It was a highlight in young Riley Matthews’s ring career when, in 2022, she was named as the PGWA’s Rookie of the Year. But it wasn’t just the prestige of this honor that thrilled her…there was also the guaranteed shot at the PGWA Championship that accompanied it.

Under any other circumstances, Riley would have cashed in that title shot as quickly as possible. However, at that time, the belt was held by a friend and ally of hers, Kasey Fox, and Riley didn’t want to challenge Kasey for the crown. So, she waited and bided her time.

2023 saw Savannah Sweet win the Rookie of the Year designation, and this galled Riley, as she and Savannah had become fierce arch-rivals and were repeatedly battling each other in rings across multiple states. Worse still, not long after that, Savannah Sweet became the new PGWA Champion. The very night that occurred, Riley vowed to make it the shortest title reign in history, and immediately invoked her guaranteed title match for a shot at the belt now wrapped around her rival’s waist.

However, as Riley quickly discovered, while she had the legal right to a title match, the titleholder herself, Savannah, had a powerful influence over just when and where that match would take place. She used her power as the champ to prevent Riley from getting a championship match for nearly a full year. Finally, in March of 2024, Savannah consented to have the match…but ONLY if it were a GrudgeMatch, with no referee present (and thus no one to enforce the rules). Having been denied her rightful title shot for so long, Riley consented to this, even though she knew it gave Savannah…an expert at rulebreaking…a huge advantage. When the dust had settled and the match was over, Riley had come a mere whisper’s breadth of winning, but in the end, it was indeed Savannah’s talent for cheating that denied Riley her victory and the belt.

Yet rather than being dispirited by her defeat, Riley was energized, determined to not only beat Savannah for the championship but to humble her as well.

She contacted the PGWA Commissioner, Susan Green, and made the case that she was the Number One Contender for the belt, and Susan agreed with that. Riley then said she wanted a title match (with a referee!) for a Northern Wrestling Federation live show on the night of April 27th. Riley was very specific that the match had to be on that date, because just one week later, on May the 4th, would come REVOLUTION RISING III: REBELLIOUS JOURNEY, the biggest PGWA event of the year. It would also mark the one-year anniversary of Savannah winning the belt.

But Riley was determined that come May 4th, when Savannah walked into the arena, it would not be as the PGWA Champion, and in fact, that ten pounds of leather and gold would be in the possession of Riley Matthews! There could be no sweeter revenge she could think of.

And now, we have learned that Riley did indeed defeat Savannah on the 27th, making her the new PGWA Champion! She is one of only 15 women to have held this belt, an elite roster consisting of such legendary names as Susan Green, Judy Martin, and Leilani Kai, and a belt originally sanctioned by one of the all-time true legends of the sport, the first PGWA Commissioner, Penny Banner.

Details of the match, as well as the video itself, will be made available soon at LadySports.com.

What we can report is that this alters the previously scheduled match at REVOLUTION RISING III between Riley and Mika, making this now a title match.

Purchase the video here (GG06)