When All Elite Wrestling signed Kylie Rae on Thursday at their press conference at the MGM in Las Vegas, they acquired a fresh, young talent lauded by none other than WWE Hall of Famer Booker T.
Here’s what the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion tweeted upon hearing that AEW signed Rae:
— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) February 8, 2019
Rae debuted in 2016 in Reality of Wrestling, the independent promotion founded by Booker T in Texas City, Texas. In her first match, the 26-year-old Oak Forest (Ill.) native struck gold by winning the ROW Diamonds Division Championship by knocking off defending champion Ivory Robyn. “Smiley Kylie” also wrestled for other independent promotions such as Texas Wrestling Entertainment, House of Hardcore, GALLI Lucha Libre and WildKat Pro Wrestling that year. In a little under three years, Rae also has wrestled for indie shows with Freelance Wrestling, Zelo Pro Wrestling, SHIMMER, RISE, Capital Wrestling Alliance and won the 2018 Making Towns Classic Tournament.
Rae spoke with WrestleZone about advice she got from Booker T that has helped her to continue to advance and improve her wrestling career.
“He’s very old school when it comes to wrestling. Nowadays, not a lot of people have the mindset that he does. I think that is what has helped me stick out the most.
It’s not about the moves because, as he says, he can take anyone in off the street and teach them how to do a flip or how to do a bump. It’s the stuff in between the moves. That is more meaningful. I think some people tend to lose sight of that, and they don’t really know about the “gray areas” of wrestling. How to make stuff mean something. How to get people emotionally invested in your matches. That’s what I’ve learned most from Booker.”
“Smiley Kylie” has been a golden girl almost everywhere she’s gone, claiming championships in four different promotions. She is the current All-American Wrestling Women’s Champion in her hometown promotion in Chicago. She is a three-time champion with Booker T’s ROW promotion and has been a women’s champion with both the Capital Wrestling Alliance and Zelo Pro Wrestling as well. She also scored a victory in the first-ever Raven Black Tournament in 2018 with CWA.
Recently, Rae did an interview with the Daily Southtown and this is what she said when asked about why she chose to break into wrestling.
“I think I just never grew up,” she said. “It’s the only thing I’ve ever been passionate about in my entire life.”
Rae has gained experience against several well-known wrestlers in independent circles. She recently wrestled Impact Wrestling’s Jordynne Grace for the PROGRESS Wrestling Championship at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights. She’s also scored victories over Kiera Hogan and NXT Superstar Candice LaRae. Other big names she’s shared a ring with include fellow AEW acquisition Britt Baker, NXT Superstars Deonna Purazzo and Chelsea Green, as well as, Impact’s 2018 Knockout of the Year: Tessa Blanchard.
On her way to winning the Making Towns Classic, Smiley Kylie defeated indie stars Veda Scott and Su Yung in preliminary rounds before coming out on top in a Fatal 4-Way match against Jordynne Grace, Allie Kat and Samantha Heights.
In an interview last winter with Wrestle Zone, Rae talked about a tryout she had with WWE.
“It was the hardest but best three and a half days of my life. You fly in and you get your physical done to make sure you are capable of even partaking in the try-out.
Then it’s basically just 9 am til 5 pm every single day. Just hard, intensive drills and no amount of cardio or conditioning will prepare you for it. You always hear about, “the bag drill”. I don’t know what you’ve heard about try-outs but “the bag drill” is always the toughest part of the try out. Honestly, it was all tough. We did in-ring work. We did warm-ups, stretches, you lifted with the trainers there and it was just so hard but so worth it.
If I had the opportunity, I would do it all over again because it was just amazing. You do promos there in front of some of the best people to ever be in pro wrestling and WWE. You get to do try-out matches, too, and they are able to see you as a person and as a wrestler. You just can’t beat that. You don’t get a lot of feedback while you are there. You kind of have to wait a couple weeks. Sometimes you hear from them and sometimes you don’t. I only cried like three times, so that’s good.”
Smiley Kylie will now go to work for one of WWE’s chief competitors and will no doubt be a name to watch in what should be a competitive women’s division in AEW. If you’ve never seen Kylie Rae wrestle, here’s a look at one of her best matches against Tessa Blanchard for the Zelo Women’s Championship:
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Here’s the match where Rae claimed the Zelo Pro Wrestling championship against Laynie Luck:
Have you seen Kylie Rae in action? Do you believe she has what AEW needs, and where does she fit in best there? While we are busy getting these answers, sound off in the comments on your thoughts and questions. Make sure you subscribe for more wrestling press via email, like, and rate. Please remember to share for support and follow us on social media for exclusive content you won’t find here.
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