#Representation Matters

In the past couple days, it has been evident that Kofi winning THE title raised a sense of pride in people’s hearts. This was not just a win for all, but this hit differently for people of color, especially the Black community. As monumental as it was, this caused a ripple effect in taking a closer look at the independent scene of wrestling. There are tons of promotions scattered across the world but the reoccurring theme within most is the lack of representation regarding ethnicity.

This has been shown throughout the history of wrestling, with which the trend seems to continue. Imagine walking into a locker room and being the only one who spoke your language or resembled your features. No one to understand your trials or your culture. This is current life of women wrestlers of color.

The responsibility of addressing this unseen bias does not fall upon women of color but on the promoters themselves. Who among them are willing to step back and take a good look at their roster and make change? Being truthful with not only themselves but with wrestling as a whole and say “we need to do better.”

In 2016 a similar conversation led a company to take ahold of this charge. They challenged the archetype and the comfortability that is held so dear by taking this issue to the forefront, thus the start of RISE Wrestling. Since its inception, diversity has been their top priority. Their seminars have produced a variety of talented wrestlers and they’re consistently establishing new talent.

Recently, they conducted a battle royal named RISE of The Contender. Thirty women entered this bout with hopes of victory however, the true importance goes far deeper than that. The makeup of this match was just as diverse as the background of each contestant. These women, picked predominantly from seminars, hailing from different ethnic backgrounds presented an array of shapes and sizes. Each one given an opportunity to individually stand strong as the women they are.

This emphasis on creating strong roles for women of color is just as imperative as building the space for them. RISE has shown and proved this in numerous ways by taking a stand saying diversity matters, representation matters. As a whole the wrestling community holds the power to yield change by banding together to shatter the glass ceiling, allowing talent to shine through. A chance is all it takes, be the change, close the gap for it truly does matter.

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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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A new addition to our events March 29 will be Early to RISE – A Women’s Wrestling Mini Convention. Beginning at 3 PM Central Time, fans will enter the Berwyn Eagles Club for a full afternoon of access to talent appearing at LEGENDARY as well as SHIMMER’s weekend tapings.

In addition to being a Meet and Greet without the time and space crunch typical of RISE and SHIMMER Intermissions, we will also have several exclusive behind the scenes moments, interviews and more. On top of all that, we will have several matches showcasing talent from the day’s LEGENDARY Seminar with Gail Kim as well as Seminar Standouts from prior outings!

Matches we can share for now include Allysin Kay taking on AQA and “The Lone Bone” Ray Lyn squaring off with “The Baddest Blackbelt” Janai Kai. Other matches are currently in the works and we are hoping to share ASAP!

For those who cannot make it to Chicago, you may be in luck! We will be streaming many of the events from Early to RISE LIVE on Twitch for FREE! Hosts Alicia Atout and Joshua Shibata will take over our Twitch Channel which you can find at twitch.tv/risedtwa.

In addition to hosting Early to RISE, Alicia Atout will be taking over all RISE Social Media, so be sure to follow us on all platforms @RISEdtwa.

Get ready for some fun!

Those who want to be with us in Chicago, tickets are still available for Early to RISE at risedtwa.ticketleap.com.

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RISE Live Events always have a fun surprises, and among the most popular of those are often what talents make their debut from our World Class Development Seminars! This Friday, a number of aspiring Women Athletes will be part of our next World Class Development Seminar, headed by Gail Kim and supported by Jimmy Jacobs, Brandon Tolle and Kevin Harvey.

After a morning and early afternoon of learning the art of professional wrestling, specific to a televised environment, several of the women will be chosen for matches at Early to RISE – A Women’s Wrestling Mini Convention at 3 PM and our massive iPPV Event LEGENDARY beginning at 8 PM.

The Prospective Talent Pool for this Friday includes several returning faces as well as many new ones such as…

Jenna Van Muscles

Sophie King

Bel Pierce

Danika Della Rouge

Rocky Radley

Kara Noia

Sloan

Harlow O’Hara

Avista Varlowe

Angelique Winter Poppaea

The Ultra Violette

“Rookie Jen” Jenna Lynn

Phoebe

Big Mama

Dani Grey

Vanity

Branae

Diamond Hitz

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Who will be selected in the pool to be part of Early to RISE and LEGENDARY, the largest roster of Women Wrestlers ever assembled for a single event? Tune in LIVE to find out!

Early to RISE will be streaming at twitch.tv/risedtwa.

LEGENDARY will be available on iPPV via FITE TV: https://www.fite.tv/watch/rise-13-legendary/2oid7/

 

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March 29, 2019 is the most important date yet for RISE. It will be day jam-packed with activity from the beginning of our World Class Development Seminar to the conclusion of LEGENDARY and everything in-between!

The day for fans in Chicago will begin as doors open for Early to RISE – A Women’s Wrestling Mini Convention at 3 PM. This extended Meet and Greet will include a few bonus matches (likely 2-3) that will be taped for future episodes of RISE – ASCENT. We will begin to make announcements of the Mini Convention’s conclusion starting at 5:30 PM. 5:45 PM will be a hard stop as we must clear the building to finish setting up the venue and final preparations for LEGENDARY.

There are very few tickets remaining for Early to RISE. Get yours while you still can at risedtwa.ticketleap.com. $15 General Admission. Prices for all photos, merchandise, etc. will be set by individual talents.

Outside the building, fans who attended Early to RISE will be allowed re-entry first when doors open at 7:30 PM. We will have two lines outside so those who attended Early to RISE and have General Admission tickets will have first pick of GA Seating for LEGENDARY. After we have brought the Early to RISE Line inside, we will bring in all other fans.

It will be very important for everyone to find their seats as quickly as possible.

Bell time and Go-Live for our iPPV on FITE is 8 PM. Current plans will have one Dark Match at approximately 7:45 PM, subject to change.

While we are LIVE on FITE, there will not be an intermission during the course of the show. We will, however, have talent many talents available after the conclusion of LEGENDARY when the iPPV has ended.

Now, onto the topic of tickets…

Quite literally every single chair the Berwyn Eagles Club has that we can use for seating has a corresponding ticket sale. As such, we will be removing the merchandise tables after Early to RISE to make additional room for Standing Room Only Tickets. We are working with the Eagles Club to determine what we can realistically fit for Standing Room Only without making things wildly uncomfortable. Once we have determined what the number is, we will be making 1/2 of those tickets available Monday night at risedtwa.ticketleap.com, the other 1/2 we will be holding for walk-up only sales March 29. Standing Room Only Tickets will also be $15.

One last item to note: In the interest in making the overall bell to bell time of LEGENDARY from running entirely too long, especially with no intermission, in RISE of The Contender, our 30 Woman Ordered- Entry Battle Royal, we have decided to reduce the time intervals between entrants to 90 seconds.

There’s a LOT going on March 29, and we want to make the experience as transparent, manageable and FUN as possible for all involved. We are shaped up to break a few records, have our best card to date and have some surprises we’re pretty sure you guys are really going to like.

This is going to be BIG.

This is going to be FUN!

And this…is going to be LEGENDARY!

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We want to make sure everyone worldwide has as much opportunity as possible the next few weeks leading into LEGENDARY on iPPV March 29 to get caught up to speed on recent happenings and events at RISE. LEGENDARY truly is a culmination of events that have taken place going all the way back to RISE 1 – IGNITE.

A lot of effort has gone in behind the scenes the last few months to bring RISE to as many video streaming platforms as possible. We are happy to announce that the entire RISE Library of Events, including all Live Events, All Episodes of ASCENT and Documentaries and Specials is available on nearly all major TV streaming devices, gaming consoles, home computers, tablets and smartphones through either subscriptions to our services through riseascent.com or twitch.tv/risedtwa. 

Below is a list of ways to bring RISE to your favorite video viewing platform.

Television Streaming Attachments and Set Top Boxes

Roku

Roku viewers will first need to have an active subscription to twitch.tv/risedtwa, $4.99 per month. Viewers will need to download the App Twitched for $0.99 and register with their Twitch account.

Chromecast

Chromecast viewers can use either a subscription to riseascent.com or twitch.tv/risedtwa, both $4.99 per month. Through the Google Home App, viewers can choose to stream from their subscription via Twitch.

Or, those with RISE – ASCENT the App, available for both iOS and Android, can select the Airplay/Chromecast icon and choose to stream from the App to their Chromecast connected television.

Amazon Firestick

Using the Silk Web Browser, those with a subscription to riseascent.com, $4.99 per month can log in via the browser and stream RISE videos by selecting with your Firestick remote control.

nVidia Shield

Those with nVidia Shield and select AndroidTV Smart TV Systems, you can access riseascent.com  using the browsing App Puffin TV, free in the Google Play Store! Subscribe today for $4.99 per month to bring the entire RISE library to your television set!

Apple TV

Those with RISE – ASCENT the App, available for both iOS (iPhones and iPads) or those using a Mac Computer 2011 or newer, can select the Airplay icon and choose to stream from the App to their Apple TV connected television. This feature works with Third Generation AppleTV and newer.

Video Gaming Consoles

Both XBox One and Playstation 4 can be utilized by those with a subscription to twitch.tv/risedtwa. Subscribe online and you can stream videos from the RISE Library direct to the Apps on your gaming console. 

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A massive THANK YOU to our fans in the Chicago area and those traveling to Chicago to be part of RISE – LEGENDARY March 29 in Berwyn, IL. Over the weekend, LEGENDARY official SOLD OUT, a full 27 days in advance. Thank you for supporting our women and thank you for supporting what we do.

After the announcement of the sellout, we received a number of inquiries about how to get tickets. As has always been the case with RISE, we try to be as transparent as possible with our fans.

At this point, we have sold 1 ticket for every chair the Berwyn Eagles Club has. We are currently exploring possibilities of getting more chairs, but quite frankly, the likely will not fit. We also will explore standing room only tickets, but those decisions will only be able to be made the day of the event. We would love to have as many fans as possible, but we also have to keep in mind maintaining a safe environment and an enjoyable experience for all in attendance.

Often times in the last few weeks before the show, we do hear from fans who are unable to make the event for varying reasons. As such, we are starting a Cancellation Waitlist. Fans who wish to attend LEGENDARY but were unable to acquire tickets can fill out the form below. We will reach out to fans based on the order in which they are signed up on the waitlist should any tickets become available.

For those who have already inquired through email or social media, you have already bene added to the Cancellation Waitlist.

Anyone wishing to be with us LIVE in Berwyn March 29 looking to get any tickets, please fill out the form below.

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RISE – LEGENDARY emanates from The Berwyn Eagles Club, just outside the city limits of Chicago, IL March 29. The largest roster of Women Wrestlers ever assembled for a single show will put on a Live Event unlike any other, and not just for the fans in Chicago. LEGENDARY will be streamed LIVE, worldwide via iPPV through FITE!

LEGENDARY is available for pre-order now through fite.tv, FITE Apps on Smartphones and Tablet devices, most Smart TVs, Chromecast, AppleTV, Roku, XBox One, Playstation 4, and Android TV.

You can also order via rise-wrestling.com/ippv.

LEGENDARY is $14.99 through all sources. Pre-order today and receive $3 Credit for the FITE App.

This is huge for all the reasons you already know, and a few that you do not know. Today’s Best, Tomorrow’s Brightest from around the world are truly here March 29 to accomplish nothing short of an event worthy of the name LEGENDARY.

For those of you who can possibly be with us in Chicago at the Live Event, act fast, because we are very near to SOLD OUT. Only a handful of $15 GA Tickets remain at risedtwa.ticketleap.com.

Help us spread the word. Those who’ve supported us every step of the way, thank you. Now, let us open the world’s eyes upon what we do.

March 29, what we do will be LEGENDARY!

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March 29 in Chicago, LEGENDARY will present the largest roster of Women Wrestlers ever assembled for one event LIVE from Chicago. And, as is always the case for RISE World Class Development Seminars, there will be several opportunities on this card for talents selected from The Prospective Talent Pool of Seminar attendees.

LEGENDARY as well as Early to RISE – A Women’s Wrestling Mini-Convention will present many opportunities for matches, but who will those opportunities be given to from our The Pool. Who will join RISE of The Contender? Who might be picked for Kris Wolf’s Meat Friends or Su Yung’s Legion of Undead Brides? Who might be put in other matches throughout the day?

It will surely be someone from the following list:

Jenna Van Muscles

Sophie King

Riley Shepard

Bel Pierce

Danika Della Rouge

Rocky Radley 

Kara Noia

Sloan

Harlow O’Hara

Avista Varlowe

Angelique Winter Poppaea

Women Wrestlers, based on invoices pending (names not listed here) for this Seminar, we are only 4 seats away from a sellout. To be part of this World Class Development Seminar with IMPACT Wrestling Hall of Famer Gail Kim as well as RISE Officials on hand, register today at rise-wrestling.com/seminar.