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The family-friendly entertainers wow crowds all year long from their space in Uniontown Mall.
Uniontown, PA – As the saying goes, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” That’s how Jason Clements – aka Brandon K – ended up the co-owner of Stronghold Entertainment’s Ryse Pro Wrestling.
“I started training in 1997,” Jason said. “A high school acquaintance of mine got into the wrestling business due to his connection with a Pittsburgh radio morning show personality who moonlighted as a local professional wrestler.”
Jason attended a wrestling show with a mutual friend and met up with the acquaintance, asking him how he got started in the business. “He said, ‘You know, you could do it, too,’” Jason explained, and soon after, “I just jumped right in.”
After wrestling for a while at various locales around the country, Jason became a trainer. But he didn’t like what he saw in that aspect of the business.
“The Pittsburgh system we were in was kind of brutal,” he said, noting he didn’t believe wrestlers were being promoted correctly to move on once they’d graduated.
“I wanted to try to build a better system to help people get to the next level,” he said.
So, with the help of wife Kristy Clements and his parents, Stronghold Entertainment, LLC was formed, and Ryse Pro Wrestling was born. The company celebrated its seventh anniversary during the recent December show at its home arena in the Uniontown Mall.
The company’s motto is “Where Future Stars Ryse,” but Stronghold is focused on community involvement as well, partnering with several organizations, including the Crime Victims’ Center of Fayette County and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Fayette County.
For their commitment to its athletes, fans and the local community, Ryse Pro Wrestling has earned the first “Fayette Faces and Places” designation of 2024.
Kristy Clements oversees the front end of the business, taking care of such things as ticket sales and reservations. Her in-laws run the concessions, and together, they coordinate fan interactions and special events such as birthday experiences.
“I’m also directly involved in working with a lot of our fundraisers – getting them scheduled and working with the fundraising committees, making sure the show relates to their mission,” Kristy said.
For instance, she said, during a Special Olympics fundraiser, Olympians participated by walking wrestlers to the ring.
“One of my favorite jobs is working with the community,” Kristy said. “We also partnered with the Crime Victims’ Center and CASA to do a fundraiser show for them and highlight the great work they’re doing in the community.”
Kristy said Ryse also has also supported local high school sports groups and other organizations. She noted the company was able to do that more often pre-COVID and hopes to once again expand its opportunities in that vein.
Running things behind the scenes are Jason Clements and Dean Radford, both of whom serve as head trainers. Jason, as his persona Brandon K, also steps into the ring on occasion and guest trainers come in as well.
Stronghold offers both training and promotion, with the goal for athletes who appear in Ryse shows to move up to bigger pro wrestling opportunities.
“We have a rotating roster with about 40 (athletes) that we go through,” Jason said, noting that several Ryse athletes already have advanced. “Thea Hail was the youngest signee in WWE history and Lee Moriarty is with AEW right now. He signed a couple years ago.”
Jason said Ryse graduate Lady Frost moved up to compete with Ring of Honor. “And we’ve got a lot that are doing really great things; they’re just not there yet,” he said. “It takes time.”
Jason noted Ryse was voted Best Live Entertainment in 2023 by Best in Fayette. “That was a huge thing for us because wrestling usually doesn’t get ‘flowers,’” he said.
The company has plans to continue its upward trajectory in 2024. Kristy said Ryse has “made a lot of upgrades this year” at its home base but is also looking to branch out from there.
“We are really looking to do some spot shows,” she said, citing Greensburg, PennWest California University and Morgantown, W.Va., as possible locations. “So, we are planning to expand.”
Ryse also will welcome some big-name guests to its home ring this year. Jason said former WWE star and current Impact wrestler Fandango will visit the Stronghold Arena in February, and NWA champion EC3 is scheduled for March.
Jason and Kristy said Ryse Wrestling is entertainment for the entire family. “It’s as family friendly as you can get for simulated violence,” Jason said. “It’s more of a callback to older wrestling.”
He noted there is no profanity and no blood at Ryse shows.
“We are family friendly, and we really try to go for more story-driven, character-driven wrestling,” Kristy said. “You can come to this with your grandmother or your grandfather and feel comfortable that you are really going to enjoy this show. It’s something that anyone, of any age, can enjoy.”
Ryse Pro Wrestling holds shows on the second Saturday of each month, with storylines building to a culmination show in December. Their next event will take place this Saturday, January 13 at the Uniontown Mall, 1368 Mall Run Rd, Uniontown. Tickets are $20 for adult ringside seats and $15 for child ringside seats or $15 for adult general admission and $10 for child general admission. Tickets can be purchased at the door or via the website.
To learn more about Ryse Pro Wrestling, or to purchase tickets, visit www.rysewrestling.com.
Editor's Note: Photos attached (January 13th Event; December Anniversary Show; Best in Fayette; Uniontown Mall Arena)
This communication, among other initiatives, is funded through the 2016 Fayette County Local Share Account (LSA) in cooperation with the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, Fayette Chamber of Commerce, The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Fayette, The Redstone Foundation and other partners. This funding has been designated for the continued promotion and marketing of Fayette County, PA.
For more information, contact Kristi Kassimer Harper, Public Relations Specialist, at 724-437-4571, firstname.lastname@example.org or Jamie Rankin, Journalist, at 724-437 4571, email@example.com.