A steel cage! A barbed wire baseball bat! Intergender warfare!
Southern California will be the place to be on December 1, as RISE 6: Brutality emanates from American Legion Post 335 in sunny South Gate. This will be RISE’s biggest, most ambitious show to date, offering fans a full roster of the best female talent on the planet, coupled with specialty matches, a one-of-a-kind meet and greet, and much more. And while RISE typically offers opportunities to women breaking into the wrestling business, this card will also feature a few male talents, making this the most unique event offered by the company yet.
Speaking of unique, how many Barbed Wire Bat matches even exist in pro-wrestling, let alone one between two women? It’s as insane as it sounds on paper, and we have the warped brains of LuFisto and Dust to thank for that. Dubbed “The Queen of Hardcore” by some fans, “The Wounded Owl” by others, 20-year veteran LuFisto is no stranger to pain inside the squared circle, as she has competed in a number of blood-letting hardcore matches that left many of her opponents worse off than her. She challenges the equally deranged Dust, who is no slouch herself when it comes to wielding a weapon. This match is going to get ugly in a hurry, and given the precedent set by Shotzi Blackheart several months ago, there will more than likely be blood, as well.
One of the more intriguing match ups on the docket is the 4-on-4 Intergender Tag Team Match: Team Lucha Queen, captained by Taya Valkyrie vs. Team Zombie Princess, captained by Jimmy Jacobs. Joining Taya’s side is world-renowned high-flyer Andrew Everett and two members of the seminar from earlier in the day, while Ruby Raze and two seminar members will join Jacobs. This match is interesting because RISE is the pipeline to other women’s promotions, including SHIMMER and now Stardom, and of course eventually WWE. The talents from the seminar competing on either team very well could go on to be the next SHIMMER Champion or the next big thing to compete in Japan. Or even WWE Women’s Champion. This match will be the very first stepping stone for a number of ladies, a moment in time you can point to five years from now and tell yourself, “I remember when.”
Elsewhere on the card, it’s Blackheart versus Black Wolf as former Phoenix of RISE Champion Shotzi Blackheart battles Stardom’s Kris Wolf. The two put forth a combined five years of experience between them, though by the look of it, you wouldn’t be able to tell they are two and three years into their respective careers. The diminutive Wolf stands at 4’10, making her one of the smallest competitors on the show, but as she’s shown in the past, size is no deterrent for a well-placed double knee drop. To Blackheart, however, RISE is her home, and she will be poised to do everything in her power to defend her house from the Wolf at the door.
Having found success all over the world, be it in the UK for PROGRESS or Japan for Stardom, 22-year-old Toni Storm comes to South Gate seeking competition. Putting her World of Stardom Championship up for grabs, Storm now heads into war with someone who’s been wrestling almost as long as she’s been alive in the 17-year pro and former SHIMMER Champion Mercedes Martinez. This is a dream match in many circles, and for good reason. Both women made history by competing in the inaugural Mae Young Classic for WWE over the summer, and neither woman is stranger to championship gold. While Martinez recently lost her title to Nicole Savoy, Storm currently boasts three championships, including two with Stardom. Storm will have her hands full with Martinez, who has both the experience edge, and a slight size advantage, as well.
Finally, “The Demon Assassin” Rosemary challenges new Phoenix of Rise Champion Delilah Doom for the title inside a steel cage. The last time RISE was in South Gate, Doom challenged for the Phoenix of Rise Championship against Dust, albeit unsuccessfully. Rosemary, meanwhile, defeated Samara, and on her path to the championship, has not lost a match for the company since. Whether as part of her tag team Paradise Lost with Dust, or as a singles competitor, Rosemary has felled every name put before her — including the new champ, Delilah Doom, back at RISE 3: Medic on July 7.
Things are slightly different now than they were over the summer, more than where the match is happening. Now, the rematch takes place inside a steel cage. Steel cage matches on the independent level tend to be ugly affairs devoid of the shine or polish you’d find in similar matches on TV. While the cage is meant to keep out, and in this case keep in, make no mistake: It can and will be used as a weapon. Hundreds of pounds of solid steel, sharp and jagged in some areas, is no joke. Additionally, and to RISE executive producer Kevin Harvey’s dismay, the Phoenix of RISE Championship is on the line. A victory for Rosemary would put both the company and its owner into dire straits heading into a loaded 2018.
Other names announced for the show include current SHIMMER Champion Nicole Savoy, one half of Fire and Nice Chelsea Green, Cheerleader Melissa, Deonna Purrazzo, and Kylie.
In addition to the loaded card for RISE 6: Brutality will be a companion card taking place the following afternoon titled RISE 6.5: Throttle. Three matches will take place on this special matinee show, including Toni Storm defending her SWA World Championship against Shotzi Blackheart, Mercedes Martinez vs. Kris Wolf, and the winner of the previous night’s main event — either Delilah Doom or Rosemary — taking on Deonna Purrazzo. A special recording of Madusa’s Full Throttle podcast will also be taped at that time, featuring stories from Storm, Wolf and Madusa, along with that weekend’s special guest, Bull Nakano.
As of press time, RISE 6: Brutality is sold out, while good seats are still available for RISE 6.5 and Madusa’s Full Throttle Podcast.