Young guns set to clash in women’s CEW match

Savanna Stone is making her CEW debut when she takes on Maria Elena in a match at Memorial Hall on October 6. Photo credit by: Robert Starks-Bellamy.

Two of the youngest professional female wrestlers in the state of Iowa will square up in the ring as they make their Central Empire Wrestling debuts in Sigourney on October 6. Both are looking to prove themselves, with Savanna Stone and Maria Elena often overlooked by spectators, but make their actions speak for themselves.

For Elena, it’ll be one of her first matches as she still considers herself a newcomer to the sport, having wrestled for about one year.

“I recently graduated from the Black and Brave Wrestling Academy which is run by Seth Rollins, who currently works for WWE,” Elena said. “Austin Bayliss reached out to me about wrestling for CEW.”

Wrestling has always been on her radar, hoping to be involved with the wrestling business to some capacity since she was young. She tends to be underestimated before she steps into the ring and then puts on a show for the crowd.

“What I enjoy most is getting to be myself but turned up to an 11. It’s me magnified to another level, and to be able to share that with people is pretty cool,” Elena said. “Overall when people see me it doesn’t look like I can do the things that I can do, and I enjoy taking people by surprise and eat their words.”

Her opponent also considers herself more of a newcomer, even though she’s been competing in the sport for the past two or three years. Stone’s background didn’t begin with wrestling, but she has always been athletic which has helped her early on in her career. She was a volleyball freak for much of her life, having played since third grade and was named captain of the JV team her freshman year followed by captain of the Varsity squad her sophomore year.

“One day I was trying to find a better workout program for myself and that’s when I discovered wrestling. I’ve been hooked ever since,” Stone said. “I think I’m more passionate about wrestling because there’s more people you can reach out to and there’s more potential. I enjoy the wrestling in general or I wouldn’t put my body through it and reaching out to my fans in Stone Nation.”

It’s more than just a competition for Stone however, as wrestling has given her a chance to grow her own platform and following, as well as become an ambassador for women’s wrestling and wrestling in general. Stone had to deal with some barriers in the early going, as has Elena, with women’s wrestling still leading to some doubts by fans of the sport.

“It’s amazing how recently women have been given more opportunities. If you top that off with how young I was when I started, I was questioned a lot,” Stone said. “It discouraged me but also kept pushing me forward. That’s how I came up with ‘You can’t break Stone.’”

The sport of wrestling has been increasing in popularity over recent years, a big part due to people realizing it’s more than just entertainment. The sport is also highly emphasized within the state of Iowa, with high school wrestling a popular sport and the two major universities having a past and future in progressing the sport.

“I think people are starting to realize it’s more than entertainment and what we put our bodies through, or I wouldn’t put myself out there,” Stone said. “It’s amazing how much we can have an effect on the crowd and how we can help people. If I can help one person out, that’s very important to me, especially if they’re in high school and need some direction.”

With both still serving as fresh faces for CEW, each match still serves as another step in the never-ending learning process. Elena is hoping that she, like many of the sport, will end up on TV or something similar.

“At the end of the day, what are you doing this for if you’re not aiming to be the best,” Elena said.

Stone has a slightly different approach to her future goals, with more emphasis on continuing to get better as she goes along while serving in an ambassador type of role.

“In the next five to 10 years, the thing I want most is to be the best that I could be at that given time,” Stone said. “I want to keep learning and getting better every match, while continuing to reach out and help people.”

Stone and Elena are primed for a chance to make their names known within CEW and leave a lasting impression on the residents of Sigourney.

“I was pretty stoked when I saw the booking for Sigourney, because I haven’t been there before, and they promote wrestling,” Stone said. “I feel like I have a lot to prove due to how young I am, but it’s also a learning experience whenever I go somewhere new with all the new faces.”

“Me and Savanna are going to show CEW what we’ve got and tear the house down,” Elena said. “Don’t underestimate me or I’ll show you what’s what and I’m excited to show Sigourney what’s what.”