Unpredictable… Unbelievable… Undeniable!!! At the conclusion of RISE 9 – RISE of The Knockouts, Tessa Blanchard stood tall in Naperville, IL, proudly raising the title for all to see, having become The Fourth Phoenix of RISE Champion!
A series of unfortunate events sent shockwaves through our entire company. A broken ankle following RISE 8 – OUTBACK took then-Phoenix of RISE Champion Delilah Doom out of RISE 9 and the Main Event Iron Woman Match against number one contender, Shotzi Blackheart. Delilah willingly relinquished The Phoenix of RISE Championship for a new champion to be crowned in her absence.
Management made the decision to insert Mercedes Martinez into the Iron Woman Match following her win in the Four Way Elimination Match with Shazza McKenzie, Kris Wolf and Kimber Lee at RISE 8. However, the rematch from RISE 2 – ASCENT between Martinez and Blackheart was not to be.
Friday, July 6, Shotzi Blackheart also suffered a broken ankle, taking her out of the Main Event of RISE 9 and for the foreseeable future.
Coming into RISE 9, Mercedes was seemingly without an opponent for the vacant Phoenix of RISE. Martinez cast doubt upon the claims of injury by Doom and Blackheart and demanded referee Brandon Tolle present her with the title as no one had stepped up to face her.
Enter: Tessa Blanchard.
After already coming out victorious in the opening contest of RISE 9 against Kris Wolf, Blanchard was ready and willing to go once more. Tessa revealed that she had put her name to the contract for the Iron Woman Match to crown The Phoenix of RISE.
“You do undertsand, mamita, that this is an Iron Woman Match,” asked Martinez.
“Listen here, Mercedes. I know EXACTLY what I signed up for,” replied Blanchard…with a swift forearm to the jaw, and we were off!
After 29 of the most grueling minutes of action we have seen in RISE to date and the score tied 1-1, Martinez set Blanchard on the corner buckle, scouting a top rope Fisherman Buster as a death blow to end the match. Tessa was able to fight Mercedes off, sending her to the mat seconds before connecting with the Magnum, then was exhaustedly barely able to roll Mercedes to put Martinez’s shoulders to the mat.
The referee’s hand counted three with one second left on the clock.
After wrestling nearly 45 minutes in total for the day, Tessa Blanchard defeated Mercedes two falls to one to become The Phoenix of RISE Champion!
Congratulations, Tessa Blanchard!
“No one could have seen this coming. The situation coming into the Main Event was terrible for so many reasons. The situations with Delilah and Shotzi had so many of us down, heartbroken for our girls. In a clutch hitting situation if there ever was one, Mercedes Martinez and Tessa Blanchard put on one of the best professional wrestling matches I have ever had the honor to witness. Win, lose or draw, BOTH proved beyond a shadow of doubt they are absolutely exemplary women of the RISE mantra of presenting Today’s Best, Tomorrow’s Brightest,” said RISE Executive Producer, Kevin Harvey.
And YOU can see how it all happened right now…RIGHT HERE!!!