Thursday, November 10, 2016 sees the debut event of RISE: Developing Tomorrow’s Women Athletes. 40 up and coming women will descend on the Berwyn Eagles Club in Berwyn, Illinois to partake in a world class development seminar Participants will learn from former SHIMMER Champion Sweet Saraya Knight and Colt Cabana while vying for the opportunity to compete on RISE 1: Ignite later that evening.
Two participants have not only secured a spot on the Ignite card, but also have their match confirmed. I had the opportunity to visit with one of those women, Kate Carney, about her career and the inaugural RISE event.
Scott: Could you give our readers a little bit of information about yourself? Where are you from?
Kate: Born in Buffalo, NY, them raised in Portland, OR, although I JUST moved to Bellingham, WA
Scott: Where do, or have, you trained?
Kate: I originally trained at the DOA Pro Wrestling School in Portland OR with Dr. Kliever.
Scott: How long have you been involved in wrestling?
Kate: My first day of training was July 31st, 2013, and my first match was just under 6 months later, in January 2014.
Scott: Where have you worked (and titles held)
Kate: I’ve been fortunate enough to work all over the Pacific Northwest, including, DOA Pro Wrestling, ECCW, Project 42, WCWC, as well as many smaller companies and one-off shows with a few company debates on the horizon. I also spent 6 months in Paraguay filming Luchando En Las Americas. In addition to that I am currently one half of the DOA Pro Wrestling Tag Team Champions.
Scott: What made you decide to start training to become a professional wrestler?
Kate: This used to be my most feared question, because my story is little less traditional, but now it’s one of my favorites for that same reason. I didn’t grow up watching wrestling, I didn’t even grow up knowing what wrestling was. When I became a cheerleader in college I met Nick Radford, who would go on to me my best friend and the person to introduce me to wrestling (in the form of Wrestlemaina 27). His dream was always to be a wrestler and when he wanted to move to Portland to look at schools. I accompanied him as I was from Portland and knew my way around the city, plus I had a secret hope that someone would see me and ask me if I wanted to train as well…and they did! Dr. Kliever walked right up to me saying “You’re a girl that looks athletic, please tell me you want to train too!” I got embarrassed and started talking about my athletic history when I heard woman call down from the ring condescendingly “You know…this isn’t cheerleading” and I promised I’d be back for the next class. The moment I ran the ropes and took my first bump (without hitting my head) it was all over for me and I was in love.
Scott: In your #YG2, You’ve Got Two, video, you mentioned that the women’s wrestling scene in the Pacific Northwest isn’t the most hopping scene. Do you primarily work the Intergender scene locally, or do you do much travelling to find other women to wrestle?
Kate: I wrestle as many matches as I can in the Pacific Northwest, both men and women. It’s not that we have no women, just not very many, and I’ve wrestled the vast majority of them already, and while I love those matches, it always refreshing to do new things. Lately I’ve been fortunate to be booked primarily in intergender matches. I’ll actually be main-eventing a last person standing, intergender match up shortly after returning from rise at Project 42 in Seattle, WA.
You can view Kate’s You’ve Got Two video here.
Scott: So far in your career, who has been your favorite opponent? Why?
Kate: Easily KC Spinelli. When I went to South America we were the only two girls who were already trained. We were immediately put in a program. We trained together every day; we had matches together every weekend; she watched tapes with me; and we literally slept in the same room. This level of closeness led me to learn more from my matches with her than I’d ever thought I’d understand about pro wrestling. I will forever be grateful for my time with Spinelli has my opponent and I can’t wait to do it again.
Scott: Let’s talk about RISE. The seminar and show, RISE 1: Ignite, has been created by Kevin Harvey to Develop Tomorrow’s Women Athletes. What do you hope to get out of this experience?
Kate: RISE is such a revolutionary concept! Obviously, I’m excited to get myself out to a larger market and be introduced to new fans and new promoters. But personally, I’m also deeply excited to experience the community that I know will accompany the whole amazing weekend of women’s wrestling. Experiencing locker rooms where the default assumption is not that I am a valet or a wrestler girlfriend, but that I am myself an accomplished wrestler.
Scott: In the spirit of developing talent for the future, where are some of the places that you would like to start working (i.e. any particular promotions, tours of other countries, etc)?
Kate: When I had the opportunity to live in Paraguay for six months developing a new company and playing such a large role in teaching new people to wrestle, it genuinely changed my life. I never would have thought that Paraguay would be somewhere I wanted to go. Of course there are companies I’d love to work with, but more than anything I’m excited for keeping myself open for opportunities i didn’t expect and never fathomed.
Scott: In the #MOMC, Match of My Career, competition that wrapped up earlier this month, you submitted a match against Justin Alexander with Project 42. What about that match made you decide it was the Match of Your Career?
Kate: Justin and I started training at the same school within two weeks of each other, and it’s as the first time we’d had a match together. It pushed us both to work in ways that we typically don’t. In addition, it was the debut show for Project 42, which is one of my favorite places to work with the most amazing energy and crowd. I may have technically better matches, but I thought that sharing a match that was so alive and so much fun, and so important to me and the Pacific North West wrestling scene did the best job of sharing who I am as a wrestler.
You can view Kate’s match against Justin Alexander at Project 42 here.
Scott: In the #MOMC competition, fans voted your match as the best match, tied with Heather Monroe. As Kevin said, since there can be no ties, you have a guaranteed spot on RISE 1: Ignite and will be facing Heather Monroe in a battle of the #MOMC winners. How does it feel to not only be one of the first seminar participants to get a guaranteed spot on the RISE 1 card, but also to be the first match announced?
Kate: This is better than any news I had hoped for, better than winning, better than just guaranteed spot, but a match?! It’s literally perfect! I’ve already been able to start watching Heather’s matches in preparation (just to ensure I DO win #MOMC)!
Scott: Is there anything you would like to say to Heather Monroe ahead of your match against her?
Kate: I suppose I’d like to say, that I hope she’s ready to get sparkly!