Former Impact star Madison Rayne was a surprise signing to AEW last month. She was part of The Beautiful People, one of the top female factions in the company history. During this time she became a TNA Knockouts and TNA Knockouts tag team champion and is considered a legend in the promotion.
She also competed in WWE briefly. She was signed in 2018 to be part of the Mae Young Classic tournament, an all women’s tournament in the vein of the much loved Cruiserweight Classic. She wrestled as Ashley Rayne in the 2018 Mae Young Classic tournament, but went out in the first round with a loss to Mercedes Martinez.
She signed to AEW in August 2022, originally as a coach to help teach the younger generation of women. She was not expected to wrestle but surprisingly made her debut in the promotion on August 5th, 2022 on AEW Rampage. However, in her most recent match she lost to Serena Deeb in a four minute match and has yet to wrestle again in AEW.
She is not done with her in-ring career with All Elite Wrestling. As part of The Beautiful People, alongside Lacey Von Erich and Velvet Sky, she was one of the top performers in TNA and has a lot to give, even in the supposed twilight of her career.
Madison Rayne revealed on the latest episode of AEW Unrestricted that she would like to work with some of the younger talent in AEW. Being 36 years old, she is on the later end of a career for women in wrestling (although that seems to be changing and they are having longer careers) and wants to give back to the business before she retires.
She revealed that up-and-coming wrestlers like Julia Hart and Anna Jay are two of the young stars of the AEW Women’s Division. She would have a lot to teach them and could guide them, as the have barely been in the business for 3 years each.
On AEW Unrestricted, Madison Rayne said;
“I feel like, at this point in my career, those are the matches that I want to have: the matches with younger talent that I can hopefully help elevate. So Julia Hart and Anna Jay are very, very high up my list.”
While she was originally signed to work backstage, AEW President Tony Khan has been open about Madison Rayne being allowed to wrestle for the company and has welcomed her to step inside the ring and bring her star power and experience to help the younger girls to learn the ropes on the job.
Speaking on Busted Open Radio, Tony Khan said;
“I’m really excited. She’s going to be great for the team. She’s excited. Everyone is excited to have Madison Rayne as part of AEW. I’m not saying she wouldn’t wrestle anymore, we’re open to it. We have other people in the office who do wrestle as part of their schedule, so I’m open to it. I haven’t talked a lot about it because right now, I’m primarily focused on the whole company, but it’s definitely something I’m open to and would like,”
It’s good to see Tony Khan and AEW have such respect for a TNA legend like Madison Rayne. With the treatment that caused Impact Hall of Famer Awesome Kong to leave the company, it’s good that have recognised what happened and are doing all they can to mitigate those disturbances.
Madison Rayne on Gail Kim
One other TNA legend that has yet to make her way to AEW is former TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim. Kim is one of the greatest female wrestlers in North American history, helping to launch the TNA Knockouts division to being even better than WWE’s own Divas division.
Her legendary feud with Awesome Kong put TNA on the map for many fans, and showed WWE fans who had only seen the terrible female wrestling in the Attitude Era that women could in fact be as good, if not better, than the male wrestlers.
Madison Rayne is another person who heaps praise on Gail Kim. On her AEW Unrestricted interview, the former TNA Knockouts Champion detailed how Kim helped her get back into wrestling after giving birth to her daughter, calling her a “star” and “such a legend“
“When I first came into TNA or IMPACT, she had left for her second run at WWE, so I didn’t meet her until a couple of years into my career and then within a couple of years after that.”
“Especially when I came back from having my daughter, I had my first match–so her birthday was just this past weekend, my daughter’s–I had my first match back in December of that year. So, I don’t know, six, eight weeks after I had her. I still don’t know how I did it.”
“But my first feud was with Gail and it was not just like a few wrestling matches. We were having weapons matches and I think it all finally culminated in a cage match, at a Lockdown pay-per-view. So we were really doing it and I think we were able to do that because she’s such a star and such a legend.”
“She took this brand-new mom and recreated her into a wrestler, not just a wrestler, but like a better version of Madison Rayne than I was when I left. She was somebody that always pushed me. I think she did it with several of her opponents, pushed us out of our comfort zone to prove to us what we didn’t know we could do.”
What do you think of Madison Rayne in AEW? Would you like to see her wrestle for the AEW Women’s Championship? Let us know in the comments or click below to read more
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.