365 matches in 365 days, each from that specific date on the calendar? Challenge accepted. Welcome to 365 Wrestling.

There have been a lot of new visitors to my humble little corner of the Series of Tubes as of late, and if you’re one of them, welcome! I’d also like to take a minute to thank Southern Underground Pro (aka SUP Graps) and ACTION! Wrestling for their support of this endeavor.

If you’re here for the first time, or a repeat visitor, you’ve probably noted that we’re not exactly on pace with the current calendar as it stands, but that’s OK. It’s a marathon, people, not a sprint and there’s a looooooong way to go until December 31.

The entry for January 27 is a Wednesday and that means it’s Women’s Match Wednesday. This specific installment centers around my appreciation of one quality–in friends, in art, in entertainment, what have you. And that quality, my friends, is Commitment To The Bit. It’s also why I have a great appreciation for the wrestling persona of Rosemary. She’s in action here against Samara, from an event for the now-defunct RISE Wrestling promotion.

You can find this match on YouTube but if you want the full version with all the bells and whistles, the Higbspots Wrestling Network has it.

The Context

This event is under the banner of RISE, which started out ostensibly as a feeder promotion for SHIMMER — a well-known independent women’s promotion that became a platform for a ton of wrestlers who went on to sign with major promotions. Pull up this entire card and you’ll see quite a few recognizable names, as listed below.

Rosemary enters this match in the midst of her first and, to date, only, reign as Knockouts Champion for Impact Wrestling, which was still known as TNA Wrestling at the time of this event. This is her first appearance for RISE in the full Rosemary persona, which debuted out of the blue for TNA but evolved more slowly on the independent circuit from her initial run in North America as Courtney Rush. Samara is a Southern California product wrestling close to home in Los Angeles in this one. She’s now known as Sareena Sandhu and has landed in WWE, making an appearance teaming with Charlotte Flair for their Superstar Spectacle event. According to Cagematch, that was also Samara/Sareena’s first match in more than 18 months.

The Match

Back at the beginning of this write-up, I talked about the value of Commitment To The Bit and it’s one of the main reasons I find the Rosemary character so appealing. Rosemary remains immersed in her character completely, from the first moment she steps through the curtain, and we see that here. It also helps that she’s concocted an extensive background like that person in your D&D group who’s written a 20-page backstory for their half-orc bard. And I mean that as a compliment.

She gets a star reaction and many phones are out to take pictures and video as she stalks around the ringside area. Samara, her less-experienced foe, comes charging through the curtain with no music and a belly full of babyface fire … then looks in the ring and has what I best can equate to a Ron Burgundy-in-the-bear-pit moment.

What ensues is a narrative of a frightened and intimidated Samara finding her nerve to do battle… while Rosemary busts loose the pro wrestler’s equivalence of a greatest hits medley. The Upside Down, the mist, the Red Wedding (which is called an F-5 here) … it’s all featured. I enjoyed moreso the elements of Rosemary’s offense that are less part of the “signature moveset”: cutting off an attempted suicide dive by Samara with a leaping strike, then dashing off the ropes to apply a Mutalock while on the run. The speed with which Rosemary hooks the hold, and the snap as she flips over into the bridge, is a fine display of her athletic ability and flexibility.

The match ends as you’d expect with Rosemary hitting her finishing move. Even though she’s ostensibly the heel here, the crowd is definitely behind her, with big reactions for all of her well-known stuff.

Random Thoughts

Dave Prazak and Allison Danger are on commentary here. Prazak is the man behind SHIMMER since that promotion ended so his knowledge on women’s wrestling is substantial. The commentators definitely add to the presentation here, whether by musing on the evolution of Rosemary into her current form here, or noting the low ceilings in the venue and that the ring has been lowered as a result to allow the wrestlers to be able to fly off the top rope. Those little details can go a long way.

–Counting Samara aka Sareena, there are four wrestlers on this card who now work for WWE. Mercedes Martinez, Shotzi Blackheart, and Chelsea Green are then others. Green faces Britt Baker, now a fixture for AEW’s women’s division, in the semi-main of this card.

–I’m not sure why but it was at least a little jarring during the entrances when I realized the audience for this all-women’s wrestling event is being performed in front of an audience that looks to be 95% dudes.

Final Rating: 5.8

This is a fine example that a wrestling match doesn’t have to be some sort of epic to be worth watching. They tell a solid story here with an overmatched and frightened Samara finding her will and fighting back, while Rosemary plays her role to the hilt. Everything they do looks smooth and clean. If you’re a big fan of Rosemary, as I am, you’ll definitely enjoy this but if both these ladies are new to you, this one is still worth watching. And, at less that 10 minutes from bell to bell, it’s not a huge commitment of time, either.

Here’s the complete, ongoing list of matches in this project.

What’s Next

A highly-regarded classic title match from a Royal Rumble event of recent yore that I somehow never have seen… until now.

Got a match you’d like me to watch as part of this 365 Wrestling project? Agree or disagree with my take on this match? Let me know by using the contact form on this site, or reach me on Twitter.

5 thoughts on “365 Wrestling, Day 27: Rosemary vs. Samara (RISE 2: Ascent, 1/27/17)

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