Madison Rayne Departs Ring of Honor

According to a report from PWInsider, former 5x IMPACT Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne has been granted her release from Ring of Honor, just six months after signing with the company back in September of 2018. The reports state that Madison Rayne was unhappy with the creative direction of her character and after meeting with ROH officials, the two sides decided to part ways, making Rayne once again a free agent.

Madison Rayne made her major debut with ROH back in 2008 (as Ashley Rayne), after breaking out of the Ohio area independents and working with SHIMMER, where she is a former SHIMMER Tag Team Champion with Naveah. She would go on to work with IMPACT Wrestling later that year and continue on with IMPACT for the next decade in various capacities. Primarily known as an in-ring performer, she became a 5x IMPACT Knockouts Champion, but near the end of her career with IMPACT also worked in creative and on commentary. Her final run with the company came in the first half of 2018 when she had one last run towards the Knockouts Championship before ultimately losing to Knockouts Champion Su Yung at last year’s IMPACT Slammiversary XVI in July. She’s also a former 2x IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Champion, once with The Beautiful People and once alongside Gail Kim.

Last year was a big year for Rayne professionally, as she not only challenged for the ROH Women of Honor Championship in the inaugural tournament at the beginning of the year and the IMPACT Knockouts Championship but also competed in the 2018 WWE Mae Young Classic. She also competed for the Heart of SHIMMER title last October, and in September appeared at Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks‘ indie SuperCard, All In, in a fatal four way that also featured Tessa Blanchard, Britt Baker, and Chelsea Green.

With her options now open, it will be interesting to see if Madison Rayne returns to IMPACT Wrestling once again, or if perhaps All Elite Wrestling (AEW) is another option. The management of AEW is clearly a fan of her work (based on her All In booking) and last year in an interview with CBS Pittsburgh, she revealed that AEW Brand Manager Brandi Rhodes was a dream opponent of hers, stating that “there’s just something about Brandi. She’s this really hungry, not up-and-comer because she’s been around the wrestling business for a long time. There’s this star quality about Brandi, and it makes me excited as a fan to watch her grow and evolve and change.” Rayne went on to say that “As a competitor, she’s somebody that I really want to get in there with and I want to test her, but I also kind of want to test myself against somebody who’s so young and hungry into being in the ring.”

Photo: Bill Apter

As for a potential return to the WWE Universe, it seems somewhat unlikely, as Rayne herself removed herself from any WWE contract talks following the Mae Young Classic as she wasn’t willing to relocate to Orlando in case they wanted her to start in NXT.  “I understand that they have a system that they put their talent through, regardless of whether you’ve never taken one bump, or you’ve been wrestling for many years, and that system starts in Orlando,” she said to CBS Pittsburgh. “While wrestling is still very, very important to me, being a mother and being a wife, those two things are greatly more important. There was never that definitive conversation, but just given the fact that I knew and I never wanted there to be any gray area in my communication with WWE, and I made it clear that I could and would not be willing to relocate, I think that probably kind of settled the question there as far as whether or not a contract with WWE was going to be in my future.”

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