Jade, a Vancouver native, is one of the featured performers for Saturday’s Pacific Pro Wrestling show, Back in Session, during which the fast-rising star will challenge Scarlett Black at the Abbotsford Arts Centre.
But her journey may never have started without prodding from her friends to attend a wrestling try-out.
She admitted that she had never even heard of independent wrestling just two short years ago, and after seeing a poster from Vancouver’s Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling offering free try-outs for women, she became intrigued.
Jade first entered the squared circle for training back in February of 2018, and her rise has continued from there – albeit with lots of bumps, bruises and hard work. Training included everything from rolls, back bumps, flip bumps, cardio, running the ropes and basic moves.
“My back was hurting for three weeks straight when I first started training,” she said. “Having to bear the pain and taking bumps when your body has never experienced it before is tough, but it’s all about bearing the pain. Wrestlers are always in pain, everything hurts and that ring is not soft in any way.”
The injury risks are real, which Jade learned early in when she broke her ankle. That injury put her on the shelf for three months, and she decided to ease back into the sport by performing as a manager. In that role, she seconded several wrestlers, becoming more comfortable performing in front of fans and being a catalyst to other “cheating” managers.
“It was a way to get my face out there and learn more about how to interact with the fans,” she said, noting she was in the corner for local wrestler Odin Rex and tag team Re-Loaded in several promotions around the province.
She parlayed some of that experience to a stint working as an extra talent for WWE when they traveled to the Pacific Northwest back in February. She appeared as a member of WWE superstar No Way Jose’s conga line – a role that saw her participate in Jose’s entrance on WWE television.
Not many wrestlers can say they appeared on WWE television prior to their first match, but Jade can. She finally made her debut with Alberta’s Real Canadian Wrestling at a show in April. She competed in a mixed tag match at a show in Edmonton, and said the wrestling bug bit her.
“It was a little bit nerve-wracking but a lot of fun,” she said, adding that she was a heel or bad guy in the match. “People didn’t seem to like me in Alberta, so I was doing my job.”
She went on to make her debut in a singles match against Scarlett Black at Big West Wrestling’s May Days event. She also faced Abbotsford’s Danni Deeds and had several mixed tag matches with All Star Wrestling. Jade said she doesn’t mind mixing it up with the men, which appears to be a new trend in the wrestling industry.
“I support inter-gender wrestling,” she said. “Women can do many of the same thing as men – I may not be able to do a firemen’s carry on someone who is 260 pounds, but we can do so many other things. It gives more opportunities for everyone.”
One of the biggest honours in Jade’s career was receiving the WWE tryout invite during Summerslam weekend in August in Toronto. She was one of 42 talents from Canada, and one of just 12 women who got to make the trip.
“It really was a dream come true,” she said. “I never thought someone with so little experience would get an invite.”
Jade said the WWE tryout consisted of two days of intense training.
“They wanted to see what we were capable of, like do we know the basics,” she said. “If you do something wrong, can you fix it? And if you are coachable and open to suggestions.”
Other B.C. wrestlers at the tryout included PPW competitors the Voros Twins and Matt Xstatic, along with Vancouver wrestler Cat Power. Jade said she hopes to hear back from the WWE, and her goal would be to receive a contract.
As for Saturday, Jade said she enjoys working with Black and that the fans can expect a memorable match. She said expects to work several more upcoming dates for PPW. She’ll also take on her trainer and a B.C. legend Nicole Matthews in Surrey for ASW on Sept. 27.
For more on Jade, visit her Facebook and Instagram pages @rylee_jade_wrestling.
Saturday’s PPW show occurs at 7 p.m. inside the Abbotsford Arts Centre. For more on the show, visit facebook.com/ppwcanada.