I have just made it to the Berwyn Eagles Club, where I will do my best to provide my impressions of tonight’s event, La Escalara. I will not be able to get the dark match on this review, as I literally drove straight from work and just missed being able to see it. While I cannot cover the dark match, I am ready to give my thoughts on the show from the second row. Are you ready? I’m ready.
Prior to the start of the show, Kevin Harvey announced RISE’s house rules: no homophobic sh*t. No racist sh*t, no transphobic sh*t. No ignorant sh*t or you can take that sh*t right out the door.
Witch Please (Elana Black and Hawlee Cromwell) ve Paradise Lost (Dust and Raven’s Ash) with Rosemary
The witches just used a summoning spell to call Su Yung to their service to even up the odds against a Rosemary. They got the pin on Raven’s Ash with a crucifix after Su misted Ash. It was short but very fun. The match was over before I had a chance to grab a picture at all.
“American Kaiju” Lindsay Snow vs. Thunderkitty
This was a fun match. It was kind of basic in execution, but enjoyably so. Snow won with a submission of some kind from a crucifix-like position. I couldn’t tell exactly from my angle what she did.
The Latina Superstars (Mercedes Martinez and Miranda Alize) vs Sea Stars (Delmi Exo and Ashley Vox)
This pairing of Mercedes and Miranda works well because it’s presented as a mentorship thing. At points in the match, it’s pretty clear that Miranda is definitely being coached up by her more experienced partner for real as well. There are a few timing errors that show her relative inexperience, though some of these are probably worked. Aside from a double backstabber where Miranda sold late, these moments actually work for the match. The Latina Superstars won the match, but that doesn’t seem to have been the planned finish. It looks like Delmi missed her breakup of the pin and the referee counted Ashley’s shoulders down. Both Miranda and Mercedes couldn’t believe the three count was made and were questioning the referee after, with Mercedes clearly telling the ref he should have counted it as a two.
Candy Lee vs Jamie Senegal
This was announced as a Divas match. It certainly lives up to that billing with the slaps and old school rolling on the referee spot. It’s interesting watching a match deliberately designed around playing off the Diva style while trying to maximize the quality of such a match. The only part of the Diva style they didn’t do was making the match a two-minute affair. Candy won with a really nice top rope splits leg drop.
Allysin Kay vs. Taya Valkyrie in a Savage AF match
The rules: no DQ, no count out, and the match cannot conclude until all three mystery items are located and incorporated at La Escalara.
Mystery item number one is a bottle of vodka. Some good comedy here surrounding the chugging of the vodka. Mystery item number two is Hulk Hands, which temporarily improved Allysin’s punches. Before mystery item 3 came into play, Taya curb-stomped Allysin into a chair. Mystery item number three is not a staple gun and an 8×10 photo. Taya still staples it into Allysin’s posterior. The real mystery item is a machete (Midwest Militia callback, anyone?) and Allysin stabs the turnbuckle before getting rolled up to lose.
Killer Death Machines (Jessica Havok and Nevaeh) (c) vs. Blue Nation (Jessica Troy and Charli Evans) for the Guardians of RiSE Championship
Underdog heels. Gotta love that kind of innovation. It’s just how Rise does things sometimes – Blue Nation has to be crafty and cheap to match up, and they do it splendidly. Havok makes a fantastic hot tag. Killer Death Machines retain in the best match of the card so far.
Cassandro el Exótico vs. Saraya Knight
Billed as a Legends match, Colt Cabana is the special guest referee. This match was shenanigans all the way through. Kicks to the junk abounded, as well as kisses. Cassandro wins with a fisherman suplex after Colt kisses Saraya.
La Escalera al Campeonato: Priscilla Kelly vs. Hyan vs. Ruby Raze vs. Jake Atlas vs. Jesus Bryce Benjamin vs. Kylie Rae
If you are pinned or submitted you are eliminated at La Escalara. The winner is whoever retrieved the contract, earning them a shot at Legendary 2020. Kylie gets a big reception for her return. Some big spots early on, including Jesus swinging Kylie into the barricade a few times. I could see the referee checking on her even a few minutes later. Hyan did a Canadian Destroyer to Jake Atlas off the ladder only to be immediately eliminated by Jesus.
Kylie hits a great tilt-a-whirl headscissors into the ladder then uses the ladder in a cross face to eliminate Jesus. Jake, Kylie, and Priscilla eliminate Ruby with a powerbomb through several upright chairs. There’s a cool bit where Priscilla climbs Jake while he’s in the ladder so she can apply a sleeper hold so he can’t grab the contract. Kylie and Jake have the final exchange on the ladder, and Jake punches her head into the light fixture. That looked like it smarted pretty bad. Kylie knocks him off and wins the contract.
Match 9: Big Swole (c) vs. Laynie Luck for the Phoenix of RiSE Championship
Really good match here at La Escalara. I was way too engaged to take notes of much, but this was the best singles match on the card so far. Big Swole retains with a ripcord discus forearm. Really good match.
Match 10: Rosemary vs. Shotzi Blackheart, no holds barred
We’ve been given balls to throw for Shotzi at La Escalara. Rosemary starts the match by misting the referee. Shotzi uses one of the balls to stuff Rosemary’s mouth before a superkick. Dust comes out to aid Rosemary, only for Shotzi to hit a kick that deflects the mist into Dust’s face. Then Dust distracts the referee, leading to Rosemary failing to get the pin. Shotzi wins with a tiger suplex that she rolled into a pin.
Shotzi gets to say her goodbye after the match. She thanked RISE for being where she learned so much and grew up in wrestling.
Overall, I think the Guardians match was the match of the night. The show was entertaining all the way through and packed quality into the final three matches. It was a delight to have both Kylie’s homecoming to RISE and Shotzi’s farewell to RISE in the same evening. Well worth the price of admission to get some of Shotzi’s balls in my possession.