WWE ambition for Leigh Park trans woman wrestler set for 40-person rumble debut

ASPIRING wrestler Amber Cortopassi is set to make her professional ringside debut in a 40-person rumble.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 10:58 am
Updated Thursday, 9th January 2020, 5:28 pm

The 21-year-old dreams of being the first trans woman signed up to global brand WWE - and has been in training for around six months.

Welcomed with open arms at the Portsmouth School of Wrestling, Amber is now signed up with Revolution Pro Wrestling.

In just a week she will be battling 36 men and three other women in a 40-person royal rumble last-person-standing competition.

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Leigh Park-based Amber, who is pre-op, said: ‘I have been wanting to wrestle for 16 years - since I was five.

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‘It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do and I just woke up one day and thought “that’s it, if I’m going to sit here and dream I’d rather do something to achieve that dream”.

‘In doing so I not only became the very first trans woman in Portsmouth to be a pro wrestler, but one of the very first in the UK to wrestle with a big company.

- Amber Cortopassi training at the Portsmouth School of Wrestling. Amber stretches with best friends Tiffany Killick and Curtis Stacey. Tiffany introduced Amber to wrestling six months ago and Curtis has been friends with her for seven years. Picture: Vernon Nash (040120-057)

‘I’m not going to stop until I reach WWE and be the first trans person signed with them.’

But it was only a chance meeting with pal Tiffany Killick at Flip Out in North Harbour that put her on the right path. Amber spotter her wrestling at the trampolining area and asked if she could join in.

‘We were just wrestling,’ Amber said. ‘She said for someone who's never wrestled I knew what to do. The next day we were training.’

Amber Cortopassi training at the Portsmouth School of Wrestling. Amber is doing bout training with Kenneth Halfpenny. Picture: Vernon Nash (040120-058)

Currently unemployed Amber is focusing on her sport, while also undergoing training for security work, and has been brought to tears by the welcoming attitude of her Rodney Road-based school.

Speaking about when she joined the school, Amber said: ‘They said with wrestling it really doesn’t matter, you’ve identified yourself as a female - that’s how we look at you - that’s how everyone else will look at you and that’s how others look at you in the ring.’

Amber took her inspirational aunt Jo’s name for her ringside name Amber Jo. Her aunt died in a house fire in 2015. Amber holds her in high regard for supporting her coming out at the age of 14.

‘I want to be that person in Portsmouth who puts Portsmouth back on the map and to make everything so much better for people who feel like they don’t fit in,’ she said.

Amber Cortopassi training at the Portsmouth School of Wrestling with the wrestling class. Picture: Vernon Nash (040120-055)

School coach Andy Simmonz, 35, said Amber was doing ‘fantastic’ and added: ‘If you dedicate yourself sufficiently and immerse yourself in it you can make it – I’ve seen it happen. It’s fantastic that she’s got this big ambition.’

To find out more see Amber’s Twitter account @amberjo_revpro or Instagram @theamberjo_revprotrainie

Watch Amber wrestle in the Revolution Rumble 2020 at the Mountbatten Centre in Stamshaw on January 18 at 6.30pm. Tickets start from £8.