Kylie Rae reveals how her WWE tryout came together

Kylie Rae received two huge opportunities last month, as she took part in a WWE tryout and made her official promotional debut on “Main Event.”

After her contract with the National Wrestling Alliance ended earlier in 2022, Kylie Rae took on more frequent independent bookings, with the option “throw [her] name in the hat for extra work.” Soon enough, WWE would be coming to Rae’s homebase in Chicago, where a familiar face aligned an exciting opportunity for her.

“They were coming to Chicago, and from my understanding, Freelance Wrestling is my home, that’s where I started. It’s where I continue to train. They were asking people from our school to reach out to WWE. I don’t know how many people know this, it’s Gabe Sapolsky,” Rae told the Going Broadway podcast. “He’s one of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. I can’t express enough how much he’s helped me throughout this entire process. That’s genuine. That’s who we were reaching out to for extra work and what not.”

Rae then put her name in the hat to be considered but said she “completely understood” if it didn’t work out. “Let’s be honest, for the ones who know, I come with some baggage, just a couple extra checked bags.”

Over the last few years, Rae has undergone a few hiatuses to take care her of mental health as she also worked towards getting sober. In December, Rae celebrated 14 months of sobriety.

“I had just assumed that any type of opportunity going forward was going to be few and far between, if any,” she said. “I was okay with that. It got to a point where I was so grateful for anything that did come my way … I talked to Gabe, and from what I understood, he was surprised I was even reaching out for extra work. Essentially, he said, ‘I think we can get you a tryout if you’re able to.’”

“One thing I appreciated was, we had a conversation of where my mental health is, the sobriety came up, we were able to talk about that. He wasn’t focusing on the past, he was more so of, ‘what do you have in place right now that’s going to keep you on the route that you’re currently on?’ God forbid if I do start going off course, what will keep me on this good road? It was a good conversation.”

“He was like, ‘I want to make sure you’re in a good place. Please be honest with me, if you’re not ready for this, I don’t even want to go down this road yet until you are ready.’ I was like, ‘I can’t predict the future, but I feel as good as I’ve ever felt.’

Rae reiterated that she appreciated even being considered for the opportunity, and as it turns out, Sapolsky promised he’d “pull some strings” to make it happen. With confirmation of her tryout only four days before it happened, Rae was focused on preparing herself. WWE also suggested that talent not wrestle in the days leading up to it, as a way to prevent injury. Rae, however, didn’t want to cancel bookings she had already committed to, so she told herself just “don’t get hurt.”

Upon arrival, Kylie Rae ran spots and wrestled with some contracted talent. “It’s literally like the Harvard of wrestling. We’re learning from Fit Finlay, Matt Bloom. For our practice matches, Shawn Michaels was there. We got to go to NXT [tapings].”

Rae revealed that she “went in there thinking, ‘I’m not going to get signed, so let me just enjoy this and make the most of it and enjoy being there and learn everything I can learn.’” Evidently, Rae soon got another chance to learn, wrestling Dana Brooke on WWE Main Event, under the name Briana Ray.

Following her performance, it was reported that the company had not signed Kylie Rae, which she later confirmed. Though she remains a free agent, Rae said she hopes to do more extra work.

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