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Cwmbran teenager gets standing ovation on her wrestling debut

A Cwmbran teenager made her debut in the wrestling ring and has ambitions to make it her full-time career.

Tilly Gordon, 16, had a bout against Rayne Leverkusen last Friday night in Cardiff under her wrestling name, Tilly Rose.

Tilly Rose (Photo: Blue Radical

She told Cwmbran Life about her lifelong ambition to be a wrestler: “When I was a baby and I was crying, my dad would put wrestling on the telly and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I became immersed in it. It was all I watched. And then I started seeing women doing it when I was about eight or nine and decided ‘that’s what I want to do’.”

two female wrestler smile for the camera
Tilly Rose and Rayne Leverkusen (Photo: Tilly Gordon)

At 15 she started to train with Exposure Wresting in Newport. She was too young to compete but was so keen to be involved that she refereed matches. Tilly now trains at least three nights a week with New Wave Wrestling Academy, also in Newport,

She said: “The trainers are some of the best you get in the UK. I get as much advice, training and ring time as possible. They approached me in June to put me on a show for my first match in July.

“I couldn’t sleep the night before. I was so excited. When I woke up, I was just immediately ready. I woke up way earlier than normal.

“I checked my bag 1,000 times to check I had everything. My dad took me to the venue. I was introduced to Rayne Leverkusen, who I was wrestling. It was my first time meeting her properly.

“It was quite surreal as she’s one of the best in the UK. It was such an honour to be in the ring with her.

“She told me the main thing is to have fun and she would look after me.”

a wrestler high fives the crowd
Tilly Rose circled the ring and slapped the hands of fans before jumping in the ring (Photo: Sarah Horton)

Tilly told how she felt as her name was called out by the ring announcer: “I came through the curtain, everything was so blurry. It was like it wasn’t happening. I couldn’t hear myself. I knew I was screaming but the crowd was so loud.

“Rayne won, I tapped out to her ‘lion-tamer’ submission. I think I lasted about seven or eight minutes.

“I shook her hand and just kept repeating ‘thank you’. She told me to stay in the ring and take it all in. I had a standing ovation. I couldn’t stop myself from crying. I truly didn’t think it was really happening.

“We put together what I think was an entertaining match. We had a great crowd reaction, they were all up for it. My grandparents were there as well and they got into it.”

The Coleg Gwent art and design student said: “I had a group of friends that I used to wrestle with and they were shocked with how much I had progressed. They’ve helped to get me where I am.

“Everyone was clapping and I cried even more. I signed postcards and had photos with people and then I watched the show. I still love watching wrestling.”

a female wrestler sat n side of ring
Tilly Rose after her match (Photo: Sarah Horton)

‘When I’m in the ring nothing else matters’

“It’s not like anything else. It’s extremely unique and the fact it’s a sport and entertainment. When I’m in the ring nothing else matters. If I’ve had a bad day, it doesn’t matter. It’s just working towards my dream. It’s like a home to me.

“I’ve met such amazing people.”

She thanked two of her coaches, Brendan White and Mike Hitchman, for their support to get her ready for her debut match.

Tilly has her sights set on a career in wrestling: “I want to be able to be a full-time wrestler. As far as my bigger dreams go, going to the WWE is the ultimate for most wrestlers. I hope I can get an opportunity at that one day.”

Sarah Horton, Tilly’s mum said: “I felt sick all day with nerves. And from the moment she walked out of the curtain until long after her match had finished, I was shaking.

“I was so so proud seeing her in the ring and chanting and cheering her on. every time I watch the match over or talk about it I fill up. I can’t wait to see her go places now, she’s living her dream.”

Tilly has been booked for a show in Cardiff during August and one in Portishead during September.

Photo credit

Thanks to The Blue Radical for permission to use the photo of Tilly Rose.



Posted inNews

Cwmbran teenager gets standing ovation on her wrestling debut

Two photos of a female wrester- one in the ring and one signing autographs
Tilly signed posters for fans after making her wrestling debut (Photo: Sarah Horton)