Fighting

Women’s wrestling is on the RISE thanks to established talent leading up-and-comers

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RISE, a growing women’s wrestling company, visited Central Florida on Feb. 19 for a seminar conducted by WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley followed later by a RISE wrestling show.

Pro Wrestling 2.0 in Winter Park, near Orlando, hosted the event, dubbed “Have a Nice Day in Orlando.”

RISE features experienced women’s wrestlers leading up-and-comers.

The group’s mantra is “developing tomorrow’s women athletes.”

Outstanding talent Mercedes Martinez, a two-time WWE Mae Young Classic alum, is helping guide the charge, lending her expertise, knowledge, skill and advice to those working hard to elevate their game.

An exemplary representative of the brand, the Latina Sensation Martinez is the Phoenix of RISE champion.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Photo By Jim Varsallone

In Winter Park, she battled Aerial Monroe, also a WWE Mae Young Classic alum, in the main event for the title. It marked Monroe’s first match since returning from injury, and they worked well together, orchestrating a solid battle in front of a respectable-sized Tuesday night crowd.

In a very good match that told a good story, the bizarre Su Yung with newest recruit Hawlee Cromwell faced off against South Florida’s own Rocky Radley.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Photo By Jim Varsallone

The action also included a fatal fourway with Amber Nova, Robyn Reid, Hawlee Cromwell and Jamie Senegal (which was interrupted by Su Yung); Rebel vs. Avery Taylor; Samantha Heights vs. Stormie Lee; and Regina Honey Badger vs. powerful Jenna Van Muscles (hired by Aria Blake).

Young talent Raegan Fire opened against veteran the Derby Doll Layne Rosario, and jiu-jitsu champ and improving wrestler Lindsay Snow competed against Lady Frost. Snow introduced new, cool ring gear, and Frost wore her elaborate original design.

RISE Founder and Executive Producer Kevin Harvey, formerly of Shimmer, welcomed the patrons at the show’s onset.

Inspired by Shimmer — a revolutionary all-women’s wrestling group that debuted in 2005 — and the success of women’s wrestling on the big stage WWE, RISE was born in 2016.



Ring Announcer Daniel Max Shaw introduced the talent, and referees Rodney Hunter and Scott Wheeler maintained order for the most part inside the training center.

Pro Wrestling 2.0, the site for the show and Foley seminar, is run by WWE alum Alex The Pug Pourteau.

Mick Foley said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time with RISE. From the seminar I gave -- which felt like it was over in the blink of an eye, instead of the three hours it really was -- to the level of enthusiasm, dedication and skill displayed in the evening’s matches, it was a night I will long remember.

“A handful of the women traveled over 20 hours round trip to be part of the events. That’s inspirational, [and] everyone who loves professional wrestling should be fortunate enough to see Mercedes Martinez — one of the unsung heroes of our business — up close in action.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Photo By Jim Varsallone

“After spending one day with the women of RISE, I have never been more confident of the future of women’s wrestling.”

Toward the end Foley addressed the audience, revealing Mick’s Pick, which gave one shining wrestler an opportunity to compete at RISE 13 Legendary. Foley chose Taekwondo specialist The Baddest Black Belt Janai Kai, who teamed with Leva Mankind Bates to form the Block-n-Sock Connection against Guardians of RISE tag champs Paradise Lost with the returning Demon Assassin Rosemary and Dust (Zoey Skye).

A meet-and-greet with Foley and the RISE roster concluded the event.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Photo By Jim Varsallone

RISE 13 Legendary

Phoenix of RISE Champ The Latina Sensation Mercedes Martinez defends her title against Kylie Rae in a No Ropes / Submission Only Match at RISE 13 Legendary on Friday, March 29 at Berwyn Eagles 2125, 6309 26th St., Berwyn, Ill. 60402.

Bell time 9 p.m. EST.

Tickets at RISE13Legendary.

The event will be available live in IPPV via FITE TV.

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Jim Varsallone covers pro wrestling, something he’s done since his college days in the late 1980s. Spanning four decades, he currently covers WWE (Raw, SmackDown and NXT), Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, Lucha Underground, MLW, WOW, AEW and the South Florida indies. He also writes MMA -- mostly profile stories and video interviews with American Top Team talent in South Florida. As for pro wrestling, he writes features stories and profile pieces, updates upcoming show schedules in South Florida, photographs the action and interviews talent (audio and video) -- sharing the content here and via social media on his Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channel: jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel).


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