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This one is not going to read like a press release, but please consider this an official statement from RISE – Developing Tomorrow’s Wrestling Attractions.

My name is Kevin Harvey. As most who will read this already know, I am the Owner and Executive Producer of RISE – Developing Tomorrow’s Wrestling Attractions. This piece is not about touting whatever self-important titles I could give myself. This piece is falling on my sword as everything day to day outside of show dates falls on me.

As many of you probably saw today, RISE, through our Social Media and website, were openly marketing our Video Library available at Twitch.tv, an Amazon property.

Only now have I had a chance to review the day’s social media engagement in full. After hearing concern from a few of our followers, only then did I realize the bigger picture of some things happening in the world outside my bubble.

I had zero knowledge there was an Amazon Strike today. Being at work all day (outside of wrestling), being generally caught in my own bubble within wrestling, and nearly all things I follow outside those worlds being overrun with headlines and commentary in the world of politics – this somehow was completely off my radar.

As such, I did know it was Prime Day. I knew little else of it beyond the fact it was a hashtag. I took a brief moment after hearing from a few RISE fans to inform myself about the issues at hand by simply searching #PrimeDay and #AmazonStrike.

I encourage all to do the same.

What I learned in this brief research was this. RISE has been promoting our channel, touting #PrimeDay and directing our fans to use their Prime Accounts to get free subscriptions to our Twitch Channel.

And knowing now what I did not earlier today, I really wish I had not done so.

For better or worse, the filter used in RISE decisions is “what is the right thing to do.” And promoting and directing traffic to this channel was not the right thing to do.

As such, anyone who signed up for our Twitch Subscription Service today will receive a code for one free month instead to riseascent.com. We made the promise of free access to our content today, and this is the best way we can deliver. Those who signed up for Twitch today will receive a direct message from me with a coupon to use for access on our other platform.

In the long term, we have several subscribers to our Twitch Channel who have paid for access to content too. We cannot simply pull the plug on the service entirely without negatively impacting those to whom we’ve made a promise of content delivery.

I will be watching the Amazon situation from here out, and time will tell if we elect to continue to use this platform.

For now, my personal apologies to employees of Amazon and their friends and families. Once I became aware of bigger picture issues, I too was put off by my own actions and promotion of Twitch today of all days.

We can do better.

We can be better.

And it all gets better when we all work together.

Thank you to those who shared your feedback. Thank you those who support us every day.

Thank you for reading.

Kevin

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A Letter to RISE Fans, Old and New from RISE Owner and Executive Producer, Kevin Harvey

Having had almost a week to reflect on it, I’ve come down from the inevitable after RISE buzz that comes with working with an amazing crew, amazing fans and copious amounts of sleep deprivation before making this declaration.

RISE – PRIDE & JOY is my favorite RISE Live Event to date.

I am not talking about booking, creative or any inside baseball terms I could toss about leisurely.

I am not talking about financially, or any sort of box office or iPPV numbers.

I am talking about two things that I have heard over and over again in the days since PRIDE & JOY.

The first thing…

From many of the talents on the show, experience levels ranging from a few months to 31 years active in the industry, I was told varying forms of, “That was the best/most fun locker room of which we’ve ever been a part.”

Wow, that’s powerful stuff. That’s powerful to me because of the great care everyone in RISE has taken since its inception to protect a sacred place for talent and staff. This isn’t one person driving that. It certainly isn’t me driving that. It is everyone on the team.

Every veteran talent, wanting to make a better environment for younger talent to learn and grow.

Every young talent, having been chosen from a Seminar for an opportunity, listening to their veteran talents, producers and taking it all in, finding their place on a single event, and hoping for a permanent place on the team.

Everyone.

They are all brought in because of who they are. Wonderfully, unapologetically them, in front of and behind the curtain.

Everyone.

Everyone on PRIDE & JOY believed in what we were attempting to do at the event, with only select few knowing plans for the ideas of P&J to continue fully into the future, and not just be, dare I say it, “a June thing.” 

There was fun in that locker room.

There was representation.

There was inclusion.

There was love.

And now onto that second thing…

I’ve run the numbers, and over 50% of tickets sold to P&J were to first time attendees of RISE Events. And the day of the show, a very large amount of fans approached talent, staff and me personally to let us know something that was truly overwhelming.

“We’ve been wrestling fans a long time, but we’ve never attended an event. This was the first time we’ve ever felt welcomed.”

Wow.

I heard that once, and I wanted to cry. That was one of the overreaching goals of the entire project. 

Then another person came up.

And another.

Then different talents approached me, “Hey, Kev, check out what that fan right there just told me.”

Then another.

Then social media posts and messages.

Then some more.

Then some emails.

Though there is no way to ever officially measure this number. Based on known ticket sales hard statistics and word of mouth in varying forms, I estimate that between 100-150 people in total were attending a live wrestling show for the very first time.

And that’s AMAZING to think! That’s AMAZING to feel! But it’s also a big indicator that there is much more work to be done, not just by RISE, but as a professional wrestling industry.

To fans who attended RISE for the first time, please know that the feeling you had at PRIDE & JOY can be had at EVERY RISE Live Event. The tagline for P&J was, “Pro Wrestling’s Ultimate Event of Love and Inclusion.” But why would we ever stop that at one event?

No matter who you are, you are welcome at our events. By our talent, crew and our community of fans, you are indeed loved.

As anyone at Logan Square Arena heard from Ring Announcer Joe Dombrowski, there are only a few rules of conduct at RISE.

  1. Don’t be ignorant – if you need help with what this means during the show, you will be escorted out of the arena without refund and given directions to the nearest public library, elementary school or whatever resources you need to research what it takes to be a decent human being.
  2. Have fun!

That’s it, it’s that simple! 

And on another note, I went pretty far in depth on this topic on a recent Podcast with Squared Circle Sirens this week, so I will do my best not to be too redundant.

The name change.

Developing Tomorrow’s Women Athletes is out. Developing Tomorrow’s Wrestling Attractions is in.

For those with concern, please notice that at no point have we said we are abandoning our focus on Women’s Wrestling. That could not be any more distant from the truth.

The Phoenix of RISE is still a Championship for Women Athletes.

The Guardians of RISE is still a Championship for Women Athletes.

When we started RISE, there were huge gaps in opportunities for women wrestlers. When I sat down with Dave Prazak to make the pitch that would ultimately become RISE, the mission was to backfill positions we knew would be opening in SHIMMER due to various exclusive talent signings. We thought we’d see.

“Well, let’s see who’s out there.”

That first Seminar – 40 women signed up. And I was only familiar with 4 of them before RISE 1 – IGNITE. It let us know how much work there was to be done, and how many talented women wrestlers out there needed a new platform.

In just over two months since P&J was announced, I have heard from an overwhelming about of talents worldwide who identify as LGBTQ+. With no exaggeration, in one 24 hour period between emails and DMs, I heard from 37 LGBTQ+ Athletes, wanting to be part of this platform. 

There was clearly a need to keep P&J going beyond one day, one month. 

No matter what the calendar says, the time is now for us to continue doing everything we have ever done to train and develop Women Athletes and give them representation on our events and others’ and broaden that focus to provide the same training, the same development and the same opportunities for LGBTQ+ Athletes.

In our time in business with the relationships we have built in the spirit of collaboration over competition, we have become a worldwide pipeline of talent for all professional wrestling.

That is still what we are.

That is still what we do.

We are RISE. And we are Developing Tomorrow’s Wrestling Attractions.

Men’s Wrestling

Women’s Wrestling

Intergender Wrestling

Nah, folks, it’s just wrestling.

And it’s the greatest entertainment form on Earth.

For everyone.

Hey everyone, RISE Executive Producer Kevin Harvey here. It’s no secret I write damn near everything on this site, but this is one I felt it was important to slip into first person.

Last Sunday, we accomplished something incredibly special at RISE – PRIDE & JOY. And by we, I mean RISE. And by RISE, I mean every single member of our roster, staff and crew. And by RISE, I mean our existing fanbase watching live in Chicago and on iPPV. And by RISE, I mean all our new fans, new WRESTLING fans – wrestling fans who shared they attend a pro wrestling event for the very first time because, though they have been fans for varying lengths of time, it was the first time they felt welcome to attend a Live Event.

Over 50% of tickets sold to PRIDE & JOY were to first time RISE ticket buyers. I was approached the day of the event as well as many of the talents and staff too by fans from that 50+% who had never attended a wrestling event before.

And THAT, I feel, is the most important statistic one can say about RISE to date. We reached completely NEW fans. We opened our doors and our hearts to EVERYONE (ok, everyone ages 21 and over…) and connected with more people than ever before.

I would love to say pro wrestling is a perfect world, but it is not. It has come a long way, and RISE, again, ALL of RISE came together and took a positive, tangible big step forward.

In addition to THAT stat, three very important speeches were delivered at PRIDE & JOY. Yes, I said speeches. These were not “wrestling promos.” These were three talents using a platform to speak their mind.

And some of what was said by Shotzi Blackheart, Effy and Mercedes Martinez might make some a little uncomfortable. The words might rattle some cages.

Good.

They were supposed to…

And now, if you have not yet taken a look, please view the videos below:

Wrestling Shouldn’t Segregated, Especially By Gender – Shotzi Blackheart

The Line Has Been Drawn – Effy Arrives in RISE

Mercedes Martinez Presents The New Name of RISE

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What if there was a wrestling program on Monday nights that was exactly that – wrestling? What if there was something fans worldwide could see with no segments, no promos – just matches? What if we did this tonight, and possibly other Mondays in the future?

That is exactly what RISE is trying beginning tonight at 9 PM Eastern. FREE on our YouTube Channel (CLICK HERE), we present an alternative to other traditional Monday night programming.

We start this experiment with one hell of a wrestling match, the 75 Minute Iron Woman Match for The Phoenix of RISE Championship from RISE 10 – INSANITY between “Undeniable” Tessa Blanchard and “The Latina Sensation” Mercedes Martinez. Witness this record-setting match as Blanchard and Martinez put on the longest-ever women’s one-on-one match in history.

Let’s spread the word today on Social Media!

This isn’t about #WomensWrestling. It’s #JustWrestling, and that’s the hashtag we will use in hopes of reaching professional wrestling fans who are looking for something different, a product with #JustWrestling at the center.

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I remember it like it was yesterday. Twenty years ago, April 23, 1999, I was pacing back and forth at my parents’ house in Climax, Michigan, the house where I grew up, the house where I fell in love with professional wrestling. I had just finished my Freshman year at Western Michigan University. Far more important than anything I felt I learned in a class from a book was what I knew was ahead the following day.

April 24, 1999, I stepped into a professional wrestling ring for the very first time, performing the duties of a ring announcer for Real American Wrestling in Bangor, Michigan. When I look back, it seems almost impossible that I have been lucky enough to be part of the professional wrestling industry for twenty years.

I’ve been reflecting a lot the last few days knowing the big 2-0 is Wednesday. I’ve thought about the bad. I’ve thought about the good. I’ve thought about the bitter. I’ve thought about sweet. I’ve thought about it all. No matter what successes anyone perceives I have or have not had in that time, I wanted to boil down 20 years of failures and successes, trials and errors into a few simple points. Maybe someone will find value in it. Maybe it’ll just make me feel validated summarizing a twenty year run in a relatively brief blog.

If I had to boil down the last twenty years into a few points I’ve learned from and I hope others may learn from as well, it might look something like this.

• Ears open, mouth shut! This is far from a Kevin Harvey original. This is something you hear from virtually anyone who teaches wrestling or is a veteran performer offering advice to younger generations. Why do I say this? I say this because a lot of times in hindsight, I know I would have just been better off to keep my mouth and/or keyboard shut. I know full well there are opportunities I gave up and others that passed me by because of this. 

• It’s ok to admit that maybe the role you have played the longest or are most comfortable playing might not be the best role for you. It took me the better part of 20 years to realize that I feel I offer far more value behind curtains and cameras than in front of them. I spent the majority of my time in various announcing and hosting roles. Sure, I can do them. I was maybe even pretty ok at some of them. But after all that time, I got out of those comfort zones. I found something that reignited my passion for wrestling. And I like to think I found places and roles with the companies I work with and work for now that offer for more value to them, their talent and their fans.

• There may come a time in your years in wrestling when you have to come to terms with the fact that “the big time” might not be in your future. It’s on you to determine how you process that and how you deal with that. It is a hard pill to swallow. Even if you might not ever go there, it doesn’t mean your experience is nullified. It doesn’t mean all that work was for nothing. 

Maybe, just maybe, it means all your experience, all your hardships and all your victories still can mean the world to you. And maybe they can mean the world to someone else too. 

Maybe, just maybe, you can put all that energy you used to put into “making it” and the experience and perspective you have into helping others find their way there.

Twenty years later, I’m as happy as I’ve ever been, and that’s knowing that my time to “make it” is gone.

I don’t know that I would have wished for this 20 years ago. But today, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

April 24, 1999: I did this for me.

April 24, 2019: I do it for them.

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I don’t know that there will ever be a better piece of marketing material for a RISE Seminar than the image at the top of this blog. It’s been said a lot of our Seminars and Shows, “Talent took a chance on us. Now we take a chance on them.” I don’t know that any collection of four women personify this more than New Nation, the stable lead by The 7th Phoenix of RISE Zoe Lucas, and rounded out by Charli Evans, Jessica Troy and Steph De Lander.

Charli and Jessica, two young dreamers from Australia took a chance, flying to America to take part in a RISE Seminar with Dr. Tom Prichard. They had no guarantee other than a world class learning experience. They ended up making their American debut as Team Blue Nation taking on Britt Baker and Chelsea Green, Fire and Nice at RISE 3 – MEDIC. Just months later, they would take that same chance once more, only this time they found themselves in an unreal position for an up and coming tag team, they joined forces with the legendary Aja Kong to take on the team of Hiroyo Matsumoto, Rachael Ellering and Dynamite DiDi.

After this standout performance, staying cool under pretty intense pressure, Team Blue Nation would become permanent members of the RISE Roster. They would be part of the Tag Team Awakening, nearly winning the Four Corners Elimination Match at RISE 9 – RISE of The Knockouts to become the first Guardians of RISE Tag Team Champions. Though they came up short in this bout, Blue Nation has worked their way to a future title shot after their victory at LEGENDARY over Team Sea Stars, Ashley Vox and Delmi Exo.

Now, let’s talk for just a minute about Steph De Lander. The young Australian once known as Facebrooke, she took a chance on RISE 7 – SENSATION with no guarantee other than a world class learning experience with Mercedes Martinez. Facebrooke would make such a good impression in the Seminar, she received an opportunity to be part of the famed #TFAZLGGOTPWEPWEP – The First Annual Zoe Lucas Global Gauntlet Of True Pro Wrestling Excellence…Plus Whoever Else Participates. This would be Facebrooke’s first brush with Zoe Lucas, but certainly not her last.

Facebrooke returned to train with Gail Kim at LEGENDARY. Her career in transition after returning from injury, it was time for a change. Facebrooke had recently shed her mask in her home promotions in Australia, showing the world the true identity of Steph De Lander. But, the timing needed to be right to show fans in America just exactly what she means to do in pro wrestling.

With the best draw in RISE of The Contender, Facebrooke entered at number 30. With only her former opponent Zoe Lucas and her best friend from home Shazza McKenzie in the ring, Aerial Monroe down and out after the attack of Blue Nation, it seemed Lucas was doomed and Shazza was poised for revenge after the attack introducing New Nation at RISE – ASCENT, Episode 20 – Something New. Shazza and Facebrooke gave the big “Likes This” thumbs up. However, upon Zoe’s warning, Shazza turned around to eat a monstrous boot to the face from Facebrooke. 

After disposing of McKenzie, Facebrooke removed her mask, tossing it on the fallen body of Shazza and revealed Steph De Lander as New Nation’s newest muscle.

And then there’s Zoe Lucas.

Zoe originally was not even supposed to attend the RISE 4 – WARRIORS RISE Seminar in Norwich, England with Mercedes Martinez and Madusa. There are not many times in a wrestler’s career when a booking cancelling is a lucky scenario, but in this case, it may have truly worked out for the best. Zoe attended the Seminar with no guarantee but a world class learning experience.

After making an impression upon Dave and me in the Seminar, we let Zoe know she was our pick to come to America for opportunities with RISE and SHIMMER. As it turns out, this would be the last we would see of sweet, young Zoe.

Marking her American debut at RISE 5 – RISING SUN, Zoe would have the unenviable task of taking on a true Legend of The Eagles Club, Cheerleader Melissa. Though she would not come out of this scenario with the win, she showed our audience her personality, tenacity and refusal to give up. It’s not unfair to say she took a beating and just kept going. She proved herself a contender in a building where much of the best women’s wrestling in history has occurred. 

Returning at RISE 7 – SENSATION in the aforementioned #TFAZLGGOTPWEPWEP, Zoe may have used smoke and mirrors with laughs at the sheer ridiculousness of such a hashtag, she proved herself the victor. In one match, she bested La Estrella, Facebrooke, Skilled Death Artist #6, Valentina Loca and Thunder Rosa. Though some competitors in the match were more formidable than others, no one could take a victory over five wrestlers away from Zoe.

And then, the fall came around, and this is where this story starts to take a turn. 

Prior to RISE 10 last October, we taped a few Episodes of RISE – ASCENT as part of the VIP Meet and Greet before INSANITY. Some, including Zoe, Charli and Jessica felt this a bit of a slight, being on a “pre-show” match (despite being filmed for ASCENT) after their successes in the rings of RISE. So on Episode 20 of RISE – ASCENT, something happened… Something New.

This Episode sparked the birth of New Nation, and it would prove to be the very beginnings of a stable that would send a ripple through RISE and place them in one of the most controversial and highest profile moments to date.

Zoe Lucas, having won RISE of The Contender, also had “A Guaranteed Match for The Phoenix of RISE at an Event She Will Be Able to Name.” No one ever said, “Zoe cannot name LEGENDARY.”

And that’s how it went.

After the shocking turn of events seeing new Phoenix of RISE Champion Kylie Rae’s friend and Wily Smilies Tag Team partner Miranda Alize beating her down mercilessly until being stopped by Mercedes Martinez, the apparent long game, a months long plan was revealed by New Nation. And, suffice it to say, they won.

After exercising her contract for a title shot, Zoe Lucas, flanked by all members of New Nation, Charli Evans, Jessica Troy and Steph De Lander, walked in and defeated Kylie Rae to become The 7th Phoenix of RISE.

And only moments later, New Nation would find themselves across the ring from some of the most buzz worthy women in all of wrestling, the women of AEW – Brandi Rhodes, Britt Baker and Nyla Rose.

Now, to bring this back to the original point of this blog.

What can attending a RISE Seminar do for Prospective Talents? We would not have known any of these talents had they not reached out to us to take part in their first Seminars. 

They took that chance on us.

And clearly, we are taking that chance on them.

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February 19 is going to be a very memorable day for RISE as we present RISE – A Nice Day in Orlando. Since we ventured to Orlando the first time last year and we saw just how many women talents there were in Orlando and surrounding areas, I have wanted to go back. I want to go back and see more of the talents we just started to know, talents like Avery Taylor, Janai Kai and Sofia Castillo just to name a few. I also know there are many more talents who were not able to attend our last learning outing.

And this time, we’re coming back with one hell of a learning opportunity for women wrestlers. We have one of the most vocal supporters of women’s wrestling facilitating our World Class Development Seminar. We have another Hall of Fame career’s worth of knowledge joining our mission in Developing Tomorrow’s Women Athletes.

We have the legendary Mick Foley joining RISE February 19!

This is exciting to me in so many ways, professionally and personally.

Professionally, knowing that someone with the experience and expertise of Mick Foley not only believes in what we do, but is also willing to be part of Developing Tomorrow’s Women Athletes, that is incredibly validating that we are doing the right thing. It’s just amazing to me the learning opportunity available for those in this Seminar!

Personally, I still remember it like it was yesterday, sitting on the living room floor in glorious Climax, Michigan, watching Monday Night Raw. I remember seeing the sit down interviews with Mankind and Jim Ross, the interviews where the world was introduced to Dude Love. Those very interviews made me believe that maybe, just maybe there was a place in the wrestling world for someone like me.

I cannot wait to see what inspiration Mick brings to the up and coming generation of women wrestlers.

Mrs. Harvey’s Man Child is indeed very excited to be teaming with Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy!

Women Wrestlers, seating is very limited in this seminar and we are allowing entry by invitation only. We may have a very select few open seats, and to be added into consideration for any remaining seats, please email kevin@wrestlingpipeline.com, Subject: Foley Seminar.

Fans, join us for RISE – A Nice Day in Orlando! We will be taping several episodes of RISE – ASCENT featuring such talents as Phoenix of RISE Champion Mercedes Martinez, 1/2 of The Guardians of RISE Tag Tam Champions Dust with Rosemary in her corner, “BIG Swole” Aerial Monroe, Samantha Heights, Leva Bates and more!

Mick will also be available for a Meet and Greet with fans.

This is a very small, intimate venue, so tickets in advance are strongly encouraged. Only a few Front Row remain at $30, all other tickets $15 at risedtwa.ticketleap.com.

Meet and Greet with Mick Foley is $40 and includes 1 Photo with Mick (taken with your camera) and 1 Autographed Photo (or 1 substituted item you provide you wish to have signed). Additional autographs are available at $30 per item. Meet and Greet is also now on sale at risedtwa.ticketleap.com.

Get ready, Orlando! We’re coming, and it’s going to be a very Nice Day in Orlando!

rise-final-012018 is in the books. It was one hell of a year for RISE. It was ambitious. Some, myself included, would argue it was overly ambitious. We’ve lived. We’ve learned. And we’ve moved on to fight another day.

2018 saw 5 Live Events: SENSATION, STEEL, OUTBACK, RISE of The Knockouts and INSANITY. We also saw 4 sets of ASCENT Tapings: Pittsburgh, Naperville, Orlando and Berwyn, producing 22 Episodes of original content. We also put out our first behind-the-scenes documentary IGNITION. 

When I look at that number – 28 pieces of original creative content ranging from 25 minutes to 3 hours, I am incredibly proud of what we have done as a company with virtually zero financial resources. That’s pride in every wrestler, referee, announcer, commentator, manager, camera operator, sound operator, graphic designer, video editor, producer, writer and partner promoter. 

That pride also includes two very important groups of people…

Seminar Attendees: To all who attended our World Class Development Seminars, RISE on the Road Seminars and Online Seminars – thank you! Investing in the development of upcoming generations of wrestling talent is the very backbone of why our program was founded. Though not everyone from every seminar can be selected for immediate opportunities to perform, I hope you all walked away from your time with us better for the business of professional wrestling, learning more about the craft and learning more about yourself.

Fans: Without you, none of us would have a reason to put on Live Events and to develop a worldwide pipeline of talent for all of professional wrestling. However you support, tickets, merchandise, subscriptions, Patreon… I cannot express enough gratitude that you choose to support RISE.

Many thanks to our partner promotions in 2018. Their teams helped us put on the best shows possible and reach new audiences. Thank you Dave Prazak and SHIMMER Women Athletes, Justin Plummer and IWC, Bart Kapitzke and AWS Promotions, Alex Pourteau and Pro Wrestling 2.0, Rossi Ogawa, Melissa Deadrich and Sonny Gutierrez and World Wonder Ring STARDOM and Ed Norholm, Scott D’Amore, Don Callis, Sonjay Dutt, Gail Kim, Ariel Shnerer and IMPACT Wrestling.

Thank you Jon Moody, Jesse Forney, West Ghost Designs and IMPACT Wrestling’s Digital Art team for upping our game with logos, event posters and match graphics. Without a doubt, things got kicked up a notch this year…except the ones that sucked (those were done by me, probably at like 3:45 AM…).

Thank you Mike Robles, Ivan Cespedes, Ben Coile, Eric Tompkins and James Long. Never underestimate the power of a good video crew! From Live Events to assembling ASCENT Episodes to graphic effects to video packages, these are the guys who make real magic happen in post production.

Thank you Josh Mathews, someone who has done so much for RISE this year, connecting us with needed resources, often in ways that were not public facing, but extremely helpful in advancing our brand.

Thank you Jimmy Jacobs. 20 years have passed since we first met. Our lives took different roads. I could not be happier those roads were able to intersect all these years later, bringing your creativity and passion for making wrestling a better place to all facets of RISE.

Thank you to those who facilitated World Class Development Seminars for us this year: Mercedes Martinez, Madusa, Gail Kim, Scott D’Amore, Jimmy Jacobs, Sonjay Dutt, Nicole Matthews, Saraya Knight, Rain, Cheerleader Melissa and Lexie Fyfe.

Thank you to those who facilitated Online Seminars in 2018: Lenny Leonard, Dave Prazak, Portia Perez and Madusa.

Thank you to all those who support me darn near every day. Sometimes that’s just being a good friend who’ll listen. Sometimes that’s wrangling me back to reality when I’m off the rails. Thanks for reality checking me when I’ve turned into “Pepe.” But most of all, thank you for putting up with any of my eccentricities because you believe in what RISE is trying to do. Thank you for believing in the good it can do. In no particular order, thank you Dave Prazak, Pat Creed, Stephane Bruyere, Saraya Knight, Allison Danger, Lexie Fyfe, Cheerleader Melissa, Portia Perez, Mercedes Martinez and Courtney Rush.

Thank you to those who worked so hard for RISE and have moved on to their new careers in WWE. I love you and miss you dearly Deonna Purrazzo, Chelsea Green and James Long. Three of the best at what they do, three who deserve every global opportunity and accolade they have coming their way.

Thank you to Cierra McCauley and her entire family for letting our team be part of spreading your message through #DancerBeatingCancer. I only hope the moment Cierra got to share with the talent and fans in Berwyn in April made her feel even half as special as we all did just getting the chance to meet her and thank her for her bravery and selflessness for her cause.

Last, and by obviously no means least, thank you to every woman (and a few of the boys) who have performed in the rings of RISE. I know I lean on you quite a bit on show days. And that’s A LOT more on show days (and pretty much every day in between) for those women within any remote proximity to The Phoenix of RISE or The Guardians of RISE Championships. You all are saints and deserve the universal, “Thank you for putting up with my shit.”

In addition to these many thanks, there is one final item I would like to address here as we wrap 2018.

Many fans are concerned that RISE is no longer focused on Developing Tomorrow’s Women Athletes. I absolutely understand where that perception comes from and appreciate fans’ concerns. But, I assure you, we have not lost this focus. We are making some pretty big moves in RISE 12 and RISE 13 to double down, to give as many opportunities to Seminar talents as possible.

In fact, I plan to discuss some of the details I know full well lead to these concerns from 2018 in full in the very first episode of The Process which will be recorded January 6 LIVE on Twitch with full interactive fan Q&A at 7 PM Eastern Time. This episode of The Process will focus specifically on the events leading into RISE 8 – OUTBACK, RISE 9 – RISE of The Knockouts and the RISE – ASCENT Naperville Tapings and how the company very nearly folded. How near was it? It was so very near that Episode 13 had an alternate ending on paper only I knew. That ending would have been instituted if it were, in fact, the last RISE Event produced. The decision to roll with the original event conclusion was not made until just before intermission the day of the Naperville Tapings.

Join us for The Process: Kicked Out at 2! at twitch.tv/risedtwa January 6 at 7 PM.

By the numbers…

3 of our girls made their debuts representing RISE in Japan. 3 others would have had it not been for injuries.

4 of our girls made their debuts with IMPACT Wrestling.

In our first 2 years, 148 Women have competed inside the rings of RISE. Of those 148, 97 were Seminar Discoveries. That’s 65.5%.

Since RISE 3, we’ve stated that we hope for our events to be as close to 1/3 Featured Talent, 1/3 a core RISE Roster cultivated from our Seminars and 1/3 Seminar Discoveries. 

Those are pretty damn solid numbers, showing the future is bright. RISE has been and always will be about mixing Today’s Best, Tomorrow’s Brightest. 

And we have an even bigger focus on Developing Tomorrow’s Women Athletes and giving them  more opportunities to shine than ever before.

It’s not a coincidence that RISE 12 only has 4 matches announced right now. The rest of the card will be filled from The Prospective Talent Pool combined with announced talent not currently in advertised matches.

RISE 13 has our first ever RISE of The Contender match will have 30 spots. It is my goal to have “at least” 10-15 of those spots occupied by new Seminar Discoveries and past Seminar Discoveries returning from the voting polls currently open at rise-wrestling.com/rotcvoting. Without going too far ahead and revealing plans…and possibly spoiling parts of RISE 12…as of this writing, there are 22 opportunities for new Seminar Discoveries and those voted to return by fans.

This is who we are.

This is what we do.

This is Developing Tomorrow’s Women Athletes.

This…

This is RISE!

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Now available for subscribers on RISE – ASCENT The App and riseascent.com, it’s RISE – ASCENT, Episode 11 – The Search for Tito!

This week, Alicia Atout hosts a special in-ring interview with Kylie Rae. We hear from Guardians of RISE, Paradise Lost with Rosemary. “The Fallen Flower” Kikyo takes on Chelsea Green. Cameras were still rolling after the farewell moment for Deonna Purrazzo from last week. Allie searches for the perfect tag team partner and Kris Wolf searches for the missing Tito. And in the Main Event this week, Kimber Lee faces Shazza McKenzie. Plus appearances by Britt Baker and Phoenix of RISE Champion Tessa Blanchard!

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