Kylie Ray spoke with Women's Wrestling Weekly about AJ Styles being impressed with her in-ring work, going to a WWE tryout, winning the AAW Women's Championship, and training with Booker T. Here are some of the highlights:
Winning the AAW Women's Championship:
"I'm still speechless. I had no idea, honestly. And when it happened, it was everything I ever dreamed of pretty much because I grew up in Chicago. AAW is—I think—the longest running company in Chicago. So I grew up a fan of it and then they didn't even have a women's division until last year. And then they crowned a women's champion and then that's a goal you strive for … it's one day being women's champion. And it finally happened."
Training at Booker T's School:
"I've always been a fan of Booker T, so when I first moved to Texas, I never thought that I would be able to be at his school. I was still training up in Chicago a little bit, but I was like, 'Oh my God, this is like the end all be all of training faculties.' They only accept certain people who are in the best shape and the best wrestlers. So when I had my first meeting there, I was extremely overwhelmed and nervous, I was shaking. Your first day they put you through the ringer to see what you are able to withstand. Where you conditioning is, where your head is at, how advanced you are in your training. So, I guess I passed the test because I was there training with them the next day. It was just cool to see Booker T teaching you.
"You have this form of respect for him, unlike anything I felt for a trainer before because he has been where you want to be in wrestling. At least where I want to be in wrestling. WWE is hopefully, one day, my goal and one day I would love to be there. And he knows exactly what they are looking for and he runs his training facility pretty much how the [WWE] Performance Center is run and you can't ask for better training than that. He looks for things that not many other trainers are able to look for."
Going to a WWE tryout:
"Leading up to it, just like the pressure and mostly the fear of the unknown because you always hear about the tryouts and you can watch them online. But you don't you realize how hard it is till you get there and there is really no way to prepare for it. So you can do all the conditioning you want. But you are there pretty much for three days from 8 am to 5 pm. What they don't teach you about is how sore you're going to be and how to deal with that soreness."
AJ Styles helping her get a WWE tryout:
"I would love to wrestle him. I feel like he is a big reason why I got my tryout to begin with. I had done extra work a couple of months before the tryout and after my practice match when we were there, he had pulled me aside and basically told me 'Keep doing what you are doing. You are on the right track.' I was so starstruck and crying in his face. And I think he had gone up to management basically [and said], 'I don't know what she has to do, I don't know what the process is to get a tryout, but she needs a tryout.'"
You can check out Rae's full interview in the video above, or listen to it via iTunes by clicking here.