Review: La Escalera ends the year on an emotional note for RISE

Last night, RISE Wrestling returned Berwyn Eagles Club to present its last event of the year, La Escalera. The show boasted a stacked card, a heartfelt farewell, and a triumphant return.

Witch Please vs. Paradise Lost (with Rosemary)

In the first match of the night, Witch Please, the team of Elayna Black and Hawlee Cromwell, took on Dust and Raven’s Ash—who is now simply known as Ash.

This was a pretty straightforward opener. There wasn’t much to write home about. Paradise Lost dominated early on in this match until Black and Cromwell stopped them with a “spell.” It turned out to be a summoning spell as Su Yung crept from under the ring, sporting her old look.

She aided the heels by spraying red mist in Ash’s face to cause a distraction.

Winners: Witch Please defeated Paradise Lost via pinfall

Lindsay Snow vs. ThunderKitty

Next, Lindsay Snow took on ThunderKitty in a quick match. Snow got in the majority of the offense, using strength to wear down her opponent. She eventually put her away with a neck crank.

Winners: Lindsey Snow defeated ThunderKitty via submission

The Latina Superstars vs. Team Sea Stars

The show picked up during the tag match that pitted Mercedes Martinez and Miranda Alize against Ashley Vox and Delmi Exo—Team Sea Stars.

As the match started, the crowded chanted “Happy Birthday” to Ashley Vox. However, the real star of this match was “The Latina Sensation,” Mercedes Martinez. It was apparent throughout just how popular she is, as the audience was invested in every little thing she did.

She and Alize used heel tactics for most of the fight, cutting the ring in half and beating down the Sea Stars one by one when the referee’s back was turned. There were some awesome spots in this match, but a confusing finish kind of put a damper on it.

Miranda hit Vox with a cutter and pinned her but it looked like the referee botched the count. The competitors seemed confused and the crowd didn’t know how to react to the bell. The Latina Superstars recovered well by attacking Team Sea Stars afterward to regain their heat.

Winners: The Latina Superstars defeated Team Sea Stars via pinfall

Candy Lee vs. Jamie Senegal

On a lighter note, Candy Lee took on Jamie Senegal in a Divas Match. This is Lee’s second match with RISE since she made her US debut at Pride and Joy. Senegal also appeared at the event and the New Zealand native specifically requested a match with him back in October.

This was a fun bout, where they both did some great character work. There was a bit of a catfight towards the middle, but Lee and Senegal also showcased some impressive athleticism throughout the match.

In the highlight of the match, “The Punk Rock Kween” went for a tornado DDT but Candy Lee caught him and reversed it into a Northern Lights Suplex. Later, she put him away with her signature split-legged leg drop from the top rope, the Split Endz.

Winner: Candy Lee defeated Jamie Senegal via pinfall

Allysin Kay vs. Taya Valkyrie in a Savage AF Match

La Escalera had many drastically different matches and steady peaks and valleys. With that said, it was a well-paced show, that never felt like it was dragging. That’s possibly because of the way they sequenced the matches.

Following the Divas Match with a Savage AF Match, featuring two top stars like Allysin Kay and Taya Valkyrie, is a perfect example. There was some more comedy in this bout, but it had the thrills of a hardcore match.

The rules were that this No DQ Match couldn’t end until all the mystery items, in the trash cans surrounding the ring, were revealed. Initially, the two ran at each other with steel chairs. Then, they sat them in the middle of the ring and exchanged strikes to the chest.

Later, they revealed the first mystery item, which was a bottle of vodka which they took turns drinking out of and swinging wildly at each other. The next item was foam Hulk Hand, which Kay used to pummel Valkyrie.  

There was more zany moments, but there were also plenty of brutal weapons spots. Taya used her trademark staple gun, where she stapled an eight-by-ten to Kay’s butt.

The third—and final—item was a machete. Allysin charged at Valkyrie with it and plunged it into the turnbuckle, as La Wera Loca rolled her up into a pin to win.

Winner: Taya Valkyrie defeated Allysin Kay via pinfall

The Killer Death Machines(c) vs. Team Blue Nation in a Guardians of RISE Tag Team Championship Match

The next spot on the card was reserved for a more traditional wrestling match. Jessicka Havok defended the Guardians of RISE Tag Team Championships against Charli Evans and Jessica Troy—Team Blue Nation.

The challengers showed some mettle early, but that quickly disappeared once Havok entered the fray. She ran through the pair of Australians until Troy trapped her in the corner and mounted a comeback.

However, it wasn’t enough. The champions eventually hit her with a double cutter to win. The Killer Death Machines made quick work of them, but Blue Nation did pull off some big moves to make this an entertaining match.

Winner: The Killers Death Machines retained the Guardians of RISE Tag Team Championship

Cassandro El Exotico vs. Saraya Knight

The Legends Match was a nice palette cleanser before the last three matches. 31-year veteran Cassandro El Exotico took on the British legend, Saraya Knight. Chicago independent wrestling stalwart, Colt Cabana, acted as the special guest referee.

This match went as expected. Knight brought her no-nonsense style to the equation as Cassandro and Cabana performed comedy spots. El Exotico put off some of his rope walking and springboard moves too, but this was mostly a slapstick match.

The finish came with Cabana distracted Knight long enough for Cassandro to nail her with a fisherman buster to win.

Winner: Cassandro El Exotico defeated Saraya Knight via pinfall

La Escalera al Campeonato: Priscilla Kelly, Jake Atlas, Raze, Hyan, Jesus Bryce, Kylie Rae

Next was the elimination ladder match, La Escalera al Campeonato, for a shot at the Pheonix of Rise Championship at Legendary 2020. Kylie Rae’s return to RISE was the big story here. She received the biggest reaction of the show from her hometown crowd in possibly the match of the night.

Jesus Bryce entered as the unnamed wild card and took her out early in the match. The rest of the competitors got time to shine afterward. Priscilla Kelly quickly became the MVP on this match, taking some nasty bumps throughout.

Hyan also looked impressive. She pulled off a show-stopping Canadian Destroyer before Bryce rolled her up to score the first elimination. Later, Rae got her revenge when she locked him in the Charity Case and used the ladder to force him to tap out.

Raze took control of the match and climbed the ladder. But the other three competitors triple powerbombed her into some chairs below and dogpiled on her to eliminate her.

Once it was down to the final three, Jake Atlas looked positioned to win. Kelly tried to stop him with a sleeper lock as he ascended the ladder, but he forced her off. Then, it came down Atlas and Rae as they fought it out at the top of the ladder.

However, Kylie Rae came out on top and punched her ticket to Legendary 2020. She notably won the Pheonix of RISE Champion for the first time this year at the event. Will she repeat next year?

Winner: Kylie Rae pulled down the contract to earn a shot at the Pheonix of RISE Championship

Laynie Luck vs. Big Swole(c) in a Pheonix of RISE Championship Match

Laynie Luck and Big Swole had a tough act to follow but they delivered. “The Party Unicorn” won the Regional Rising Stars Tournament – Midwest Bracket to become Swole’s next challenger.

Initially, Luck used her agility and technical ability to gain the upper hand, until Swole forced her to wrestle her style of match.

The champion used her superior strength to regain control and showcase her usual confidence. Not to be deterred, Luck returned with some stiff knee strikes and kicked out after a beautiful Blue Thunder Bomb.

In the end, she tried to use the champion’s finisher against her, but Big Swole countered it and hit her with Dirty Dancing to win.

Winner: Big Swole retained Pheonix of RISE Championship

Rosemary vs. Shotzi Blackheart in a No Holds Barred Match

In the final match, Shotzi Blackheart faced “The Demon Assassin,” Rosemary, in her last RISE appearance. “The Daddy from the Black Lagoon” received a hero’s welcome. The crowd showered her with green balls and chanted “Thank you Shotzi” as she entered the ring.

Blackheart cut her teeth with RISE in its early years, so it was a bit emotional. The match itself didn’t quite live up to the heavy emotions surrounding it, but it was a solid outing from two talented performers.

At the start, Rosemary spewed Green Mist in the referee’s face and blindsided Blackheart. Later, Dust tried to interfere, but Shotzi fought back. She hit Rosemary with a flying senton to win but she surprisingly kicked out.

Blackheart had to use a Tiger Suplex to get the job done and win her farewell match. Afterward, Shotzi got on the microphone and gave an impromptu speech. RISE’s owner, Kevin Harvey, met her at the entrance and the two embraced as the crowd cheered.

Winner: Shotzi Blackheart defeated Rosemary via pinfall

This was a good show, that set up plenty of new storylines heading into 2020. We look forward to seeing what’s next

Did you watch La Escalera? Drop a comment below and let us know what you thought.

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