Madison Rayne is January’s Knockout Of The Month at WrestlingKnockouts.com – the official website of the TNA Knockouts! Check out all-new photos of Madison in her gallery now at WrestlingKnockouts.com! Plus, read an exclusive interview Christy Hemme recently conducted with Madison Rayne:
Madison: I never thought anything would top the excitement I felt when I signed my first TNA contract in 2009. At that moment, a little girl had made her dream come true. But fast forward 4 years, that little girl is a woman now, and after a very long 2013 full of all time high as well as rock bottom low moments, to be back in the ring and say "I did it," and have the support of the fans and my coworkers is an indescribable feeling! I'm baaaaack!
Q: It's well known that you just had a baby, did you plan on coming back so fast?
Madison: Yes and no. While I sat home watching the show last year I missed everything about the ring (except for Gail,) and I had moments where getting back in the mix was what got me to the gym that day. Other days, after I had my daughter, I wondered how I could ever do anything but stay home with her. It was a long talk with MY mom actually that reminded me that having a baby gives women super powers, and that continuing to follow my dreams actually made me a good mommy because not only do I provide a wonderful life for her, I'm setting an example for her that nothing is impossible.
Q: How does it feel to make history being the first female in professional wrestling to come back after having a baby?
Madison: It feels good anytime we (women) can make an impact in this business. I have received so much positive feedback since my re-debut and it means so much to me to have the support from the fans, and that my bosses had the confidence in me to let me get back to what I love. It's exciting for me. I feel like I have a lot to prove now and I'm 100% ready to show the world that I haven't skipped a beat.
Q: Tell us about your history and desire to do fitness competitions?
Madison: I've been an avid fitness buff since I was 14. My older brothers used to take me to the gym and teach me how to work out and explain that the gym was way more important than shopping and makeup! (I think they had a plan there to turn me into a tomboy haha). I actually started training for a figure competition when I found the flyer for a pro wrestling school in my hometown so I put the competing on hold to pursue wrestling. I came back to competing in 2012 when a few people in my gym approached me and asked me if I competed. The last time I was asked that, my response was "no, but you just convinced me to start!" That week I found a trainer and began show prep. 8 weeks later, in June of 2012 I won the overall title at my first competition. I did another show that fall where I took second, and at my first attempt on a national stage I placed in the top 15 out of over 40 girls. I do plan to get back on a stage one day in the future. My focus right now though is to be a mommy and be Knockouts Champion again. But I absolutely plan to do another competition, possibly in late 2014.
Q: Did fitness competitions help in preparing to come back?
Madison: I think they definitely helped. It was one month after competing at nationals that I found out I was going to be a mommy so I think my body's muscle memory helped me bounce back a little sooner than even I had anticipated. I tried to take care of myself while I was away, eating right and exercising when I could. After so long, fitness becomes a way of life, not just a hobby, and it clearly helped me get back into ring shape after 10 weeks!
Q: What got you into professional wrestling?
Madison:I used to watch wrestling with my dad and brothers every week! My parents took me to live events when I was younger and I would sit in awe of the wrestlers. When I graduated high school I needed an outlet to fill my void from the sports I played in school so I started to train for a figure competition. One day I walked into the gym and saw a flyer for a wrestling show that weekend. It also advertised a local wrestling school and I called the trainer right away, showed up at his gym and said I wasn't leaving until he agreed to train me. The rest is history!
Q: Who both male and female have been the greatest influence on your career?
Madison: When I as younger my favorite wrestlers were Shawn Michaels and Eddie Guerrero. They were so good at grabbing your attention and keeping it the entire time they were performing. As I got older and started "studying" the women wrestlers, especially once I started training I was just so impressed with all of them. I actually used to watch Gail on television when I was training and I thought she was incredibly athletic. So I guess you could say I've been a student of her game for a long time. I hope she reads this and keeps that in mind the next time we are in the ring together.
Q: What does the future hold for Madison Rayne?
Madison: SO MUCH!!! Both personally and professionally, there are so many things I want to accomplish. First and foremost I want to be the kind of mommy that my little girl is always proud of. I want her to see me in the same light I always saw my mom in growing up and know that the sky is the limit because mommy proved it. Professionally I have a lot left to give to this business. I want to be Knockouts Champion again, to prove to myself, and to everyone else that this version of Madison Rayne is stronger, smarter and more resilient than ever. I was doing a lot of military base visits before I left too. I would love to get back to doing that. Those men and women sacrifice so much to give people like me the opportunity to do what I love. There is a lot that I'm looking forward to accomplishing in 2014. I cannot wait to take my fans along on that incredible journey with me!