After 13 years in the pro wrestling business, 32-year-old Madison Rayne looks to start a career in the WWE. Her first step is to showcase her talent in the Mae Young Classic, as she was announced as being one of the 32 competitors in the tournament. In an interview with TV Insider, Rayne (now going by the name of Ashley Rayne) shared her reaction when receiving the news via email of being chosen as a participant.
"I cried," said Rayne. "I turned into such a crier the last couple of years. I don't know if it's because I'm a mother, but I cried and cried. It just feels really good after 13 years of really hard work and trying to find out who exactly I wanted to be in the ring and figure out exactly what I wanted my career to look like and what story I wanted to tell. I feel like, after everything I've done, not to say this is the ending point, but this is such an awesome later chapter in the story of my career."
"I never wanted to be a competitor who was starting to decline in the ring before they started to realize maybe it's time," Rayne explained. "I didn't feel like I was that, but for the first time, I think I was in my professional career at a point where I was unsure. I think that those moments, maybe a lack of clarity and being unsure, can really propel you in one direction or another. That's exactly what it did for me. It catapulted me the complete opposite way and motived me. I think there were a number of factors that contributed to that."
Rayne debuted in Impact Wrestling in 2009, joining the Beautiful People stable. Rayne used this association to become one of the most decorated female competitors in Impact Wrestling history in her nine years with the company, winning the Knockouts Championship five times and the Knockouts Tag Team Championship twice. Rayne now has the distinct honor of competing in WWE, Impact, and Ring of Honor within a span of six months.
Someone else who has competed for all three brands, Deonna Purrazzo, is who Rayne stated she would like to face if she makes it to the finals of the tournament. Rayne, however, does not just want competing in the tournament to be enough, as her ultimate goal is a WWE contract.
"That's 100 percent my hope. That's 100 percent my goal," said Rayne. "That's what I'm training for and mentally preparing myself for because I think if you don't go into something like this prepared to make it to the finals and to win the finals and watch your career take off in an entirely new direction, then you're short-changing yourself."
The Mae Young Classic tapings will take place at Full Sail on August 8 and 9, and the air date on the WWE Network has yet to be released. The finals will take place at WWE Evolution on October 28.
Source: TV Insider