Once upon a time, there was a little geek woman.

No wait, that’s not quite right.

Take two.

Police swearing in ceremony

It was the year 2016. I was working another night shift as a police officer in NJ. It was the job I had been working towards since I was 15 years old, and one that I truly believed would be my lifetime career. I knew I wanted to do something to help my community, and I thought community policing would fulfill that role. But something didn’t seem to quite…fit. I finally figured out what that piece of the puzzle was when I fully delved into the pro wrestling world.

My family didn’t watch pro wrestling, so I didn’t have the opportunity while I was growing up to be indoctrinated into the fandom. Due to this, I got a a bit of a late start. It took until my boyfriend & his brother overlooked buying me a ticket to see Wrestlemania 29 for my avid fascination to begin. I almost spitefully began to watch NXT (who doesn’t invite someone to Wrestlemania?!) and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Four Horsewomen

It was during this period of time that the four horsewomen of NXT began to come to prominence. After seeing these fierce women tear up the ring, I knew I could no longer just be a spectator. I reached out to Danny Cage of the Monster Factory who invited me to do a tryout for training.

Danny Cage at the World Famous Monster Factory

I knew from that very first flip bump that I had found my niche. Pro wrestling gave me a sense of challenge both physically and mentally that I hadn’t felt since I was a gymnast. I woke up the next morning with my body aching in muscles I wasn’t even aware I owned. And I knew I had to go back.

A month later, at the age of 28, I left my job as a police officer and dove headfirst into pro wrestling training while I finished my bachelor’s degree in Sociology. There have been bumps in the roads: injuries that had to be overcome, determination that was tested, doubts to push past. Through it all, I met and worked with some pretty spectacular people; people who have supported me and helped to shape my journey thus far. In less than 3 years, pro wrestling has not only given me a way to fulfill my passion to serve my community, it’s also given me a home.

Working with Jimmy Jacobs

Every day I learn something new, whether it’s about pro wrestling in particular or myself on this journey. I’m still learning and growing with every step I take, and sometimes there are days when I wonder if I was a tad bit insane to have taken this leap. Maybe I am. But I don’t regret it for an instant.

This is my pro wrestling journey. Welcome!

This is just beginning.

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Riley Shepard

Riley Shepard is a former gymnast, 911 dispatcher & police officer turned professional wrestler. Riley has trained at The World Famous Monster Factory with Damian Priest & Danny Cage. She currently trains with Damian Adams. Riley is located in the East Coast and has wrestled for many promotions such as Ring of Honor, Rise Ascent, Atomic Championship Wrestling & many more!

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