for future generations.
Readers may listen to Jim Ross’ full interview with Madison Rayne below: