RISE‘s latest pay-per-view, RISE LUMINOUS, excels with classic indie match-ups, exciting new talent, and the last chapter in the Rosemary and Allie story (for now).
Dust def. Vipress
Shotzi Blackheart def. Miranda Alize
Big Mama def. Ruby Raze
Baevivor Series: Sea Stars def. Killer Baes by double submission
Madison Rayne def. Mercedes Martinez
Phoenix of RISE championship match: Zoe Lucas def. Aerial Monroe
Rosemary def. Cherry Bomb
Dust (with Delilah Doom) vs. Vipress
Vipress didn’t get a lot of chances to show personality, but she has the silent, scowling heel role down pat. (Even if one rude guy in the crowd did heckle her coat.)
She was up against Dust, one of Rosemary’s evil acolytes, who came to the ring accompanied by Delilah Doom. Dust is an awesome wrestler. She’s quick, scary and violent, and it’s been fun to watch her get more confident since her excursion to STARDOM. She’s trying bigger moves, getting mouthier with the ref and the crowd, and it looks like she’s having a blast. Doom and Dust’s team work was also impeccable. At one point, the ref stopped Dust from choking Vipress on the ropes, only for Doom to lean in and continue choking Vipress from ringside. Even though Vipress did get in some decent offense, it wasn’t a surprise that Dust won.
It was a surprise that Doom hopped up into the ring and started whaling on Vipress, to Dust’s delight. It was an even bigger surprise when Cherry Bomb (aka Allie — yes, THAT Allie!) ran in to stop them. People who are use to Allie’s sweeter Bunny character were probably surprised to see her more hardcore persona leap into the fray with a chain around her fist, beating Doom and Dust back and taunting Rosemary about their upcoming fight.
Did I mention this all happened in the span of ten minutes? Let a lady catch her breath, RISE!
Miranda Alize vs. Shotzi Blackheart
Blackheart kicked off the match with a promo where she called Alize the “Jan Brady of RISE” (which is legitimately a great burn) and starting a “Pooperstar” chant that will probably haunt Alize for the rest of her RISE career. Alize is working to establish herself as a heel, so she responded with a series of nasty spots to earn her bonafides, including a cringe-inducing kick to Blackheart’s fingers when they were tangled in a turnbuckle (!).
Blackheart’s promos are reliably great, and she continues to amaze in the ring. In this match she pulled-off a great-looking 619 and a Cattle Mutilation hold that made me wince. Blackheart is a highlight of any show she’s booked in, and it continues to confuse me that the companies I watch don’t use her more often. Come on, y’all. Stop sleeping on Shotzi!
Shotzi walked out victorious, but Alize refused to leave the ring. Who should come out to tell her off, but Mercedes Martinez! Martinez ordered Alize back to the locker room. Who is going to argue with Martinez? Not Alize. (I wouldn’t either.)
Raze vs. Big Mama
One of the things I really appreciate about RISE, is that they tend to have a diverse roster in every sense of the word, and that includes wrestlers of different shapes and sizes. Big ladies fighting each other is sadly all-too-rare in the mainstream wrestling world, which was why I was excited for this match up. Big Mama is a brawler and a RISE standout that has been highlighted on ASCENT and the last pay-per-view; Raze would be well-known to anyone who follows West Coast Wrestling as an equal-opportunity wrecking machine.
This was a lady hoss battle for the ages. Raze and Mama destroyed each other with big forearms and chops, taunts, and eventually a second-rope showdown that ended with a powerbomb that made the ring shake. It was short and a little rough in spots, but it was an enjoyable showdown and I hope these two meet up again sometime in Berwyn.
Baevivor Series: Shades of Blonde (Heather Monroe, Laura James, Simone, and Taya Valkyrie) vs. 4 Non-Blondes (Ashley Vox, Delmi Exo, Nicole Savoy, and Cheerleader Melissa)
This was the kind of silly, enjoyable match where RISE talent excels. The match kicked-off with Vox leading the crowd in a sing-along of “What’s Going On”, presumably chosen to mock their blonde opponents. The fact that Vox read the lyrics off of her phone was adorable.
Then the blonde team charged their brunette opponents in an attempt to knock them out of the ring, and it was chaos from there. The inclusion of established SHIMMER talents like Savoy, Valkyrie and Cheerleader Melissa, as well as two great tag teams in the Sea Stars and the Killer Baes, gave the wrestlers plenty to work with in the ring. What followed was a greatest hits compilation of these wrestler’s best moves and showdowns. Savoy takes someone out with a German suplex! Melissa and Valkyrie brawl their way out of the ring for a double elimination! The match topped-off with a great showing from Vox and Exo, where they pulled a double submission to end the match.
Ashley Vox was definitely the MVP of this match, but it was a great showing for everybody involved. Fast, furious and fun: the RISE sweet spot.
Madison Rayne vs. Mercedes Martinez
This Mae Young Classic rematch was probably the best technical bout of the night. Martinez is a known genius of wrestling, but I think sometimes people forget how good Madison Rayne is. She’s quick and precise, and she makes herself and her opponents look like a million bucks.
If you’re a fan of chain wrestling, this is the match for you. Martinez and Rayne traded strikes and holds, and Rayne countered Martinez’s rage with quiet determination. In a surprise upset, Rayne won this one. Martinez taking an L in RISE is a big deal, and Rayne winning clean is a testament to her abilities in the ring.
Unfortunately for Rayne, Miranda Alize chose the end of the match to make her gambit for Martinez’s attention. Alize actually hopped over Martinez to land a Shining Wizard on Rayne, knocking her flat. At first it seemed like Martinez was going to chew Alize out yet again, but Martinez only encouraged Alize to be even more vicious with Rayne. Apparently, the assault convinced Martinez that Alize has the fire she needs to be a contender, and she can get there with a little mentorship from Martinez. So they’re a team now. It remains to be seen what this means for the locker room, but I’d be worried if I were on that roster.
Phoenix of RISE Championship: Zoe Lucas vs. Aerial Monroe
I’ve been delighted that we’ve been seeing more and more of Monroe in RISE lately. Big Swole is one of my favorite wrestlers, and the potential of a long-term rivalry between herself and one of RISE’s best (and most obnoxious) characters is great. Lucas is a classic cowardly heel who won the Phoenix of RISE title through a sneaky cash-in of a title match opportunity, and since then, RISE fans have been wondering if she’d be able to keep the belt. Monroe is the perfect serious threat to throw her off her game and make her work for that title.
The Monroe we saw in this match was more vicious and furious than we’ve seen her before. At one point in the match, she threw the ref out of her way so she could corner Lucas by a turnbuckle and hammer her with a forearm. Lucas responded to this by targeting Monroe’s previously-injured knee, taunting her, and generally inviting the worst of Monroe’s offenses. Lucas weathered elbows and uppercuts, and was nearly pinned before she got a hand on the rope. Then she turned around and pinned Monroe, who also got a hand on the rope, but the ref didn’t see it.
The match ended with Lucas fleeing with her title, and Monroe assaulting the ref and screaming at the crowd. Lucas definitely established that she deserves that title, but I don’t know if Monroe is going to let her keep it much longer.
Cherry Bomb vs. Rosemary
Women’s wrestling fans have been following the rivalry/friendship/multiverse shenanigans of Rosemary, Allie, and their alter-egos from promotion-to-promotion for years now. (If you haven’t, this DVD is a good roundup of their Canadian work.) With Allie about to leave the indies for AEW, it’s fitting for Rosemary to “retire” her from the indies with a good old-fashioned steel cage match. And while Allie could have been Allie in this match, I love that she decided to bring Cherry Bomb back for one last piece of unfinished business.
Rosemary and Allie have been working together for a long time, and their chemistry is awesome. Move-for-move, they countered and complemented each other perfectly. There were lots of call-backs to classic moments in their shared career, including some fun dueling demon rises, and a surprising moment where Rosemary actually spared Cherry Bomb’s life from her own sacrificial blade. I don’t want to describe this match fully because I think you should just watch it. The mix of awesome character work and pure skill is compelling, and seeing Rosemary and Allie say goodbye to each other in the ring is worth a RISE subscription, and a full viewing of RISE LUMINOUS.
My one quibble: while I understand why Dust and Doom inserted themselves into the match, it felt a little anti-climactic for Rosemary and Cherry Bomb to share their final match with two other wrestlers. It doesn’t feel like we really got a definitive end to the story. Hopefully that’s on purpose? Let’s hold out hope they’ll meet again in another corner of the multiverse.
RISE LUMINOUS is available on FITE TV.