TNA's Madison Rayne recently did an interview to promote this weeks Manchester show, here are highlights.
TNA Wrestling is coming to Manchester at the end of the month, as some of the sport’s most famous starts prepare to wage war at the MEN Arena on January 28/29.
Steve Waring caught up with one of wrestling’s leading female lights, Madison Rayne, to talk black eyes, getting booed and going back to school.
SW: You’ve recently been to Abu Dhabi in November on tour, how was it?
MR: It was awesome. I have never been close to there.
What was the fanbase like there?
It is massive, I had a great time.
Why and how did you get into wrestling? Being a girl, did you find it tough?
I have two older brothers, and we used to watch wrestling with my dad. I quickly realised that if I wanted to be the cool little sister, then getting into wrestling was the way to go.
From the first time I started watching I became a fan. I first wanted to be a doctor, then Miss America, but I finally settled on Pro Wrestling. I put college on hold and chased my dream; luckily it worked out.
Within the TNA ranks at the moment, who is your favourite to work with in the ring?
I’ve worked with most girls in the locker room in the last year. There are a lot of new knockouts (female wrestlers), but I’ve fought with, and against, Tara and that’s a lot of fun. You never know what you’re going to get with her. I’ve also had a few matches with Mickey James (from WWE), and that’s going to be exciting over next few months.
A couple of weeks back, Micky and Tara fought in a main event live cage match on your flagship show. This is unheard of in terms of female wrestlers. Do you feel you have to work harder because you are the champion?
I give everything. I remember watching that match and my jaw hit the floor. Tara badly hurt her arm and carried on for 15 minutes more. I realised that if I want to keep the belt, I had to step it up even more.
Within wrestling there are good guys and bad guys. Which do you prefer being?
Before I got to TNA, I played a good guy. They said I was small and cute so you can play the good guy. But my character developed differently, and it is a lot of fun. I try and be good and positive in everyday life, and it’s fun to get in the ring and play on the jeers from the crowd. I save my moody moments for the cameras.
What’s your toughest match to date? Any bad injuries?
I wake up every morning with bumps and bruises and ask why I do it. Every day is extremely tough. I’ve been very lucky that I haven’t had any bad bumps. I’ve had numerous black eyes, chipped teeth and a couple of concussions, but nothing in comparison to some guys who wrestle at TNA.
You’re coming to Manchester this month, have you performed here before?
Yes, last year I got drafted in last minute so didn’t get chance to see the city. There was a lot of rushing about, dealing with jetlag and so on, so hopefully this time I will have the opportunity to have a look about the place.
How do the crowds differ from the US to the UK?
Well, we’re working in the US almost 12 months a year, so fans over there get to see us quite a bit. When we come to the UK and Europe, the fans go wild, which makes it a bigger spectacle for us. The electricity that runs through a crowd is amazing. Every arena is crazy.
Hulk Hogan has been working within TNA as an out-of-ring performer. He is the biggest wrestling icon of all time, what has he brought to the company?
Hogan and Rick Flair joined up. We all soon realised they were there to help the company grow, and help us as performers. They are idolised by every performer in the locker room. It has made us want to prove our worth in the ring, because when you know that Hogan is backstage watching your match, it is a bit of added pressure, but it also gives you a massive adrenaline rush.
What are your plans after wrestling? Do you plan wrestling into your 30s and 40s?
I am going to wrestle for as long as TNA wants me, or my body will allow. Wrestling is not a life long career, especially for women. I will go back to college, and I do have a plan B. But for now I am going all guns and living the dream, and until I can’t give everything anymore, nothing will change