This interview originally appeared in Rudo Can’t Fail issue 20.
Interview by Rick Mandell
Rick Mandell: Take us back to the beginning. What made you go “Pro wrestling, yeah, I wanna do that”?
Rain: I watched pro wrestling growing up, but never gave it a thought that I could. My cousin lived with me and her boss informed us he was a pro wrestler. He asked if we would manage him and I jumped at the opportunity. I knew after that weekend I wanted to wrestle, not manage, so I started my journey training. I found a few different trainers and started my career.
RM: You had a nice run as part of Shimmer which was really the first time female wrestling had a pretty significant platform in the U.S. What was it like to be part of that original “divas revolution?”
R: Shimmer was definitely the very first divas revolution. It was nice being on a show with all other strong and supportive women. We all wanted to do the same thing, and that was wrestle. We wanted to do it better than the guys if we could and we all gave it our all. Thanks to Dave Prazak, we had that opportunity. It was such an amazing environment for us women to really bond and work. It built a foundation of women and led us to more opportunities and a lifetime of friendships. Lacey and I got to excel as single wrestlers and tag wrestlers as The Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew. We got to introduce Jetta into the mix eventually and became The International Home Wrecking Crew. Man! Those were the days! The bonds we made with other amazing women from the company are just unexplainable. Daizee Haze, Sara Del Ray, Sarah Stock, MsChif, Serena Deebs, Nikki Roxx, Amazing Kong, and many, many more. My heart is full remembering these times with these amazing women. All grown up, these women are still making an impact on women’s wrestling by training the future women, by motivating them, and inspiring them to reach full potential.
RM: You also had a run in TNA. Tell us a little about that.
R: While working for Shimmer and ROH and more, I made the move to Florida. I transferred schools and moved. I ended up working for TNA as Ms. Payton Banks while I attended school. This I would say is the first TV Divas Revolution. This was the time of the Knockouts. Gail vs. Kong, The Beautiful People, Taylor Wilde, Roxxi, myself vs. Traci Brooks. These women were on TV putting women’s wrestling on the map. I was grateful to be a part of this era as well. After my time was up with Robert Roode, I had to do 320 hours of a free internship to graduate from school. This was something that had to be done. Wrong timing? Maybe! Maybe not? Was I offered a contract at the time? Yes! Did I sign it? No. Did I get fired? No. I just disappeared. I felt if it was meant to be, when I returned from my internship and if there was a spot, I’d go back. I went back and they had so many women that it wasn’t happening.
RM: Somehow you ended up in Mexico working for AAA – how did that all come about?
R: So, I booked Wrestlicious and helped run the show. After that was over, I got a call to go down to AAA Lucha Libre. Hernandez put in a word for me with Konnan, and I headed down there for a whole year. I was in a feud with the Apaches and teamed up with Jen Blake as Las Gringas Locas. Being with Konnan and the crew was an opportunity I’ll never forget. The moments that we had as a team and the reactions we got from the crowd was out of this world. Also, in the mix was Sexy Star. Sexy did so much for me while I was there and I’ll be forever grateful to that woman. The experience in AAA was such an amazing one. I also enjoyed my time and training with Gran Apache. I learned so much from him and I will forever miss him. I heard about his passing and I pass my condolences on to the family. He was an amazing man and a very hard worker.
RM: And after Mexico came the birth of Shine and your crowning as the very first Shine champion?
R: Post Mexico, I was working for WSU having amazingly hard fought matches against Mercedez Martinez. After WSU, Shine wrestling came around. This was another platform for women to showcase their talent. I became the very first ever Shine Champion. I had a great run with my team Valkyrie, and had my final match there against Ivelisse. I had some great matches during my reign. Feb. 14, 2014 I was driving to train and a lady was texting and driving. She ran right in front of me and I T-boned her, then into a tree. I went to the hospital. Long story short, I was there for a month. I had been septic and saved my own life by not leaving the hospital knowing something wasn’t right. They cut me open, fixed me, and I had to heal that way. I spent two years and had five surgeries to get better. I’ve never given up on myself, and I strive to be better and stronger every day.
RM: Your recovery and to see where you are now is truly inspiring. Tell us about your life these days. You’re a personal trainer, motivator, still getting in the ring.
R: Today, I want to help and motivate others in any way I can. I use fitness as a starting point to help change people’s lives. Whether it’s coming back from an accident, helping them past an eating disorder, finding love for their bodies again, helping them be stronger mentally and physically.
RM: What’s next for The Radiant One and what’s the one thing you want our readers to take from this interview?
R: For me, I literally take one day at a time and do my best to make a change in someone’s life. Every day is different and I welcome new experiences to my life. So, the question is what will I do next? Well, that answer is completely undecided yet. You’ll just have to follow me and see. (Editor’s note: You can follow Rain on twitter @Radiant_Rain and on Instagram at @bmaxfitness. Also, check out the RUDA photo gallery here on Lucha Central for more Rain photos)