I thought I knew what busy was. Then I met Reese Ramone.
Reese and I shook hands for the first time last weekend in Ashland, Kentucky. She’s an avid fan of history. Not just pro wrestling, but history in general, and she checked out all the books on my table. She’s minoring in history at Marshall University in addition to majoring in electrical and computer engineering. She’s also a majorette who performs with the university’s marching band.
Oh yeah, on top of all that? She’s a professional wrestler.
Reese’s journey to lacing up her boots began when she discovered wrestling on television. “I was just flipping through channels and found Smackdown. I saw Cameron dressed in a pretty school girl’s outfit, and it caught my eye. I always did dance, and I loved pretty outfits, and I thought it was so cool.”
Reese’s father noticed her interest and started telling her about the wrestling he grew up watching. Right from the start, she knew she wanted to try it. She just didn’t know how! “I didn’t know about wrestling schools, and it seemed unattainable. I decided it was something I could just enjoy on TV.”
When Reese arrived on campus in Huntington, West Virginia, she heard about the Art of Grappling wrestling school in nearby Ironton, Ohio. She met with owner Joe Pace, who also runs FTC Wrestling in Ashland, Kentucky. Pace told her he was planning to build out a women’s division at FTC, and with his encouragement, she decided sign up.
“I didn’t tell my parents at first,” she says. “I had a show the day before my birthday, so they finally found out. They were scared of me getting hurt, but they were pretty supportive.”
Reese had her first few lessons with former WWE Diva Jillian Hall. “I took my first bumps in front of her, and she taught me a lot about working the women’s style: hair pulling and cat fighting.”
Her second of third week, Jillian was joined by another trainer: Bobby Blaze. Hall and Blaze worked together for a while, and Reese learned a great deal from them both. When the two decided to split, Reese stayed with Bobby.
“He’s been so good to me. He’s invested a lot of time and wisdom in me. He helped me build my social media presence. He introduced me to the guy who did my entrance music. He’s a world class trainer.”
Reese has learned a lot by doing. “I was told on my first night I had to cut a promo! I thought, there’s no way! It wasn’t bad, but I was so nervous.”
It helped to have a lifeline available. “Bobby called me that night. He talked to me for like an hour, giving me confidence and talking me through everything. He’s been so good to me.”
Reese is juggling a lot with school, wrestling, and marching band, but she’s found a way to balance everything while looking to the future. She’s considering a number of career and post-secondary options, but she also hopes to wrestle for the WWE one day.
“Being a majorette helps so much with my conditioning,” she says. “People have no idea how physically demanding marching is. It helps a lot with my cardio.”
Reese can also talk history, and as a history nut myself, it was difficult to stick to wrestling when we spoke. Suffice to say next time I see her at a show, it’s just as likely I’ll strike up a conversation about the new Netflix movie Operation: Mincemeat with her as talk shop about wrestling.
Reese has the drive to succeed in pro wrestling. She’s also got a trainer who has her back and has laid a solid foundation for her. I’m glad our paths crossed last week, and I’m excited to see where she goes in the years to come.