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:
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,
Executive Producer, RISE – Developing Tomorrow’s Wrestling Attractions