Rhio Interview: “My goal in PROGRESS is to become the longest reigning Women’s World Champion in history.”

As PROGRESS Wrestling prepares for Chapter 169: The Devil On My Shoulder, we catch up with Rhio, the reigning PROGRESS Women’s World Champion for 250 days.

In this exclusive interview, Rhio discusses the challenges and triumphs of her reign, the growing target on her back, her push for a women’s Super Strong Style 16 tournament, and her successful defences in the U.S. She also shares pivotal moments that defined her championship, the impact on the women’s division, and her upcoming match against Emersyn Jayne.

Rhio, congratulations on 250 days as the PROGRESS Women’s World Champion! Reflecting on your reign so far, what have been the most significant challenges and triumphs you’ve experienced as champion?

I think one of my biggest challenges has been adjusting to the target on my back getting bigger. With being the ICW Women’s World Champion the target has already been set, but since winning the PROGRESS Women’s World Championship the target size has increased.

I have people from all over the world wanting a shot at me. And as always, I have multiple women at PROGRESS wanting their chance. Another one of my challenges is fighting for a SSS16 for the women. Myself and all the other women at PROGRESS have been working insanely hard in and outside the ring to make this a possibility and the results are showing.

Last year, Alexxis Falcon and Nina Samuels stole the show at SSS16 in a Clock Strikes Midnight match and this year myself, Lizzy Evo, Kanji and Nina Samuels stole the show in a 4-way Ladder match. That’s two years in a row the women at PROGRESS have stolen SSS16. So, I think we have showed the calibre of some of the women at PROGRESS.

In 2025 I want us to be able to show the talent of the current roster along with some cheeky additions. It’s been a challenge that every woman at PROGRESS has taken on and together (whether we get along or not) we have gained the recognition. Which leads to the triumphs.

Defending the PROGRESS Women’s World Championship twice in two days in America was definitely a huge triumph. I walked into America champion, and I walked back out champion. That was very special and meant so much to me. I’ll be forever grateful for that opportunity. That America trip really opened up my eyes and I can’t wait to get back out there. I know a quite a few women have thrown out challenges to me, and when I return to the States I will accept every one of them.

The 4-Way Ladder match over the SSS16 weekend was another triumph. And coming out of that still the PROGRESS Women’s World Champion was an even bigger one!

Maintaining such a long title reign with 10 successful defences is a testament to your skill and consistency. Do you feel at the top of your game?

Even with all the successful defences in mind, I feel like I’m the best I’ve ever been but not necessarily the best I’ll ever be. I’m very proud of everything I’ve accomplished, but I know I’m capable of so much more. I also feel that while I have been riding the high of being a legitimate double Women’s World Champion, I have become a softer version of myself, but make no mistake about it I’ve noticed this and have been working on myself to go back to the me that chases championships and beats champions.

Can you share a few moments or matches from your reign that you believe were pivotal in defining you as a champion and cementing your legacy in PROGRESS Wrestling?

I think finally getting my hands on Lana Austin alone (without LAE) was pivotal for me. It allowed me to face the woman that had been avoiding me and resulted in me winning the PROGRESS Women’s World Championship. And then beating Lana Austin fair and square, in Philadelphia to retain was pivotal as some fans feel the way I won was unfair.

However, I went through a whole tournament to gain the Key and then chased her for a year while she had strength in numbers so I don’t see that as unfair, I see that as smart. And the 4-way ladder match was pivotal as I noticed the lack of faith some fans had in me. And although, it was tough and there were points – now I’ve watched it back – that someone was fingertips away from taking my championship. I prevailed and I hope it has shown fans that even with the cards stacked against me,  do not doubt me.

How do you feel your reign has impacted the women’s division in PROGRESS Wrestling, and what legacy do you hope to leave behind as champion?

I hope to be inspirational. I mean, as champion I’ve defended the championship in Ireland and America, wrestled a ladder match over SSS16 weekend, influenced a discussion within PROGRESS and wrestling social media about a potential women’s SSS16 next year alongside the men’s. If I could leave a legacy at PROGRESS it would be give everything you have, fight for what you believe you deserve, and do everything to be the best champion you can be.

What are your thoughts on Emersyn Jayne as a challenger, and how are you preparing specifically for the match at Chapter 169?

Emersyn Jayne is undoubtedly one of the best. She’s an incredibly versatile wrestler with a mean streak. However, we are currently holding two tag team championships together so I think its safe to say I know her well.

This upcoming match has high emotional stakes, especially given your history with Emersyn Jayne. How important to you is it that we get a definitive winner?

Every match I have it’s important to have a definitive winner but especially considering we’re tag team champions together and her PROGRESS debut was a championship opportunity against me that ended early due to outside interference. Emersyn was robbed on her debut at PROGRESS, and I said to her that day that we would do this again, with no interactions just us two straight down the middle. Every time we step into the ring, we challenge each other and push each other to the very limits. So, I’m looking forward to this challenge.

Assuming you successfully defend your title at Chapter 169, what are your future goals as the PROGRESS Women’s World Champion?

My goal in PROGRESS is to become the longest reigning Women’s World Champion in history (like I have done at ICW), push for more big events for the women, defend my championship in the States again and as many countries as I can, hopefully inspire more girls to get into wrestling or attend wrestling events, and inspire everyone to push themselves to be the best they can be.

Lastly, What advice would you give to up-and-coming wrestlers aspiring to reach your level of success and perhaps one day challenge for the Women’s World Championship?

If I could give any advice to aspiring wrestlers it would be work on yourself every day, inside the ring and outside. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Believe in yourself and don’t let people put limitations on you. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself a supportive circle of people, keep them close. Take risks, train regularly, work hard, take care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Find your peace. Enjoy the journey and try to learn from as many people as possible. Move with good intentions and that’s what will come back to you.

PROGRESS Wrestling tickets are available for all future shows via the dice app, including this July’s event, THE DEVIL ON MY SHOULDER featuring Rhio vs Emersyn Jayne for the PROGRESS Wrestling Women’s World Championship. See you on Sunday, 28th July!

You can see Rhio matches in PROGRESS Wrestling, including her 10 successful defences by subscribing to DEMAND PROGRESS PLUS.


Rhio Interview: “My goal in PROGRESS is to become the longest reigning Women’s World Champion in history.”