David Penzer welcomed Impact Wrestling star Madison Rayne to this week's episode of "Sitting Ringside," just days away from Saturday's Slammiversary pay-per-view.
Here are some highlights:
David Penzer asked Madison Rayne how she compares the current Impact Women’s roster to previous rosters: “Well, I always get in trouble when I start comparing things because everybody on the internet has an opinion. I said it before and I feel very strongly, but what we are seeing now with this current version of the Knockouts Division is one of, if not the best, group of women that this company has ever seen. There is so much diversity in how we all look, on how we all perform, how we all think about wrestling. It all comes together so perfectly. There is magic every time the Knockouts are in the ring. We have always been that way. The Knockouts have always been a cornerstone of the company. But, right now, there is something really special about this group of women.”
Rayne talked about her experience with Wrestlicious: “It was fun. When I think back, I was so fortunate to have had countless opportunities. That’s one that, it’s not that I’m not proud of it, but it was just so different from what I had ever done prior to that and so different than anything I have done since. It definitely helped me with character development. I was this 21 or 22, tiny blond, so they made me this cheerleader. That totally makes sense. It was a really good, fun group of women. I only went down and filmed one time. I’m unsure if there was more than that. I don’t have any bad ill will or ill feelings toward that opportunity, it was just a one time fun thing that put me in front of a camera and let me perform and gave me a little more experience. Hokey explains it. Me and my tag team partner got beat up by a lunch lady. That gives you a quick synopsis of what it was.”
Rayne on her experience working for Dixie Carter: “I don’t have a bad thing to say about her. That was a time where ignorance was bliss for me. I knew bits and pieces about the rumblings of what was going on in TNA but I didn’t care about that because I got to travel. I was living my dream. My paychecks came on time, all the time. I can’t speak to that, but I was always paid. Dixie, I mean, she’s a woman so she connected with the Knockouts, and even more so when I came back after having my daughter. She, next to my parents, was my number one supporter. I will sing her praises forever and ever because she gave me my first opportunity. She let me come back under unique circumstances for my second opportunity. She let me live my dream that 12 years later, I’m still doing.”
Rayne talked about her short stay in NXT: “I was invited down to the Performance Center for a tryout for WWE. I heard so many negative comments about the fact that I’ve been on TV for so many years and why am I doing a tryout. For me, that was the coolest thing ever. To be able to go down there and experience what the very beginning of that machine is, in their developmental territory and test myself and push myself to limit. That’s not a get in the ring, show me what you can do in 5 minutes type of tryout. That was a days long extensive, we are going to push you to your physical max and then push you a little bit more. I said in interviews I did in weeks after that tryout, that, second only to maybe childbirth, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was intense, but it was such an awesome experience. I have never been so sore in my wrestling career. Talking about everything coming full circle, I got down there and I saw Sarah Amata who I used to wrestle with in Shimmer and briefly in Ring Of Honor and Terry Taylor. A couple months later, when I was in the Mae Young Classic, I saw Jeremy Borash down there. It was nerve-racking because 2017 was my first time in my career ever doing anything with WWE. I was three years in the business when I got hired by TNA. Previous to that, I never had a tryout, did extra work, nothing, that was my first experience with WWE. It was so overwhelmingly positive. At the end of the day, it didn’t work out and moving to Orlando was not in the cards for me. It wasn’t an option for me. Regardless, doing that tryout opened the door for me to be part of the second Mae Young Classic. Not that I didn’t have massive moments in TNA but, just to stand in a ring with the logo that I used to look at on TV when I was a little girl, that was something really cool and really special. By that time, my daughter was old enough to watch and see me doing something really cool. I knew 90% of the other women that did the Mae Young Classic, so it felt really good.”
There is talent being teased for Slammiversary. Do you have any scoops you can share with us?: “If I have any inside sources giving me little tidbits of information, yes, I do have my sources and if they are correct and I know that they are, I said it for weeks, this PPV is going to change the whole trajectory of Impact Wrestling and not to toot my own horn, but I will be on the number one contender’s gauntlet on the PPV.”