For those who follow my Breaking TreyFabe blog – you would have seen my preview and review blogs of RISE 1, held in Berwyn, Illinois last November as part of SHIMMER weekend. RISE was created by Kevin Harvey, if you’ve ever met Kevin at an event you know he has an infectious and energetic personality – and his love for wrestling shines bright.
RISE is about to hold its third event, again ahead of a SHIMMER weekend, on Friday July 7th. I was able to talk RISE and SHIMMER with Kevin – here is a transcript of our interview.
Good day Kevin, thanks for taking the time to talk with me.
A few questions ahead of RISE/SHIMMER weekend.
Trey: First, the seminar itself…you have always made sure to grab top talent to help train and offer advice to the future of women’s wrestling – and the RISE 3 seminar is no different. What do you think Tom Pritchard brings to the table?
Kevin: There are few, if any trainers in the world with a better body of work than Dr. Tom Prichard. For nearly 20 years, he either headed or was heavily involved in every incarnation of WWE’s Developmental Systems. Virtually every top star in the industry since 1996 has in some way been trained or influenced by Dr. Tom.
Dr. Tom was originally what I thought would be more of a “pie in the sky, wishful thinking” facilitator we could bring in a few years down the road. I was lucky enough to be put in contact with him before RISE 1 ever occurred and I am THRILLED to have him involved. It is my hope that Dr. Tom will have ongoing involvement in what we do as well as we grow in the back half of 2017 and into 2018.
Fun fact – Tom Pritchard went to high school with my parents and was a classmate of my uncles – so there is a Six Degrees of Trey at play at RISE 3.
Trey: Now into some of the matches –
Delilah Doom vs Rosemary – this match has been brewing for a bit. Delilah is out for revenge but being out for revenge against Rosemary is not a small task.
Kevin: “The Demon Assassin” has had profound influence through RISE 2 and GAIN 1 (our co-ed companion product where stories of RISE also continue and evolve). Delilah is unlike anyone else on the scene and has an energy and presence that endears her to our fans. How will this affect Rosemary? And will Delilah only be taking on one demon July 7 with “The Decayed Angel” Zoey (aka Angel Dust) also on the premises?
Trey: Hudson Envy open contract – does Hudson have her eye on anyone in particular or is she going to be scouting the seminar for who she wants as her next victim?
Kevin: Hudson does not have her eye on any one person…yet. She specifically asked for her travel to be arranged so she could watch every second of the Seminar to scout the aspiring wrestlers within it and make her choice.
Trey: Fire and Nice open contract – more on Fire and Nice later – but what I do like about RISE, and I know it must be hard – is that you have made a concerted effort to build some tag matches – especially at RISE 1 when the Buru Death Squad was formed.
Kevin: Our focus on new tag teams continues with RISE 3. We promise to debut at least one new tag team in this match.
Trey: Speaking of the Death Squad – Fallen Flower Kikyo has an open contract match as well – perhaps she will choose someone from the East Coast ahead of her cross country move there?
Kevin: Kikyo, like Hudson, will be watching the Seminar very intently.
Trey: Deonna Purrazzo vs former SHIMMER champion may end up being match of the night, no disrespect to the main event – but Purrazzo has been the East Coast version of Shotzi this past year in that she has kicked ass and collected belts everywhere she has gone – I’m looking for her to make a statement not only at RISE but perhaps also at SHIMMER as well.
Kevin: And there is more to Deonna’s motivation for being here, and very soon everyone will all find out. Her opponent is not a coincidence. She asked for a specific opponent and we were fortunate enough to make that happen for her.
Update – since this interview was held it was announced the Deonna’s opponent will be none other than SHIMMER original and former two-time SHIMMER champion Cheerleader Melissa
Trey: Shotzi Blackheart vs Angel Dust – dog collar match – not going to lie, I am a bit biased as Dust wrestles out of the region I currently live, but I’ll give Shotzi all the credit in the world for winning the Phoenix of RISE title in Dust’s territory – this may turn out to be the most brutal RISE match since Saraya schooled Brink at RISE 1.
Kevin: I’ve said it many times in many places, but these two personify why RISE exists. Though they are from different ends of the spectrum in almost every measurable way, these two changed the way I looked at RISE. They changed the way we all looked at the potential for what RISE can bring to SHIMMER.
This will not be for the faint of heart. These two have had very physical confrontations as the feud for The Phoenix of RISE Championship in many states and promotions. Giving them spiked collars and 15’ of steel chain will add a whole new dimension to this already emotionally charged feud.
Trey: Now, given that I have been at both events where the Phoenix of RISE title has changed hands, and since I am not going to be at RISE 3, you know you can’t have any title changes right?
Kevin: That’s in the hands of the two women in the ring.
Trey: Fair enough. Now, no RISE would be complete without a prospective talent pool – I see that some familiar faces from past seminars are signed up such as Angie Skye, Stacy Shadows and Sierra out of Milwaukee, Savannah Evans, Paloma Starr, The Duchess Ayzali and others – surely this makes you happy knowing that you are bringing a value and opportunity to women that are trying to advance their skills and careers?
Kevin: To know where this idea was a year ago (non-existent) to where it is by July 7 is so great to see. To see so many people investing in themselves to be better for all of wrestling has been humbling. After July 7, over 100 people will have taken part in our development programs between RISE, GAIN and VOICE.
As a business man, obviously that makes me happy. More importantly as a man devoted to keeping wrestling alive and driving the talent in it to do bigger and better things, I’m elated.
Trey: Outside of Brittany Blake and Skylar Slice (Skylar being from my former region all the way in Oklahoma), I really am not familiar with any of the newcomers, but I see you got some coming from all the way in Australia to this seminar – which is great. I recently did an interview with Brian Cervantes from Sabotage on the West Coast – and he said that in a way the West Coast women’s wrestling scene is being overlooked, though Sabotage is slowly changing that – it seems that RISE is literally getting talent from around the world and that is a great step I think in the growing women’s wrestling scene – so just wanted to point that out. I know in Skylar’s case for instant she has but a handful of women to face so this is some great exposure to other habits and styles for her.
Kevin: That’s why we exist. Those we select from our Seminars to be on our Live Events will not be put into “same old, same old” situations. If the point is to learn and grow, we cannot cultivate that by putting two people who drive in together in the ring as opponents for the 100th time.
Trey: Lastly, a few questions about the SHIMMER events if you have the time –
I said I would bring up Fire and Nice again, and I told Chelsea Green at an event here in Pittsburgh a few months back that I think her and Britt Baker have the makings of being future SHIMMER tag team champions, possibly as soon as the July events – any thoughts on that?
Kevin: I love everything about Fire and Nice. I would love to see them continue to grow together as a team and find great success.
Trey: Lastly, though I have been a fan of women’s wrestling since I first saw Leilani Kai face off against Wendi Richter when I was but a youngster – I really started getting into women’s wrestling when I purchased the Heart of Shimmer tournament live stream – at which point I became a huge fan of Nicole Savoy. How exciting will it be to see Nicole back in the ring suplexing foes left and right?
Kevin: Savoy being back as an active wrestler is exciting…and scary. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg from her. Anyone who follows her on social media that she has taken her supposed downtime and trained non-stop and harder than ever. She will not be the same Nicole Savoy she was before the injury. She’s bigger, she’s faster, she’s stronger. She’s dangerous.
Thanks for your time, I wish you a successful weekend, and hope to see you at some of the fall shows.
For more info on all things RISE related (as well as other projects in the PIPELINE family including GAIN and VOICE) – start by checking out their website https://pipeline.ecwid.com/
Make sure to purchase/download past events and if you can make it to the Chicago area next weekend I highly suggest making it to the Berwyn Eagles Club on Friday, July 12th. Tickets can be purchased at the above mentioned website. Front row is sold out, second row and general admission are going fast.
Follow all things RISE related on Twitter @RISEdtwa and Kevin’s account at @KevinHarveyWPWC
While you are in Chicago, tickets are still available for SHIMMER weekend – for my money the best wrestling weekend you will find on the planet and I’m sick that I can’t make this – all info can be found at http://shimmerwrestling.blogspot.com/
Already confirmed to participate at SHIMMER will be SHIMMER Champion Mercedes Martinez, Heart of SHIMMER Nicole Savoy, SHIMMER tag team champions Tessa Blanchard and Vanessa Kraven, a returning Madison Eagles, Nicole Matthews, Mia Yim, Kay Lee Ray, Saraya Knight, LuFisto, Jessicka Havok, Shayna Baszler, Courtney Rush, Leva Bates, Shazza McKenzie, a returning Ashley Lane (aka Madison Rayne), Cherry Bomb, Cat Power, Nevaeh, Allysin Kay, Veda Scott, Hudson Envy, Samantha Heights, KC Spinelli, Taeler Hendrix, Thunderkitty, Shotzi Blackheart, Angel Dust, Britt Baker, Chelsea Green, Delilah Doom, Deonna Purrazzo, Solo Darling…and more!
Now there is no way to predict what will happen at SHIMMER, but those who follow my indy blogs know I like kicking out some predictions (and those who hung with me last SHIMMER tapings know that I was dead on with some of my picks). So just some fun comments to end this column as far as what I think will happen and what I’d like to see:
- Britt Baker and Chelsea Green to win the tag team belts from Tessa Blanchard and Vanessa Kraven
- Madison Eagles to defeat Mercedes Martinez….by countout…Mercedes to retain her title all weekend, Trifecta style
- LuFisto vs Savoy for the Heart of SHIMMER title would be fun to watch
- Wouldn’t mind seeing a Taeler Hendrix / Thunderkitty rubber match
- End of day, matching up any of these great wrestlers against one another will be a treat but by no means should they book Leva Bates vs Cat Power because I adore both way too much and having to choose in a match between the two would cause me to implode
Thanks for reading – if you are a wrestler and looking for a fun podcast to be on, please shoot us a line at @MayhemShow – past guests include several on the RISE/SHIMMER roster including Britt Baker, Delilah Doom, Angel Dust, Fallen Flower Kikyo, and many other wrestlers, announcers, referees, and personalities on the independent wrestling scene. Check out past interviews here – http://www.indywrestling.us/
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the wrestling.