Madison Rayne Discusses the New Impact Knockouts Division Versus the Original One, more
Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio
Guest: Madison Rayne (Teleconference)
Your Host: James Walsh
Here is the Impact Wrestling conference call with Madison Rayne from yesterday. This was one of the most touted conference call the company has done in some time.
To check it out in MP3 format or stream the YouTube video of this and any of our prior 537 interviews, check out www.WrestlingEpicenter.com.
She said: “She’s making such a massive buzz. She’s making her mark on women’s wrestling in such a big way. For me, those are the kind of opponents I need and the kind of opponents I want. At this point in my career, I feel for me personally, I want to prove to myself that I still deserve to be in wrestling and still deserve to be in the Knockouts Division; which I hold in very high regard. The idea of having a feud with her is exciting to me. It pushes me to work really hard to be prepared.”
When asked who she’d like to face in Impact, she said Taya Valkyrie, Kiera Hogan, and Su Young.
Later in the interview it turned to baseball, where she mentioned that she is a Chicago Cubs fan. She said she got into baseball through her oldest brother, who had been a Cubs fan his entire life. She followed Ryne Sandberg since she was four years old. With her wrestling career it’s hard to follow as closely, but her current favorites are Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. When they won the World Series in 2016, she celebrated in her home with her husband and daughter wondering what was wrong with her. Since she is in Ohio, she described an awkward moment in which she went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and asked about Cubs championship gear. The Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians to win.
On the current state of the Knockouts division and her role in the division today: “This group is by far the most diverse group of Knockouts that I’ve ever been part of, and they’re equally as hard working. Back in 2007 when this whole division was getting started, I wasn’t there at the onset of it, but shortly after that I came in, so I’ve been very fortunate to see many different faces. I’ve been in the the ring with so many different Knockouts over the years, and I would say without a doubt, even in just being back for a short time—they’re young, they’re hungry and they feel like they have something to prove. They are ready to make their mark in women’s wrestling and in Knockouts history. I’m excited for them, and I’m excited to be on this side of it. When I came in in 2009, I was the Kiera Hogan, I was the Tessa Blanchard; I was young and hungry, and I needed to make my mark. I never stopped growing and changing—and I think that’s the worst thing that you can do in a business like professional wrestling—but I definitely feel like I’m a bit more comfortable and a bit more settled in the Knockouts division. To be able to see these young up-and-comers go in there and give it 100% when they’ve had a match, and to see how hungry they are to be a part of something I helped create in a way; it feels really good.”
On why right now is not the right time to reintroduce the Impact Knockouts Tag Titles: “That’s such a hard question for me, because even the years that I wrestled on the independent scene before my first time with Impact Wrestling, I have an affinity for, and I love tag team wrestling. I think as strong as the division is, adding another element, as far as the tag titles is right now as far as this moment, it might not be the best timing. While the Knockouts division is quite talented, and I’ve spoken to that quite a bit; it’s not a deep roster. In terms of when we had those Knockouts Tag Team Championships before, we had 15-17—I don’t remember the exact number—but we had so many women and opportunities for The Beautiful People, and Sarita and Taylor Wilde to form those teams. It made more sense at the time; I feel like with the talent we have now it’s best to just keep the Knockouts title, and then down the road, as things grow and progress in the Knockouts division—if it gets a bit deeper, and richer, and we get some more women coming in—I definitely think that’s something that could and should be visited. I think that timing is everything, and right now I don’t believe now is the perfect time to bring those titles back.”
On what drew her interest to come back to Impact in her latest run: “Every time that I come back to Impact Wrestling it’s planned, it’s calculated. I have a clear vision of what I’m doing, so like I said, being in the ring wasn’t exactly what I thought I was coming back to do. Commentary is something that I really love and it has challenged me in the short time that I was able to do it. I was excited to do that, but at the end of the day, wrestling is what brought me to the game, and it’s what’s going to keep me in it. This division reminds me a lot of the division that I stepped into in 2009; it was a lot of young, hungry women that all they wanted to do was wrestle and make their mark. For me to be back now, and to be in the ring with people like Kiera Hogan, and Tessa [Blanchard] and Allie, Rosemary, Su Yung and all of these women who are just as hungry now—as I was now, and continue to be—I think that slightly trumps my goal of tying that record as a six-time Knockouts Champion. I’m testing myself and having those moments like I did with Gail [Kim] and like I did with Tara and [Roxxi Laveaux]. When I get back at the end of the match I self-reflect and I’m like ‘wow, that match really made me grow as a performer.’ Those are the moments that I look forward the most to at this point in my career.”