Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Raychell Rose Details Exit From ROW Promotion, Says Booker T Fired Her Over Being Stalked

Indie talent Raychell Rose, who used to be a mainstay at Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling (ROW), speaks out over her termination from the promotion.

Rose, who is a former ROW Diamond’s Division Champion, was allegedly being stalked by trainee Shawn Reed. Reed had been told to stay away from the training venue, shows, and vicinity of Rose as he made her and others uncomfortable.

In a report by Fightful, they have a lot of details about the situation:

Despite these warnings, we’re told that Reed made himself present numerous times around Rose and others. Rose attempted to file stalking and harassment charges, but the charges were denied on the grounds that Rose and Reed were never in a relationship with one another. Rose claims that an officer did make contact with Reed and indicate that he should leave Rose alone.

Fightful obtained conversations as far back as August 2021, where it was indicated to Reed that his behavior was an issue. Reed had cited that Rose had “manipulated him into thinking she was single,” despite it being widely known in the company that she was in a long-term relationship. A ROW official, who Rose said was Kevin Bernhardt instead urged Reed to train at Premier, as his attendance at ROW had been sparse as is. Reed claimed he was bullied and had extenuating circumstances, but was still urged to leave. Rose told Fightful that Bernhardt knew Rose performed at Premier, and still encouraged Reed to go there instead. We reached out to Bernhardt about the story, but did not hear back. Rose told Fightful that Bernhardt was supposed to inform Booker T – the face and owner of Reality of Wrestling – but did not do so. 

On March 5, 2022 Rose was wrestling at the Houston Premier Arena, when Reed arrived. When Fightful spoke with Blake Jones, he claimed that he had Reed ejected from the venue, and made a comment alluding to harming people in the venue. An incident report was filed on March 7, and on March 10, ROW official Kevin Bernhardt instructed Reed not to come to an upcoming event that Rose would be featured on. Reed contacted Bernhardt again on June 27, 2022 for permission to attend an upcoming show, but Bernhardt denied him in what appeared to be an amicable exchange.

Jones and Rose both claim that Bernhardt referred multiple problematic trainers to Premier. We reached out to Bernhardt about the story, but had not gained a response after several weeks. 

On September 9, Reed messaged Rose in an attempt to make amends, after he’d been instructed numerous times to not contact her, including by police.

Then, in December 2022, a situation unfolded after a Reality of Wrestling show that saw multiple arrests, including Reed. However, there were claims on behalf of students of Reality of Wrestling that it could have been prevented.

Numerous sources indicated to us that Reed once again appeared at a Reality of Wrestling show where Rose was competing. Rose was not informed of this, as Reality of Wrestling Officials were removing him from the venue. However, Rose’s claim was that she was to notify police immediately if Reed were to be around her.

Booker T, who was not aware of the situation, or Reed himself, encountered Reed in the parking lot. The claim from talent at Reality of Wrestling was that Reed had made threats on himself as well as implied to Booker directly he’d considered attacking others at the school, with some claiming that he even mentioned shooting up the venue. We’re told that Booker walked Reed back into the venue after he’d been ejected, in what he claimed was an effort to calm Reed down and prevent him from doing anything “crazy.”

Following the show, Reed was at a bar that Reality of Wrestling performers visit after every show as a tradition, with many claiming that he knew of this and had popped up there prior. Rose approached Reed when she saw him, telling him to stay away from her and that she was calling the police. Before the police arrived, Reality of Wrestling talent confronted Reed, who Rose said hit a ROW Wrestler with a glass mug and attempted to strike her. Reed was arrested after the fight, and the charges.

A Reality of Wrestling talent was also arrested for disorderly conduct in conjunction with the situation, but Booker T claimed the talent’s charges were expunged and he was quickly bonded out. Those we spoke to said that the attacked ROW talent’s medical expenses weren’t covered, though Rose thought they should be.

Rose told Fightful that Reality of Wrestling claimed there was a trespass warrant for Shawn Reed after December, but that police confirmed in the report that wasn’t the case. Rose claims she was told that ROW would have armed security and cameras to help prevent issues, which she says also didn’t end up happening.

Rose said that upon speaking with Booker T after the incident, that she was fired from Reality of Wrestling, which she felt wasn’t justified. She felt as if she was effectively cut from the company due to having a stalker in which she’d warned the company about. Those familiar with the situation claim she was blamed for causing the problematic personality to be around, even though he’d been warned numerous times to stay away.

Fightful made contact with Booker T, and he did confirm that Rose was fired from ROW, citing internal reasons that he wouldn’t elaborate on. He also confirmed that the incident at Stuttgarden Tavern took place, and it was of his opinion that the ROW talent should have distanced themselves from Shawn Reed instead of confronting him. ROW talent present and past that we spoke to said that Reed was well aware that the talent would be there, and believed that he did it intentionally as a result.

Booker insisted that the timing of this story emerging was due to a meeting at the January 13 Reality of Wrestling show that related to loyalty among the wrestlers. We can confirm that we heard of this story after Booker T and Reality of Wrestling told their talent that they didn’t want their wrestlers working other independent companies in Houston. Booker was also curious as to why it took a year for the story to emerge, which Rose said was because she feared possible retaliation from Reed, and finally felt safe sharing the story. Booker called the issue a “nonstory” and pointed to Reality of Wrestling’s track record of not having similar stories emerge from their company.

“Booker screamed and cursed at me when he arrived on the scene while I was talking to police at the December incident that this was my fault and I’m the reason people got hurt and arrested,” Rose said.

We can confirm that there were multiple wrestlers who left Reality of Wrestling in protest after the situation. One told Fightful that they left because the situation left them feeling unsafe and not protected at the venue after the situation unfolded, in light of the threats they heard Reed had spoken of.

Rose spoke with Fightful and said “To speak on the personal side of things, My safety has not been secure for years due to Shawn Reed and the lack of support I received from the people in charge at Reality of Wrestling which allowed Shawn’s actions to escalate the way they did unchecked. This issue being allowed to fester for so long has resulted in many hours of speaking in person to and on the phone with police officers, district attorneys, and lawyers because of this situation. I’ve spent and continue to spend a great deal of time in therapy sessions to process trauma related to this incident in hopes of one day fully overcoming the effects of it. That itself comes with a stigma, but it’s all a part of the healing process which I am learning to navigate and fully embrace.”

Fightful has obtained incident reports from when Reed appeared at Premier Arena, where Rose had wrestled, and was asked to leave. Fightful reached out to each name listed on the incident report as a witness for their account of events. We’ve also obtained numerous screenshots of messages where Reed was instructed to stay away.

Rose told Fightful, “Overall I hope what comes out of this is Booker, along with the people placed in charge at his school, implement procedures and protections to ensure all threats are taken seriously in the future. Should they continue to not make students’ safety their priority, I hope that at the very least any women who train there or are looking for a place to train see this and are able to make an educated decision before they to put their safety into the hands of Reality of Wrestling.”

Outside of ROW, Rose has been wrestling shows now with local Texas indie promotions, previous AEW Dark, and most recently appeared on ROH TV. She was defeated by Billie Starkz on Feb. 3 under the name Araya Thorn.

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