Bumping Up…Riley Shepard
Interviews can be a tricky topic. Not only do you have to create engaging content, but you also have to come up with questions that make for a cohesive read. And that’s all before you’re even able to find time in the interviewee’s busy schedule to ask the questions.
If it were an interview with someone you’re already aware of, then it’s more likely you will read it, right? But what about those you don’t know. You could be missing out on getting to know your next new favourite wrestler, and you wouldn’t even know it.
So, in order to spread the word on talent on the indie circuit, I got straight to the basics.
Bumping Up is here to point you in their direction and broaden your scope on new talent and promotions. If you like what you read, give them a follow & check out their next show. You never know where all this will take you.
So without further ado, let’s get down to brass tacks & introduce you to…
Name: Riley Shepard
Hometown: Billed from Mystic Realms, Evermoore. Born in New Jersey
How many years have you been a professional wrestler?
I started training at The Monster Factory in May 2016 and made my official pro wrestling singles debut at The MFPW in December 2016.
Who are your role models? (either currently or growing up)
Growing up my role models were my parents and P!nk. My parents worked extremely hard to not only provide for their 4 children, but also to keep us together as a close-knit family. While raising us, they built a thriving business from the ground up. They taught me that you can achieve anything as long as you have the tenacity & dedication to do so. P!nk was my role model since I was in middle school because she was the first woman I saw in the public eye that was fierce, independent, and embraced herself fully no matter what anyone else said. I was strongly drawn to to her music because of that (and because she’s fantastic of course), and she’s still my favorite singer to this day.
My role model in pro wrestling currently is my former coach at The Monster Factory Damien Priest (formerly Punishment Martinez). He showed me that as long as we put in the work & strive to be better than anyone else regardless of age, we would be undeniable.
Was this something you always wanted to do or did you slowly transition from ‘9-5’ to where you are now.
I found wrestling very late in my life. I was a gymnast for 11 years so I’ve always been very active and athletic. I actually went to the NJ Police Academy in 2015 and successfully graduated to become a police officer. It was something I wanted since I was 15 years old, and I chased after it with single-minded determination. While I still greatly respect the profession, and many of my friends who do a very tough and often thankless job, I realized I did not love being a police officer. I started watching NXT around the same time that I was feeling a bit lost career-wise. After seeing Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks tear down the house at Takeover in 2015, I knew that I had to at least try to pursue a career in pro wrestling. A year later, I left law enforcement & signed up to train as a pro wrestler.
What are your main goals for the next few years?
My number 1 goal right now is just to be able to compete back in the ring in the coming months. I currently am sidelined after having reconstructive ACL surgery at the end of March from tearing my knee in a match. Once I’m back, I have my eyes set on returning to Ring of Honor to compete consistently as a part of the Women of Honor’s roster. I am also going to pursue the opportunity to travel to Japan and compete in Stardom or Marvelous Women’s Pro Wrestling. Regardless, when I’m back in the ring I plan to travel more. So my goal with that is to debut in every state across the USA.
What’s your proudest achievement in your career so far?
Oh geez, that’s a really tough one. I don’t think I could ever just choose one. Debuting for Women of Honor, SHINE, and RISE are definitely up there. Winning my very first title at New York Championship Wrestling despite tearing my ACL and MCL during the match is also something I’m extremely proud of. But I think the moment that will last forever in my mind is when a certain shy little boy who is a fan at The MFPW gave me a hug. He was at almost every show since I started wrestling, and he always gave me a high five when the shows were over. One night after my match, he decided to give me a hug. And I swear to you I almost teared up right then and there because I knew what an honor it was for him to feel comfortable enough to give me a hug. This journey has brought me so many beautiful moments like that with fans, and those are moments that I’ll always cherish most.
And finally where are some of the promotions fans can currently see you in action?
I currently am not cleared to do anything physical in the ring for a few more months. However, I will be a part of New York Championship Wrestling in Whitesboro, NY on August 3rd.
You may see me pop up in other promotions while I bide my time for my in-ring return. I post all my upcoming events on my social media platforms, and I’ll definitely be posting there when I finally get my in-ring comeback!
As always, if you know of an indie wrestler deserving of some spotlight, let me know in the comments below!