The Women of the Year 2011: Madison Rayne (#8)

A la TIME’s Person of the Year list, Diva Dirt has compiled a countdown of the women we feel have best embodied the zeitgeist of the year in women’s wrestling. To compile this list, the Diva Dirt team have tracked the headlines here at Diva Dirt over the past 12 months, followed the lively fan debate on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, considered the impact that the women have made within the industry, and taken into account personal achievements as well. More information on the Women of the Year list here.

The Killer Reign

After an incredibly impressive 2010 in which Madison Rayne reigned supreme over the Knockouts division, things barely slowed down for the Killer Queen in 2011. In an era of Knockouts where former champions are seemingly cast aside after losing the belt, Madison Rayne continued to her hot streak, staying in the forefront for much of the year and made history by having the single longest Knockouts Championship reign in history.

Continuing her “Rayne of terror” from 2010, Madison continued to hold the Knockouts Title through April though many expected her to lose against Mickie James at January’s Genesis pay per view. Rayne would pick up consecutive victories over the iconic James before finally dropping the belt at LockDown. Despite losing the title, Rayne could take solace in the fact that she surpassed Awesome Kong‘s 178 day reign by 10 days to mark the longest Knockouts Title reign in history at 188 days.

After losing the belt, the nine-month long partnership between Madison Rayne and Tara would finally implode in a moment that fans had been waiting for. Tara won her freedom from Rayne (she was previously indebted to Madison) after James again defeated her at May’s Sacrifice pay per view. Madison then turned her attention to Tara as the two finally faced off in a grudge match which was to be won by the veteran Tara.

After a short absence from the screen, Madison quickly re-emerged and found herself once again in a position of notability, seen schmoozing with then Knockouts VP Karen Jarrett on a regular basis. Aligning herself with the VP would have its benefits as she and the returning Gail Kim would successfully challenge for the Knockouts Tag Team Championships, ending Rayne’s year exactly the way it started — with gold around her waist.

In the latter part of the year, Madison announced that she had been crowned the new Knockouts VP, taking on a new hat and a new role of prominence on Impact Wrestling. Just like she ruled the Knockouts division with her 188 day title reign, it looks as though Madison will be as iron-fisted in her new position of power.

While TNA has brought in big names like Mickie James and Gail Kim in the past couple of years, Madison Rayne continues to be one of TNA’s most successful homegrown Knockouts, and no matter the direction of the division, she always seems to find a place. It’s not hard to see why, either, as Rayne knows her character inside-out and has all of the nuances down pat — including the patented shrieking — as well as delivering strong, often amusing, promos on the microphone and in backstage segments. Though not exactly on par with her stellar 2010, 2011 was almost as consistent for Rayne. TNA’s vote of confidence in Rayne to take on the new role of VP, which requires more personality and less wrestling ability, is another testament to her versatility as a performer.

Outside of TNA, Rayne also returned to SHIMMER as Ashley Lane at the October tapings, feuding with her former tag team partner Nevaeh. Madison’s return was a welcome surprise and shows that despite hitting the big time, she still remembers her roots.

The Women of the Year 2011: Velvet Sky (#9)

Click here for the full Women of the Year countdown

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  • TJÉ TC

    LUV HER!

  • bromero329

    Congrats. I forgot about madison too lol.

    I’m hoping gail isn’t in this list. Cause then it will be a flop. Mickie should be #1!

    • Jhonmarco

      I agree, doing things in the last 2 months of the year isn’t enough to make up for doing nothing for 10 months (not that that’s her fault).

      • stephmc

        although i adore gail kim to bits, i really think that madison rayne, velvet sky and mickie james made 2011 their year with no help at all. i know gail will be ranked as she had her time as a wwe diva and havin solid matches at wwe superstars against melina and beth phoenix but its upto diva-dirt. i dont even know if she will be ranked, dont mind tho. i want mickie to be #1, the girl deserves it. really want sara del rey at #2.

  • Jhonmarco

    Uttertly love this woman, despite her wrestling being “meh” this year. Her charecter was something that was wonderful, she would own people in her promos. She’s easily the most entertaining knockout today, her antics are great. Love you ms. rayne <3.

  • number1AngelinaLovefan

    Madsion is awesome she is such a great HEEl and really plays her character to the fullest.
    And i really hope my Girl Angelina Love will get a spot as Women of the year!

  • Juan

    I love Madison Rayne!! She is so entertaining and she is defintely the most successful home grown Knockout (Angelina and Velvet are also very close). I guess you can say TNA loves their Beautiful People, as Angelina, Velvet and Madison are their best/ most successful home grown knockouts!

  • Ryan

    Mickie James for Numbero uno!

    And Madi haha..I dont like her wrestling but shes an awesome character
    from HQ (Homecomming Queen from American Dad) to Kiss Up Madi lol
    shes freakin Hillarious and when bad things happen to her I cant help laugh at her lol


  • Mike in Like

    Well deserved spot, I adore this woman easily one of my favorite Knockouts. What a year she had as well, let the Rayne of Terror continue into 2012.

  • Chryst Voegele

    now we have Alicia,Eve,Kelly,Mickie,Gail,Angelina Love,SDR & another Indie woman… Anyone agree?

    • Raekon

      I don’t think that Eve and Alicia deserve to be higher than Beth was so I doubt they will be on the list at all.

      Even Eve did quite a few things in 2011 that maybe might get her on the higher places of the list.

      Kaitlyn had more segments, roadshows, fcw and nxt appearances, matches and extras like magazine interviews, magazine photoshoots, posing for a video game (together with AJ, Alex Riley and Zack Ryder), she won’t be on the list so, why should Alicia be on it when she did less than the “Rookie” through the year?

      • Chryst Voegele

        I think Eve will in this list bcuz she got her 2nd champ,deliver great match with beth&nattie (& turn doubter to beliEVErs!!!) , WWE send her to TV show and often (try) to bring her as top face in most of them commercial (Poster,Ads).

        For Alicia … I’m not sure but past two month her ‘Outfox’ is more interesting than DOD (WWE make DOD like Joke).

        and last Kaitlyn… If AJ already in the bottom of this list i never see a chance for Kaitlyn.

        • stephmc

          yeh i think Eve will be on the list cos of her stellar perfomances against Beth Phoenix at vengeance, and has been one of the top face divas. she started to get a better reaction cos of her remix. i dont mind if Alicia Fox appears on the list – well she might since AJ is already on it. Alicia won a lot of matches, dominated in WWE Superstars but i’m also not sure whether alicia deserves to be on it or not. she’s a decent wrestler tho and i love her speed along with aj and maxine.

    • Williambitious

      Alicia? I don’t think so..

  • Raekon

    Good Pick! Love Madison!
    If you wanna get “annoyed”(in a good way), Madison is the heel to go with. :p

  • Williambitious

    I love Madison so much. I’m glad she went brunette cause she looks way better.

  • Future-Knockout/Diva

    Awesome pick, Maddi has wrestled more matches this year than any other knockout, she truly is one of a kind though she may not be the best womens wrrestler on the roster but she is definitly has a great personality and character in the ring and an excellent champion, she holds longest reigns with both the TNA Women’s Knockout Champion & The TNA Knockout Tag Team Championship and the first Knockout to hold both belts are the same time, she is one of my favourites and i can’t wait what 2012 holds for her.

    • stephmc

      i agree! she is so amazing nowadays and i love seeing her play a drama queen all the time. she plays it really awesome and i love it when she cuts promos and wave at the crowd as they constantly boo her – and she still waves at them awww. im happy she’s on this list, she deserves it especially by her amazing performances in TNA. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne makes a good team, dont they?!

  • adifferentsame

    Madison’s wrestling is much more impressive as a face but she’s easily the strongest female heel character in TNA. What I love about her is that, like Mickie James and Melina, she can’t be held down no matter what position she has in the division. She naturally outshines a lot of other girls. I think if the Beautiful People were ever to reunite as a heel stable she would be a more organic fit.

    I’m a huge fan.

  • Danni

    I wish some people would READ the first part of the post. Its not about achievements, its about much more then that.

    • G32106

      Then what is it! I read the first part and I still don’t understand! It says it’s about their personal ACHIEVEMENTS! and their impact on women’s wrestling!

  • sugarrush28

    Madison Rayne is probably my fave Knockout at the moment. I really couldn’t stand her when she first came to the company but her title reign made me into a fan. I hope she gets the title sometime in 2012.