Posts Tagged ‘Impact Wrestling’

Scarlett Bordeaux reportedly had requested a release from her Impact Wrestling contract last week, according to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.

According to the report, Bordeaux’s contract with Impact was until later this summer. Her contract deal is said to pay her per appearance and isn’t a guaranteed contract.

While she has been with the company since last year, Bordeaux didn’t make her in-ring debut until March 29, 2019, where she pinned Glenn Gilbertti (Disco Inferno). 

It’s unclear if the request has been granted yet, but her next scheduled event for Impact is the NYC TV tapings in early June. She recently worked the TV tapings in Philadelphia. 

Bordeaux joins other Impact stars that have asked for their releases, the most recent being Killer Kross. Kross had signed a multi-year deal with the company last year but is unhappy with the financial aspect of the contract that he tried to renegotiate. 

Tessa Blanchard is one of the wrestling world’s top stars and though she’s only been active in the industry for five years, she’s had a lifetime of experiences. In a recent interview on Talk is Jericho, Blanchard discussed her career, telling Jericho about her start in wrestling, her WWEtryout and subsequent workings with WWE in a small capacity. 

She began by detailing how backstage politics — ranging from nepotism (her father is one of the Original Four Horseman) to dating rumors — initially made wrestling locker rooms an alienating place for her. 

“I think when I started in wrestling, I hadn’t realized how difficult locker rooms were going to be,” Blanchard said. “I thought they were going to be more inviting than they were. On numerous different occasions I have had people tell me that I am only booked because of my dad, because of who I was dating, or any other exceptions other than my hard work, so in my mind I wanted to put in the extra hours in the ring. 

“That way, I put in the time and I was able to back it up. So that way, when someone would say something like that, next time there would be no validity to it. I can say, ‘No, f**k you, I work hard.'” 

Locker rooms proved not to be a problem for Blanchard in her career as she’s one of the industry’s best talents– she’s a former Impact Knockouts champion, current Women of Wrestling champion and has even been had a taste of the big leagues with WWE. 

“WWE contacted me to do one of those Raw and SmackDown extra spots, which I thought was really cool,” she said. “I went to Monday’s Raw, I got there and William Regal talked to us telling us that we are going to do promos and matches tomorrow, anyone who wants to have one can, which I thought was great. 

“It was me and my friend Chasity Taylor and a few other girls, there were only 4 girls there. Her and I were really green. We talked to them and asked that maybe we could pair up and have a pretty decent match and it’ll be great, but they were like, ‘Well, actually we want to work with each other and you guys can work with each other because we have worked with each other before,’ So we were like, okay. Chasity and I stayed up all night, pushing our mattresses together trying to come up with some match; I didn’t even have gear or anything. I never lifted a weight in my life or nothing. This was going to be my first match. What is funny about this– and I haven’t shared this story with many people because it’s how everything comes full circle for me. So, my dad and my step-dad [Magnum TA] had their ‘I Quit Match’ at Starrcade ’85 at the Greensboro Coliseum in the same arena that I had my first match in. In the moment I hadn’t even realized that until after the fact and I thought, wow, the world has a weird way of playing out.”

“I didn’t tell them that it was my first match. I didn’t tell them that I was borrowing another woman’s gear, I didn’t tell them anything. When they called me back to do extra spots, Scott Armstrong and Joey Mercury were in catering and they were like, ‘Tessa, come talk to us for a second.’ I was like, Hey guys, just so you know that was my first match. They were like, ‘Why didn’t you tell us that? That explains so much, thank you for telling us.’ 

“Scott Armstrong got me my tryout at the WWE Performance Center. I went there and got my tryout and it was one of the most physically trying things in my life. I literally think they blow you up where you can only work on instinct and see how far you can go from there. It was insane, but I thought I did a great job. Mind you, looking back, I hadn’t lifted a single weight in my life. I’m not the athlete that I am today at this point, but I thought that I was going to get signed and that it was going to happen to me now and then it didn’t, I didn’t get signed. There were so many times I was called to go do a match and drive 8 or 9 hours from North Carolina to Orlando, Florida just to go do the NXT extra spots and then nothing, which would break my heart every time, but I was just very young then.” 

Asked if she had any regrets due to failing to get into the WWE, Blanchard responded she had none. 

“I think where I am now I am grateful that things didn’t happen for me that quickly because I don’t think I would be the woman I am today, nor the athlete that I am today if I had gone and got signed right away,” she said. “I am really glad that I didn’t because I have been able to go down and make history in my own way and have the freedom to make history in ways that matter to me, like, me and Barbi Hayden were able to go to China and have the first ever women’s match to be televised on TV in China in history. 

“We have had the opportunity to go down to China and Mexico and Japan and wrestle some of the best people in the world, which I think has helped me. I learned a lot from these people. My dad always says that if I want to be great, I have to wrestle people that are great and be around people and travel around people that are great and have only a select few to be able to pour into your mind and you listen.” 

While she wrestles on the indies now, Blanchard did, however, get the opportunity to work with WWE and The Rock– she stunt-doubled for Paige in Paige’s autobiographical film ‘Wrestling with My Family’, produced by The Rock. 

She filmed her parts after a WWE show at the Staples Center in front of a live audience.

“The Rock got on the mic and said that we are going to bring Tessa Blanchard and Thea Trinidad out, and I’m like, this is so cool,” she said. “We were there until 3 in the morning. After we filmed the match, they left and then we did the close-ups and the basic shots. That whole experience was really neat. The Rock trained with us, went to the studio, got into the ring and rolled around with us. He is such a down to earth guy who really cares about details. He was so invested in each one of us, which was really neat.”

Blanchard says the experience, considering her past dealings with WWE and their tryouts, was an amusing surprise. 

The company reached out to Blanchard, saying they were sending her a plane ticket and they’d tell her more when she got there. 

“I was like, Okay, I am there. They told me to pack for 3 days or 3 weeks but didn’t tell me nothing. I get there; a car picks me up and I go to my hotel and they tell me an address to be there and at what time. I go there, it is a studio and there is, like, a WWE ring set up.”

In the ring, Blanchard’s life came full-circle– she was in a WWE ring, 4 girls total.

“Dave Taylor is there, Thea Trinidad was already there, and it was me and two other girls. They had asked us to roll around in the ring. At that point, they told us what it was for. We rolled around and asked us a few little moves, if we knew how to take the moves and whether we were comfortable. Then, in about three hours, they told me to stay and told the other two to go. They set me up with a person to find a place where I was going to stay and I ended up staying there much longer than three weeks but it was cool. 

“We were in the studio every day and working on this one match that we were going to have at the Staples Center, but then it turned into me having to learn 8 matches because they weren’t originally going to use me in the UK, they were going to use someone else in the UK. But after the Staples Center, they were like, hey, we need you to fly to the UK, so I stayed there for a few months and I did everything else there. It was a long process, but it was really cool. They dyed my hair black, I just looked like an average girl, but it was so random. 

“Right after filming Thea Trinidad got signed to WWE, and I thought something was going to happen for me then as well, but then it didn’t, actually, everything worked out the way it was supposed to.”

Eric Bischoff was recently a guest of The Underground Australia podcast to promote an upcoming live 83 Weeksevent scheduled for June 21-23. Bischoff, who stated that he left WCW with a lot of baggage when it folded in 2001, discussed how happy he was when he was asked to return to the pro wrestling business as a WWE personality. 

“Enough time had gone by. I had been out of wrestling, it was in my rear view mirror. I wasn’t thinking about it anymore. And I left all of that resentment and all of that baggage, and I left it all in my past,” said Bischoff. “And I didn’t think about it anymore. And then, when Vince [McMahon] called me and offered me a job, I realized in that moment that it was an opportunity for me to end my career on a high note. I knew that if I went into the WWE as a character, because I was very confident in my abilities as a performer, I was very confident in the history that I had with the WWF would make it even easier for me that it would for anybody else. My character would be more interesting, because everybody knew my history with the company. So, I knew all of the conditions were right for me to be very successful, and to have the opportunity to end my career on a positive note. And, because of that, I felt like a kid at Christmas morning.” 

Bischoff stated that he was “thoroughly excited” for the opportunity to work in the WWE, where he was a prominent on-screen character from 2002-2005, followed by irregular appearances from 2006-2007. From 2010-2012, Bischoff appeared as an on-screen character, spending a bulk of this time being a part of the “10/10/10” angle and subsequent establishment of the Immortal faction. He also was involved in an angle with his son, Garett, which led to him being written off of television.

Overall, Bischoff was very dissatisfied with his TNA run, and regrets even making the decision to start working there. 

“For the most part, it is very regrettable,” said Bischoff. “Looking back, I wished I wouldn’t have done it, with one or two exceptions. It was an opportunity for me to work with my son, and for my son to get an opportunity to work in the wrestling business, which is something that was a goal of his as a young boy and a teenager growing up. He’s fantasized having an opportunity to work in the wrestling business with his father, and being in TNA gave me that opportunity to provide to him. And I’ll forever be grateful for that, because that is a memory that my son and I share to this that day, that is very special to both of us. And I’ll never, ever minimize that. But, other than that? Eh. Eh.” 

Bischoff added that other than being an entrepreneur, he could see himself being a lawyer if he was not involved in the pro wrestling business.

Drew McIntyre recently spoke with News18 in India and said he doesn’t see himself as a heel, despite being labeled as The Scottish Psychopath.

“I don’t really see myself as one,” McIntyre said when asked if he prefers being a bad guy. “I think I have always got a point. Everybody else doesn’t necessarily agree with it. It is 2019 – I don’t really care whether I am looked as the bad guy or the good guy. The crowd are booing or cheering, as long as they are making noise, I don’t care. I stand by with conviction with what I am saying.”

McIntyre was also asked about a potential match with AJ Styles. The two top stars are now on the same roster together but it was also noted that Drew is the favorite to win the men’s Money In the Bank Ladder Match on the same pay-per-view that could see Styles win the WWEUniversal Title from Seth Rollins. Drew said he’s been trying to make a match with AJ happen for a while.

“Absolutely! I have never had a match with AJ Styles,” McIntyre said. “When I went to Impact Wrestling, he had just left. In the independent scene, we were trying to set up the match but that never quite happened. So, we just kept missing each other. When I came back to Raw, he was on Smackdown. Now, we are finally on the same show. When I first started wrestling, like 18 years ago, it was guys like AJ, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Loki who were the new generation of wrestlers with different styles, trying to get the attention. I am very much looking forward to that (battle).”

Regarding Drew’s rise to the top of WWE, it was noted that fate has made him take the long route, but now he’s closer than ever to winning one of WWE’s main titles if he can win the Money In the Bank briefcase at the MITB pay-per-view on May 19. Rollins called it an interesting journey.

“It is an interesting journey,” McIntyre said. “I can compare it to a roller-coaster, so many ups and downs. But it is all of that has helped shape the wrestler that I am and the man I am today.

Gail Kim had her battles with WWE in the past as she twice departed the company on not the best terms. Thus, she can somewhat relate to an unhappy Sasha Banks who reportedly wants to sit out until her WWE contract expires.

“I’m always on the talent side,” Kim said on the WINCLY podcast. “I’ve been in a similar position but not that amount of time left on the contract. I quit with seven weeks left on my contract and they didn’t even want to let me out of that seven weeks.”

Kim then questioned WWE’s logic on not seeing her as a big-time talent, but also not wanting her to leave for another promotion.

“If I wasn’t a valuable talent to them, it doesn’t even matter if I jump to another wrestling company. Because who was I to you? Nothing, right? I just thought it was a major control issue within them. I think the employees that are unhappy should be let out of their contracts,” stated Kim.

Kim then brought up Brock Lesnar winning his non-compete case against WWE after his first departure when he tried out for the NFL. Even though wrestlers are independent contractors, Kim is happy to see wrestlers come out on the winning end in contract battles.

“I will always stand by the talent’s side on that,” said Kim.

Tessa Blanchard joined Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jerichobefore her upcoming match against Gail Kim at this Sunday’s Impact Rebellion PPV. During the conversion, Blanchard spoke about her time in Lucha Underground when she was told by one of the other women’s wrestlers that she was only there because of her last name. Tessa is a third-generation wrestler, daughter of Tully Blanchard and granddaughter of Joe Blanchard.

Tessa had commented in March on Twitter about what Ivelisee had once said to her, “Her exact words to me were ‘I never had a family name, I had to work for everything I have from the streets.'” 

Although not said by name, this is likely who Blanchard is referencing in her conversation with Jericho as Blanchard had a dark match against Ivelisee in Lucha Underground in January of 2016. According to FightDB, Blanchard’s only other bout with the promotion was a dark tag match with Prince Puma (aka Ricochet) vs. Marisposa and Marty Martinez. To be clear, in a 2016 interview with Busted Open Radio, Blanchard called the injury a “freak accident.”

“I broke my shoulder, or my collarbone, I shouldn’t say my shoulder, and I had surgery, six screws and a plate in here,” Blanchard said. “I was wrestling a girl at Lucha Underground and the girl that did this to me told me, ‘Tessa, I didn’t have a last name in this business. I had to work for everything that I had.’ And that’s what she told me. Things like that would happen quite often where a girl in Japan told me, ‘Tessa, you’re only here because of your dad.’ And that would happen to me left and right, left and right and one thing that I pride myself on is my mental strength.”

Blanchard continued that she’s very aware her last name will potentially open doors for her, but once she is in the ring, it’s up to her to impress those watching. She also felt paying her dues along the way was equally as important to building her mental strength and legacy.

“I think that a lot of females can’t hold a candle to me when it comes to mental strength because that kind of s— doesn’t even go in one ear to go out the other,” Blanchard said. “And I believe that if you have that mental strength, you can take any situation and change it into the way that you think about it and make it a positive thing, and I had to find that because those are the kind of things that would really eat you up and I feel like having a name sometimes is a little bit harder because I never wanted to disappoint my grandpa, or my dad, or my step-dad. 

“I wanna carry on their legacy and do them proud, but also create my own at the same time and that’s really a difficult thing, because there’s plenty of generational wrestlers who people say that about. ‘You’re only where you are because of this or because of this, not because of hard work,’ and I was never gonna let that be the case. I wanted to go and I wanted to drive the miles for no pay, I wanted to set up the rings, I wanted to set up the chairs, I wanted to go to training six-seven days a week for hours upon hours and blow myself up to where I can only work on instinct. I wanted to sleep in my car. I wanted to do all of that.

“No matter what it is, I wanna be great. I wanna be be the best at it. My last name, I’ve always said, it might get my foot in the door, it might get me in front of the right people, it might get an opportunity, but at the end of the day when I get in the ring it doesn’t do jack s— for me. It doesn’t take the bumps, it doesn’t drive the miles, it doesn’t do any of that.”

Entertainment reporter Chris Van Vliet recently spoke with former WWE Champion and current Impact Wrestling talent Rob Van Dam about wrestling 100% of the time in ECW, if wrestling while stoned is dangerous, his new deal with Impact, a possible WWE Hall of Fame induction and more. You can see the full interview above and Chris sent us highlights below.

RVD was asked how often he thought he wrestled high on marijuana while with ECW years ago. He said, “I’m going to say 100%. After that from 2001 all the way to my last run in 2014 in which case I would say it was much, much lower more like maybe 90% of the time.”

Van Dam was also asked if he thinks it’s dangerous to wrestle while stoned. He said, “I don’t know. Back in the day I know there would be certain people that would put together the fact that I would hurt a lot of people and the fact that I was stoned. When I was in the competitive state of mind, I would be offended by that like ‘Screw you! You’re saying something about me and my skills. I can do this with my eyes closed!’ My ego would take over like that. But looking back at it, I don’t think so, but I definitely think they had an argument that was worth considering. But when you use it all the time it doesn’t affect you the way it affects other people.”

Regarding a potential WWE Hall of Fame induction for Van Dam down the road, he said he would want Paul Heymanto induct him.

“Right off the bat I think Paul Heyman,” RVD said when asked who he would want to do the honors. “I think it would really be good for me to try to hear his perspective firsthand of what his thoughts were on me and him developing me. It would be an experience for me for him to open up like that.”

A hot topic in the wrestling world has been the recent anti-WWE comments by John Oliver during his “Last Week Tonight” show on HBO. You can read our coverage of the episode with WWE’s response at this link. Regarding what was expressed, Van Dam said there are some truths, but opinions as well. Van Dam also said he enjoys being an independent contractor.

“There are some truths but there are also some opinions and those will vary,” RVD said of Oliver’s comments. “I enjoy being an independent contractor and I find that I’m usually in the minority when it comes to that as far as how my peers feel. The way I see it is I’m an independent contractor and I sign an agreement with them and all of the terms are negotiable on the agreement. First of all, they keep you so busy you’re not going to have time to work anywhere else. You’re not even going to have time to go home. So forget about that. What are you going to do, if you’re on top in the WWE, who else are you going to work for? The local fair in front of 50 people? People say ‘Oh, there’s no health insurance’ but if you need that in your deal then you can negotiate that and say ‘You know what I want health insurance’. You want your hotel room taken care of? You get it in your contract and you make that agreement. I enjoy the freedom of being an independent contractor to make that deal. Some of the guys that might not have as much leverage as me because maybe they don’t sell as many tickets, I think it would help them more to not be independent contractors because they can’t really step forward with the same negotiating power. But come on, you think Triple H doesn’t have health insurance?”