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Whenever you did it, however you did it, if you are reading this, I am going to go ahead and assume in some way, you supported RISE in 2019. And for that, I sincerely thank you.

Out of curiosity today, I decided to put together some stats, and I was actually kind of shocked when I started making tallies. There is a lot we accomplished this year. Some numbers I knew because we openly marketed them/humble bragged about them. But, wow…what a year.

Let’s start off with some of the more obvious numbers.

In 2019, 4 Women held The Phoenix of RISE Championship. The year began with “The Latina Sensation” Mercedes Martinez as Champion, The 5th Phoenix of RISE. Kylie Rae defeated Mercedes in a highly emotional contest at LEGENDARY to become The 6th, but her moment was cut quite short. Of course, it was cut short by Zoe Lucas, who would become The 7th. And today, The 8th Phoenix of RISE is Big Swole.

Just this week, it was formally announced Big Swole has signed with AEW. Please consider this my formal statement that Big Swole is STILL Phoenix of RISE. And she will continue to defend as Champion and compete in the rings of RISE.

In 2019, 2 Tag Teams held The Guardians of RISE Tag Team Championships. Paradise Lost started the year with Raven’s Ash and Dust defending the titles. The Killer Death Machines, Jessicka Havok and Nevaeh won the titles at LEGENDARY and reign as The 2nd Guardians of RISE Champions to this day.

Based on our upcoming schedule and potential defenses, it looks as though The Killer Death Machines will set a new record as the longest reign of either championship in our now 3+ years of operation.

In 2019, we set a new, all-time record for the largest roster of women wrestlers ever assembled for a single event at LEGENDARY. At LEGENDARY, 54 women competed in matches. 2 Women were on commentary, Allysin Kay and Veda Scott. 6 Women were involved in the event in non-wrestling capacities – Gail Kim, Allie (Cherry Bomb), Brandi Rhodes, Britt Baker, Nyla Rose and Rosemary.

LEGENDARY would also see the debut of our first non-binary competitor, Sophie King during her brief, but memorable moment is RISE of The Contender. Sophie would go on to have more moments in 2019 too.

In 2019, we widened the scope of what we do to create opportunities for development and to showcase skills at PRIDE & JOY. We transitioned from Developing Tomorrow’s Women Athletes to Developing Tomorrow’s Wrestling Attractions, looking expand our efforts for wrestlers in the LGBTQ+ community.

In my opinion, the most important stat of 2019 is 100+ of the fans in attendance of PRIDE & JOY were first time Live Event fans. And I do not just mean RISE Live Events fans. A HUGE amount of people reached out to me and different members of our team to inform us PRIDE & JOY was the first time they ever attended ANY pro wrestling event. It was the first time they felt represented. It was the first time they felt welcome.

Representation Matters, and we will continue this focus as we move ahead into 2020.

And now, here are the numbers I really didn’t believe as I was tallying them.

In 2019, 93 matches transpired inside the rings of RISE, spanning 2 Countries and 4 states.

In 2019, 115 professional wrestlers competed inside the rings of RISE:

102 Women Athletes

12 Male Athletes

1 Non-Binary Athlete

In 2019…I cannot even tell you how many people attended Seminars. Honestly, it’s just too much labor to count it up, going through old emails and PayPal invoices. But, it was a LOT. Easily over 100.

In 2019, we formally joined forces with Freelance Wrestling Academy. This is effectively the RISE Wrestling School for anyone who asks the question. Isaias Velazquez handles the beginners classes. Jesus Bryce (Benjamin) handles the advanced classes. I have joined both more often than not every training day possible the back half of this year, doing whatever possible to use RISE resources and pay it forward to the new generation of talent from our local scene.

Whether you’ve realized it or not, several wrestlers who’ve been part of RISE this year came by way of Freelance Wrestling Academy, some in dark matches, others making formal debuts at Live Events. Those wrestlers included, Davey Bang, August Matthews, Elayna Black, Storm Grayson, Warbear Eda and Jay Raves. And that list will grow in the months to come.

In 2019, tonight in fact, we start HORIZONS Weekly Seminars. Open to all wrestling roles, all gender identities. We will offer formal RISE training, on par with our World Class Development Seminars every single Thursday. For now, the Seminars are based in Berwyn, IL. In 2020, we are looking to take these on the road as well as move into a new facility in Chicago, but more on that as time passes.

We will also have LIVE content every Thursday on YouTube. We hope to have matches most weeks, but that will depend on Seminar signups and experience levels in each Seminar. Tonight for example, only one Seminar attendee has had matches prior, so we likely will not have matches tonight.

In 2019, we had 5 LIVE iPPV Streams on FITE. Thank you to my dear, longtime friend Mike Robles of Smart Mark Video Without him, these would not have even remotely been close to possible to make happen.

And I was torn about putting this last part in, but, here goes.

In 2019, there is one very important number where we have to place focus. For as many moments as we had, for the sold out shows and fairly well attended Seminars, one thing we did not do – profit. Not one cent. That cannot and will not continue to happen in 2020. RISE will simply cease to exist if we cannot turn the financial boat around and sail for profitable waters.

The Live Event Model, if I’m being frank, will never make money. The level of talents involved, the transportation and logistical costs, we would have to double or triple ticket prices to make the Live Event profitable. And I’m not about to do that.

So, we can either scale back…immensely…in a way where the caliber of shows would change. Or, we can simply try this.

Let’s get more EYES ON RISE. Tweet it. Instagram it. Facebook It. #EyesOnRISE.

There is no such thing as a bad way to support. Even the free ways help in some way, because it’s all #EyesOnRISE.

One FREE way everyone can support, watch our YouTube Channel. We have uploaded the entirety of Year One. I started uploading Year Two this week, and you will see more and more content from 2018 soon, including the first several episodes of ASCENT. Watch our stuff, share our stuff. It all helps get #EyesOnRISE.

Subscriptions to riseascent.com are also a big help. Though not free, $4.99 is a pretty solid price to get our entire library of content (including full shows as opposed to heavily edited down YouTube matches). Plus, you get all Bar Wrestling Shows featuring many, many talents you know and love from RISE. You also get content from these great providers: AAW Pro, Angel Gate, Atomic Championship Wrestling/Rogue Women Warriors, Bombshells Ladies Wrestling, British Empire Wrestling, Chaotic Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Eve, Ladies Night Out – Title Match Network, Queens of Combat, Gangrel’s Wrestling Asylum and Wrestling Theology Fellowship. And remember, a login to riseascent.com also opens access to our Apps on iOS and Android.

You can get 12 months now for a discounted price of $40 through December at rise-wrestling.com/holiday.

And, though it’s not exactly #EyesOnRISE in-ring product, it certainly helps. A couple of ways you can wear RISE, getting our tees, hoodies and more:

prowrestlingtees.com/kevinharvey

teespring.com/stores/rise-wrestling (20% off using code HOLIDAY through December)

I do NOT share this to be Mr. Doom and Gloom or be some carny SOB to spike any particular sales, etc. I do NOT share this to try and shame anyone for “not supporting enough.” Let me circle back to the first paragraph of this article.

“Whenever you did it, however you did it, if you are reading this, I am going to go ahead and assume in some way, you supported RISE in 2019. And for that, I sincerely thank you.”

I thank you for all you do to make what we do worth every bit of investment we put into developing a worldwide pipeline of talent for ALL of professional wrestling. If you love what we do, share it with others you know who love wrestling.

Let’s share what we love.

Let’s not look at any of this as a negative.

Let’s look at this as making 2020 the year of getting more fans involved in what we do.

Let’s make 2020 the year we get more #EyesOnRISE.

Our fans are amazing, and we continue on through your support.

You really are THE BEST!

Happy Holidays to you and yours,

Kevin Harvey

Executive Producer, RISE – Developing Tomorrow’s Wrestling Attractions

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Beginning December 12 RISE begins HORIZONS – Weekly Pro Wrestling Seminars and Original Content, streaming FREE on YouTube LIVE from The Berwyn Eagles Club in suburban Chicago every Thursday. Seminars are open to all professional wrestling roles, all experience levels.

HORIZONS Seminars will be held from 7 PM to 10:30 PM Central Time. Seminars will cover in-ring training, working in filmed/televised environments, character presentation and speaking skills and more. Specific topics and skills will vary each week. Each Seminar will be designed to be effective as a standalone session, but also with learning continuity week to week to give benefit for those who attend multiple sessions.

HORIZONS Seminars are priced at $20 each. Incentive pricing is available for those who wish to attend multiple sessions. Attend 2 HORIZONS Seminars for $30, 4 for $50. HORIZONS Registration is now open at rise-wrestling.com/horizons.

HORIZONS Content will stream LIVE on YouTube and will involve matches showcasing talent selected from our Seminars at 9:30 PM to 10 PM Central Time. Those who are unable to watch HORIZONS LIVE will be able to watch the VOD on YouTube after the conclusion of the original stream as well.

We will be able to allow very limited fans inside the training area in Berwyn, only 10-15 per week to view the matches, tickets are $5 and will be available this weekend at risedtwa.ticketleap.com.

It is important to note, HORIZONS fan-facing content is not designed to be a Live Event or a polished, produced video content. It is designed to be very raw, showcasing what your students can do in a learning environment, allowing fans insight and voice into who they would like to see featured on future RISE Live Events. By design, this is to give our students reps in the ring in front of a small live audience and in front of a camera for the audiences at home too – not to be a fully produced wrestling event.

We look forward to setting off for new HORIZONS next Thursday, December 12!

And, for what it’s worth, when it comes to Seminars and matches for HORIZONS, “you never know who might show up…”

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With Thanksgiving this week, the Holiday Shopping Season kicks off in full force. We know there are a lot of our fans out there with other wrestling fans on their shopping lists, so we’ve added some pretty big deals at rise-wrestling.com/holiday! These deals are so big, we are willing to bet more than a few of our fans take advantage of these great gifting prices for themselves too!

Possibly the greatest overall value – 1 Year Membership to riseascent.com for $40, a savings of $20 annually based on the regular price of $4.99 per month. This pricing is valid for new AND existing memberships! Membership at riseascent.com also gains access to the entire RISE Video Archive and so much more through our Apps on iOS and Android Mobile Platforms as well! Available now through December 24.

20% off Pro Wrestling Tees – All RISE Wears 20%, no coupons necessary! Available now though December 1.

20% off all RISE Wears, which includes MANY exclusives in our Teespring Store. Exclusive hoodies, tank tops, tees and even leggings and onesies are available at deeply discounted prices using promo code HOLIDAY. Valid now through December 14.

And for those on your lists who prefer or collect physical media, The Complete Anthology of our first three years, 29 discs in all, is available for only $200 on DVD or Blu-ray. Price includes US Shipping!

All these deals available now at rise-wrestling.com/holiday!

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In an effort to still make content available to fans who prefer or rely on physical media to watch our events, we will now offer bare bones DVDs and Blu-rays of our most recent events. Both LA ESCALERA and Early to RISE – A Berwyn Adventure are now available on  both formats, priced at $12 and that price INCLUDES shipping within the continental United States.

These bare bones DVD and Blu-ray units will be discs shipping in paper sleeves and will not include cases or cover art. As we announced last month, we have discontinued our physical media line that includes cases and cover art. Continuing to produce physical media in this matter is no longer sustainable for RISE and also drives up shipping costs considerably for our fans.

We have also made all iPPV events from 2019 available on Blu-ray and DVD, all priced at $12 which included shipping within the continental US. This includes Regional Rising Stars Tournament – The Midwest Bracket, marking the first time this event has been made available for physical media release.

To order, please visit rise-wrestling.com/physical.

International orders, please email risedtwa@gmail.com, Subject: International Shipping for more information on estimated costs of shipping to your location.

RisePrideAndJoy-368.jpgOur set of custom Pride Logo turnbuckle pads are now available for sale and available for pickup this weekend during the course of RISE and SHIMMER Events. Shipping arrangements can also be made for those who are unable to attend this weekend.

This is a very unique set to own as they were used on not one, but three events, all with significant places in our history: PRIDE & JOY from June 29 in Chicago, IL, Regional Rising Stars Tournament – The Midwest Bracket from September 1 in Berwyn, IL and they will also be on the ring for LA ESCALERA November 1 in Berwyn, IL. The turnbuckle pads will be removed from the ring immediately following LA ESCALERA and signed by several talents who appeared on these events.

Since these pads are a bit unique, souvenirs from three significant events instead of the usual one, we are pricing them at $150.

If you would like to purchase one of these pads, please email risedtwa@gmail.com, Subject – Turnbuckles. Payment arrangements will be made via email.

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We held out for as long as we could. Many who are part of the behind the scenes at RISE are just like many fans out there – we hold the collecting of physical media, anything from VHS Tapes to DVDs to Blu-rays close to our hearts. But, the time has come to bring an end to the RISE Physical Media product line of DVDs and Blu-rays of our Live Events and Episodes of RISE – ASCENT.

In short, as the vast majority of fans view our content through digital resources, we sell very, very few DVD and Blu-ray. It is so few, in fact, that the cost to produce the units exceeds what we actually make back in sales. It simply does not make good sense for us to continue to produce the discs.

The entire RISE Library of Events will still be available at riseascent.com and our Apps on iOS and Android. $4.99 per month will let you stream our entire archive and much more. You also have the option to purchase or rent individual events for download. Our iPPV Events are still available VOD from FITE TV. Going forward, our Digital Library will also be available from our friends at Smart Mark Video.

Our most recent release, PRIDE & JOY from June 29 in Chicago wil be the end of the product line.

We have lowered prices across the board on all individual events and multi-disc sets to clearance pricing. Once our inventory on hand is gone, these units are out of print.

All events, even the newest releases are priced at $8 on DVD, $10 on Blu-ray. All 2 Disc Sets such as RISE – ASCENT Collections and Flight of The Phoenix and Elite Women on The RISE are $15 on DVD, $18 Blu-ray. The 3 Disc Set Bite The Apple is $20 on DVD, $25 Blu-ray.  These prices do not include shipping and handling.

What was once our primary company merchandise store at Ecwid will close at 11:59 PM EST October 22. Get your orders in now at pipeline.ecwid.com.

RISE 1 – IGNITE and GAIN 1 – STAND WITH KNIGHTS are both completely out of stock. RISE 2 – ASCENT we are down to 1 Blu-ray and 2 DVDs. RISE 3 – MEDIC we have 2 DVDs only. RISE 4 – WARRIORS RISE we have 2 DVDs only.

All other events and sets we have only single digits remaining. Once these are gone, they are gone.

Thank you to all who’ve supported RISE through the purchases of DVD and Blu-ray over the last three years.

Future events, we will be willing to explore very stripped down physical media, but we are talking about a DVD/Blu-ray without a menu, no cover art. Just a disc in a sleeve. These will be handled by individual requests for those who physical media may be their only option to watch our events. We encourage anyone interested in this to reach out via social media for events going forward.

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November 1 in Berwyn, IL one match is guaranteed to be a defining moment for the winner, one that could possibly change the very course of RISE History – La Escalera al Campeonato. Be there, Tickets: CLICK HERE, Watch on FITE TV: CLICK HERE

La Escalera al Campeonato is a ladder match that will only be won by the competitor who ascends the ladder to retrieve the contract for a guaranteed shot at The Phoenix of RISE at LEGENDARY 2020. Elimination rules apply, wrestlers pinned or made to submit exit the match. Every play matters in this contest.

And now, introducing the field…

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Returning in 2019, PRISCILLA KELLY has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt she is one of the top competitors in RISE. Two of the most talked about matches in RISE this year had PK front and center. Hell’s Favorite Harlot could well be on her path to The Phoenix of RISE.

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From our January Seminar, AQA won the vote as the 2019 Seminar Discovery debut fans wanted in this match most. AQA is young, hungry and not afraid to take risks. And did we mention, there will be ladders in play? Inside 1 year, AQA could go from discovery to top contender.

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The Equal Opportunity Ass Kicker looks to leave no doubt in her debut before our core Chicago audience, RAZE is a contender everywhere she goes. Will RAZE ascend the ladder and become top contender to The Phoenix of RISE?

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First coming to RISE Seminars in 2016, THE HYAN has truly proven she is The Renaissance Woman. Now world traveled, backing down from no challenge, no opponent, and no stranger to doing what it takes to win – Hyan could be on her ascent to The Phoenix.

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Will he change the course of RISE history? In his first two outings, “Superstar” JAKE ATLAS has been part of two RISE MOTYC – both involving one of his opponents here – Priscilla Kelly. Jake has shown he is a world class competitor, breaking barriers everywhere he travels.

And, yes, we did blatantly state as we transitioned to Developing Tomorrow’s Wrestling Attractions, “The Phoenix of RISE is still a Championship for Women Athletes.” The addition of Jake Atlas to this field was actually at the REQUEST of our Women Athletes. Our talents believe great wrestling knows no gender. Our talents want to wrestle the very best this industry has to offer. And everyone in our locker room believes Atlas is among the very best on the independents. And, should Jake win this contest, he will receive his definitive opportunity to prove he is the best Professional Wrestler in RISE.

And the sixth and final participant in this contest will be chosen from either our Seminar’s Prospective Talent Pool or from our ongoing training efforts with Freelance Wrestling Academy. Who walks out of La Escalera al Campeonato with the guaranteed shot at The Phoenix?!

 

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With the landscape of pro wrestling ever-changing and an unprecedented whirlwinds of change in terms of broadcast and on-demand content, RISE will continue to evolve, continue to try new things. But one thing we must do above all else – we must get more eyes on RISE. And to do that, we need to make our content more available than ever before. Therefore, this Saturday, October 12 at 8 AM Eastern Time, RISE – YEAR ONE debuts on YouTube.

RISE – YEAR ONE will see, for the first time ever, entire events from our first year (and a little extra) available for FREE, no paid subscription required, no fees for digital downloads, no need to wait for or pay to ship physical media. It will all be available at the click of a mouse or tap of a screen.

The events will be broken up into their individual matches and segments and organized into playlists.

The events in our YouTube release of RISE – YEAR ONE include RISE 1 – IGNITE, RISE 2 – ASCENT, GAIN 1 – STAND WITH KNIGHTS, RISE 3 – MEDIC, RISE 4 – WARRIORS RISE, RISE 5 – RISING SUN, RISE 6 – BRUTALITY and RISE 6.5 – THROTTLE.

“It’s so bizarre to look back today at events like RISE 1. So much has changed and so many talents have come through our rings in just under three years. Some moments make me cringe (cough cough, RISE 3 & 5 Main Event conclusions, cough, terrible booking, cough), others make me smile to know how far many of these talents have come. All of us, talent and staff, have grown. We’ve learned. And we’ve continued to evolve and redefine what it means to us to be Developing Tomorrow’s Wrestling Attractions. It’s time more of the world had easier ways to see the important work we’ve done together,” said RISE Executive Producer, Kevin Harvey, who is definitely not writing this article in third person.

Fans have asked what lies in the future for our Episodic Platform RISE – ASCENT. We want to reboot ASCENT entirely. Ideas are in place, but a big part of making those ideas happen is pulling the funds together to do so.

And to do that, we need more eyes on what we have done so more watch what we are doing. And hopefully, even more people will be along for ride for what we are prepared to do.

Enjoy RISE – YEAR ONE this Saturday. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Today, CLICK HERE!

Konnan y Taya Seminar

Our next World Class Development Seminar is coming up November 1 in Chicago with Konnan and Taya Valkyrie leading the learning. As is the case with all our World Class Development Seminars, part of the fun comes from seeing who will be chosen from the Seminar Students – The Prospective Talent Pool as standouts who will receive opportunities to perform in matches at Early to RISE – A Berwyn Adventure at 3 PM and LA ESCALERA LIVE on iPPV at 8 PM.

As of this writing, this is The Prospective Talent Pool:

Mz. Hyde

Manny Cortez

August Matthews

Rahne Victoria

Lavendar Skye

Great Bambina

Davey Bang

CJ Stokes

Sophie King

Zan Phoenix

Jody Threat

Aja Perera

Angelique Winter Poppaea

This Seminar is very near sold out.  In addition to these names, a number of invoices are outstanding. Wrestlers, do not miss out on this day of learning, possibly with opportunities to follow the very same day.

Register for this Seminar ASAP at rise-wrestling.com/seminar.