RISE – ASCENT, Episode 2 – review

As the build up to RISE 8: Outback in South Gate on June 29 continues, Gregg and Steve are back with a look at episode 2 of RISE – ASCENT. This week’s episode is highlighted by a main event featuring Tessa Blanchard and Dr. Britt Baker.

Gregg: The show starts off with Britt Baker and Tessa Blanchard hyping up their main event match tonight. I love Tessa on the mic. Whenever I hear her voice I have to stop and watch. She just gets it on a different level than most. Her mic work is so old school.

Steve: I have to agree here with Gregg about Tessa Blanchard’s promo skills. Every time I see her it boggles my mind how she is not signed to WWE. I thought Dr. Britt Baker did great as well and this was a solid job to promote the main event.

Gregg: And Rosa Mendes is talking to Gail Kim and Kevin Harvey…

Match #1 – Nevaeh (with Jessicka Havok) vs. Tasha Steelz

Gregg: If I’m not mistaken, this is one of Neveah’s first matches back after her injury. Neveah played the cagey veteran with a slow paced game waiting for her opponent to make the first mistake. Havok played the heel manager role well, causing interference for her partner when it was needed (and supplied a good dose of jaw jacking.) Tasha Steelz did well in this match, but still needs that extra “oomph” to make her stand out. “The Gem City Queen” gets the win after hitting Tasha with a German Suplex into the corner.

Steve: Nevaeh controlled most of the match, and even when Steelz mounted her comeback I couldn’t really buy into it. It just never felt like there was any chance Nevaeh was going to lose here.

Shotzi Blackheart Video Package

Gregg: Another well-produced video package from the Rise team. If this is going to become their calling card, I wouldn’t be mad. The package introduces us to Shotzi from being the Phoenix of Rise Champion to losing the title and her quest to regain it from Delilah Doom.

Steve: These video packages have been fantastic. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most everyone watching these shows are familiar with Delilah Doom or Shotzi Blackheart already, so I’d like to see RISE find a way to get these packages seen by a wider audience, as I think it would help get people into the product.

Delilah Doom Interview

Gregg: Delilah talks up being friends with Shotzi ahead of their title match, if she can get past Jessicka Havok. The interview is broken up by The Killer Death Machines, planting the seed that Shotzi isn’t really Delilah’s friend and that she’s only after the Phoenix of Rise championship. (Dun, dun, duuuun.) Havok cuts a promo on Delilah about their match next week. But what I think she fails to realize is that Delilah likes taking down bigger opponents… and making them tap…

Steve: Damn, Gregg always finds a way to naysay Ruby Raze, who tapped to Delilah Doom last week at Ground Zero… I thought this was a good interview. Delilah Doom has so much charisma.

Match #2 – Ray Lyn (with Karen Q) vs. Dementia D’Rose

Gregg: I really like the pairing of Ray Lyn and Karen Q. I think that they bring something out of each other that just makes both a little bit more entertaining to watch (as if that was possible, in Ray Lynn’s case.) I didn’t really know much about Dementia D’Rose going into this match. I gave her an extra cool point for coming out to the last section of Metallica’s “One”, only to realize that it was a sample…

Steve: Yeah, but Ray Lyn didn’t come out to Wrecking Ball so she lost a point. Ray Lyn is always fun to watch and has a lot of great mannerisms in the ring.

Gregg: Dementia plays up her large posterior and uses it as a weapon. It’s like she likes to kick ‘em and she’s gonna stick ‘em. (‘Cuz he’s an Ass Man! Dun. Dun.) Once I realized that this was a part of her gimmick, I knew this was going to be an entertaining match. I popped big for D’Rose proclaiming, “Never trust a big butt and a smile!” to which Ray doubled down on with, “Never trust a little butt… and a smirk!”

Ray picks up the victory after avoiding the “Damnesia” running hip attack in the corner and rolling up Dementia for the three. Ray Lyn makes it known that she is in fact 75% of the Bones of Contention, but can’t win the Guardians of Rise tag team championship without Karen Q.

Match #3 – Tessa Blanchard vs. (Dr.) Britt Baker

Gregg: Seeing as how this show takes place in Brittsburgh, Baker clearly is the fan favorite. She’s even the ICW women’s champion. These two have feuded all across the country and know each other well, so without a doubt, this is going to be a competitive contest. Crowd even breaks into a “Dr. Baker” chant…

Steve: This was a lot fun. Even though I’ve seen these two match up a couple times before, none of their matches ever feel like they are just doing the same match. They played this pretty even with both wrestlers really gwetting a chance to showcase. I thought this match was the best match of the two episodes of RISE so far.

Gregg: This match delivered as promised and was an even contest for most of the 30ish minutes that it was given. Tessa gets the victory after a hammerlock DDT and diving codebreaker… which looks awesome no matter how many times I see it. And a show of sportsmanship from both to end the show.

Final Thoughts

Gregg: Another great show from Rise. Definitely enjoying getting to see the mixture of developing young talent along with their established roster.

Steve: I agree. I pretty much signed up just to support what RISE is doing, and never really expected to watch much of the show with all the other wrestling to watch in a week, but this show is good. I have no problem putting aside 40 minutes out of my week if they are going to keep delivering quality like this. Plus I think it adds to the what appears to be twice a year Southern California RISE shows. In the past I didn’t really follow the storylines and would go, watch the wrestling, and think about it again in six months, but now we are getting the build to the event, which is part of the fun.

Gregg: Still hoping we can get the voice of Rise (And Ground Zero. And AWS. And FSW. And Bumps ‘n Brewses) Joshua Shibata. And if Rise needs a photographer, I know a guy, too. I’m off to go watch some Stardom or “My 600lb. Life” I’m still undecided.

RISE – ASCENT can be viewed at https://www.riseascent.com, and a subscription costs $4.99 a month.