Posts Tagged ‘Impact Wrestling’

Impact Wrestling superstar Rebel was recently interviewed by Andy Malnoske of Wrestling Inc. During the conversation, Rebel discussed her cheerleading background and how it has helped her in her wrestling career.

Rebel, born Tanea Brooks, became a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys at the age of 18. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are one of the most recognizable and popular cheerleading groups in the history of major American sports, so that is a huge accomplishment for her. Even though she knows it’s a major transition to go from cheerleader to professional wrestler, Rebel also sees her time as a cheerleader as advantageous to her in-ring performance.

“It is a big transformation but also my cheerleading background has helped me a lot with the flexibility and my cardio and my athleticism,” she said. “I feel like it’s actually helped me against my opponents when it comes to wrestling.”

Rebel is also known for her acrobatic ring entrance, in which she does a full split on the bottom rope. She said it all goes back to her cheerleading experience and her desire to “wow” audiences with everything she does.

“I think that goes back to my Dallas Cowboys cheerleader days. I am a performer and that is part of my background, an entrance is kind of to show your background and show you, so for me, I’m all about the entrance,” she said. “I’m here to make a statement. I’m here to perform, I’m here to entertain, and I’m here to fight as well and win! So for me that’s just part of my whole thing, the whole shebang.”

Advertisements

Tessa Blanchard has received plenty of attention for her intergender matches on the independent wrestling circuit, and she wants to bring that hard-hitting action to ImpactWrestling.

The idea of facing someone like Brian Cage might intimidate some, but Blanchard attacked the challenge head-on at a Wrestle Circus event on February 21st. Both were praised for the match’s storytelling as Blanchard gave it her all, but ultimately fell to The Machine.

Blanchard’s wrestling lineage and work ethic make her a difficult opponent in the Knockouts Division. The third-generation professional wrestler recently participated in a media call where she discussed the idea of some men receiving her punishing Hammerlock DDT in Impact Wrestling.

“This might be my favorite question of the day,” Blanchard replied when I asked who she wanted to wrestle on the male side of the roster. “I was actually just looking through some rolls of pictures of intergender matches I’ve had.”

She mentioned some of her favorite previous male opponents and expressed a great interest in locking up with them once again.

“One person that I really love to wrestle again is AR Fox and Brian Cage again too because those are two of my most favorite matches.”

As her star continues to climb in Impact Wrestling, Blanchard has her eyes set on breaking new ground. She continued discussing the idea of bringing intergender matches to Impact Wrestling, a style of match she has become very comfortable with.

“I am a huge fan of intergender wrestling,” Blanchard said. “It’s something that I would love to see Impact evolve to one day.

“My match against Brian Cage is one of my favorites and my match against Scorpio Sky at Bar Wrestling in Los Angeles. I would love to wrestle Scorpio Sky again, that’s one of my most favorite matches.”

Blanchard also said she is very fond of her matches against Britt Baker who she will get another chance to wrestle at All In in a four-way contest with Chelsea Green and Madison Rayne. Blanchard continued saying how much she enjoys working with some of her opponents as it has less to do with herself but more with the combination of all parts combined.

“I think that all goes to… some of my opponents I just really really enjoy working with them,” Blanchard continued. “I don’t think it really has as much to do with me but I really enjoy working with them.”

Source: Wrestlinginc.com

Impact Wrestling superstar Tessa Blanchard recently spoke with Wrestling Inc. president Raj Giri. As the daughter of wrestling legend Tully Blanchard, Tessa was asked about her experiences growing up in a wrestling household. Blanchard told Giri that her father retired before she was born, but she did see him wrestle once and admitted it was a scary experience. She also had the opportunity to meet other wrestlers when she attended WWE shows.

“Well, I’m 22 years old now. My dad was out of wrestling before I was even born. Then, when I was younger my dad had come out of retirement so I was present for one of his matches. We were in New Bern, North Carolina, and I don’t even remember how old I was, but I was a little girl,” Blanchard said. “I remember being scared because my dad had bled in that match and that was my first–I think that was my first experience to see my dad in the ring, which scared me considering I was a little girl, but I also remember going backstage to a RAW and SmackDown meeting Hulk Hogan and Triple H. I didn’t really understand because I was so young, but looking back now, those were amazing memories.”

Blanchard revealed that she initially didn’t tell her father or any of her family that she planned on pursuing a professional wrestling career. She was estranged from them at the time and admits that she wasn’t in a good place in her life. Finding a wrestling school to join was her outlet, and she instantly fell in love. Her stepfather Magnum T.A. was the first to see her wrestle and he gave her advice that she still follows to this day.

“I actually got into pro wrestling without even telling my dad or anyone in my family for that matter. It was probably around 2012, the year that my dad was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. I think that trip to Miami, Florida planted the seed that perhaps this is the thing that I wanted to do. My brothers and sisters all went to Miami with my dad, but they were all interested in checking out the beaches, or cool restaurants, but I was like, Dad, can I wake up at 5 a.m. and go check out WWE Axxess with you? That stuff intrigued me and being around people that work for WWE at the time, and being around people who are part of the roster, just being exposed to that was very unique for me. That was the trip that planted the seed,” Blanchard said. “Fast forward to when I turned 18 and I got kicked out of my house and I lived on my own for a year and during that year I didn’t speak to my family too often – in fact, I did not speak to them at all. I was probably heading down to a not-so-awesome path. I remember waking up and I asked myself what I was doing. I don’t know what it was exactly, I don’t really remember but something made me look up a wrestling school. I found out that Highspots was about 20-25 minutes to where I was living at the time. I went there and spoke with the owner of Highspots, and I told them that I wanted to be a pro wrestler. They had me watch a training that day with Cedric Alexander and George South were all in the ring, and they ended up pulling me into the ring and had me run the ropes and taking bumps. I remember it hurt so bad but I loved it, I loved it so much.

“I remember it was like three or four months in they came back and said that I couldn’t train here anymore because I know who your dad is and that he doesn’t know you were training,” she continued. “I didn’t want him to think that we were hiding something from him, so I was like, no, I will handle it, don’t worry about it. I remember calling my dad and my stepdad [Magnum T.A.]. I remember telling my step-dad because he lived in Charlotte, North Carolina–well, they still live there, but I told him, ‘hey, I am training to wrestle. It’s about 20 minutes to where you guys live and I wanted him to come and check it out.’ That week he didn’t come, but the week after that he did, and I got super excited to when he came in, as well as my brother. I told Cedric [Alexander] that let’s do our thing, to get in the ring and train and to do our spots. I remember my step-dad coming through the turnbuckle and we were talking for a moment; he was like, ‘Okay Tessa, you are not good, but you have got it. You just have to go out there and become undeniable.’ That is where my #Undeniable hashtag came along, but also that was how I told my family that I was wrestling.”

Giri also asked Blanchard about whether coming from such a rich wrestling pedigree raises expectations for her. She explained that while she embraces the pressure of living up to her family name, she also wants create her own legacy.

“Yes and no. I always say that it is a blessing and a curse. I am very–I feel very honored and blessed to carry on our family name and legacy in the business, but also, I want to forge my own path at the same time,” she said. “I always say, it does add pressure and that extra weight on my shoulders to be the best to do my grandpa [Joe Blanchard], my dad and stepdad proud. That type of pressure is what drives me. It drives me toward my purpose if that makes sense.”

Drew McIntyre’s return to WWE last year took place after he spent three years on the independent scene. He recently spoke to Lilian Garcia on Chasing Glory about his WWE release. McIntyre used his 2014 separation from WWE as motivation to go out and prove himself. However, that didn’t make it any less shocking to get the news he was no longer an employee of Vince McMahon and Company.

“It was a shock initially. At the time, I was doing the 3MB with Jinder and Heath and we were on literally every show so it was very unexpected. Even though I’d see my Twitter popping up that some people have been released or whatever, it still never cross my mind that a missed call from WWE might have been to tell me that I was getting released. I assumed it was ‘Hey Drew, you’re on the road a week earlier.’ When I got it I was like, ‘Oh, okay. I’ll be seeing you very soon.’ And I sat and I thought about it.

“My girlfriend at the time who is now my wife and I had just moved into the apartment that I got the call three days prior. It was our first place together, so I was thinking, ‘how am I going to tell her? How am I going to tell my dad?’ He’s always been my number one fan. I’ve just been released from WWE after eight years and then I get worried about the next step and then eventually I told myself, ‘You know what, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.’ The position I was in it’d be very hard to hotshot me into anything serious. I’d been there for so many years.

“It was the right time to be away from the company for a while and to have learned so much. I really believed in myself and knew this is all I know and I can really do something and the wrestling scene outside of WWE is really picking up, I believe I can make a splash and I was ready to prove it to the world so I got a little excited after the initial shock first.”

During McIntyre’s WWE hiatus, he picked up several championships on the indie wrestling scene. He appeared for promotions like Evolve, Defiant, ICW, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and many more. While using his real name Drew Galloway, he also became TNA World Heavyweight Champion and Impact Grand Champion.

McIntyre had a desire of returning to WWE, but he wanted to go through NXT first. The popularity of NXT drew him in and he wanted to be a part of the passion surrounding WWE’s developmental territory. McIntyre knew he would eventually be back in WWE as well. He saw NXT as an excellent way for a faster return to Raw or SmackDown.

“[NXT] was what I wanted. I told my wife in the beginning when NXT really started catching fire, ‘You know what babe, ideal when I go back there first, if I do my thing here and I get a reputation in the independent scene, then I believe I can get an angle to NXT because it’s such a passionate fan base. I think that would be the place for me to go to really show what I can do. And then when the time is right, because the transition is so much smoother from NXT to RAW and SmackDown because it moves so fast. RAW and Smackdown, there’s so many hours of unique TV every single week all year round.’

“That was the way I saw it and that’s what I told her in the beginning. I told Chris Jericho, he was the first podcast I did. [Jericho is] another one who really helped me in the beginning and really get my message out there was Chris and I told him, ‘I will be back.'”

Bobby Roode appeared on this week’s episode of Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia. You can listen to the full episode on LilianGarcia.com. They sent us these highlights:

Being an introvert in the wrestling business:

“Rule of thumb, unwritten rule: you’re in the locker room, shake everybody’s hand and say ‘Hello.’ and that was tough for me. First of all, I don’t know these guys and a lot of these guys that were there were guys I used to watch on television and kind of be a little starstruck or whatever and didn’t want to seem like you didn’t want to say ‘Hello.’ but that was a big obstacle for me to overcome was doing that. A lot of times the thing that bothered me the most was that people thought I was-not everybody, but until they got to know me, people thought I was a bit of an asshole because I didn’t speak to them. I wasn’t. I don’t think there’s anybody in this business I can honestly say and the one thing I’m very proud of is, I don’t think I’ve made any enemies in this business at all. I’ve always tried to be very professional at all times. I always came off like a snob and people would say that after they got to know me, ‘Man, I thought you were such an asshole when I first met you because you didn’t talk to anybody.’ and I was like, ‘It’s not that I didn’t want to talk to anybody, it’s just who I am.'”

Being a WWE Superstar while having kids:

“They’re a little older now, but when they were younger, it was tough. My youngest has played at a high level of sports since he was three years old, kind of like how I was. It was always difficult for me. The TNA schedule was very easy because we were never on the road a lot, but the last 2 years-even NXT I had some weekends off, but especially this last year since being called up, every weekend I’ve been gone. Thankfully in a way, it’s weird to say this, but I’m glad he’s older because if he was like 8 or 9 years old or even younger and I was missing everything, I think that would bother him more, but he gets it and both my kids love the fact that I’m in the business and they think it’s cool and are fans of the business as well.”

His response when people say “from glorious to lusterless”:

“It fuels me, it definitely fuels me, but in a way, they don’t get it. They don’t know what’s going on. For me, it’s patience, it timing. Like I said, ‘Timing is everything in the business.’ and people can say whatever they want, but I came up here, I came up to Smackdown and had a great run there. I got work with Randy Orton, I got to work with Shinsuke, I got to tag with those guys, I got to work with AJ tagging. It may not have been on television, but Live Events and different things, I got to work with some amazing people, and became the United States Champion, was a part of a WrestleMania. I haven’t had a weekend off in a year. Even though you don’t see me on television every week, I’m still working, I’m still doing stuff and having great matches.

“I came over to Raw for the draft and I was the surprise tag partner for the Main Event, coming over from Smackdown. I Main Evented Money in The Bank and that was just two months ago, so it’s funny how people can think, ‘Oh, he’s not doing anything, he’s lost everything, or he’s nothing more than a midcard guy.’ Just be patient. I honestly think if you work hard enough and you take every opportunity they give you here and make the most of it, the cream always rises to the top.”

""

Former Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor women’s wrestler Taeler Hendrix was recently interviewed by GO Pro Wrestling to discuss her current endeavors. Hendrix stated that she is honored to be known as a person who helps start women’s divisions, since she was instrumental in both the Women of Honor, and currently the women’s division of the National Pro Wrestling League. Hendrix says that she was also the first woman to be a part of the TNA Gut Check competition.

When asked when fans are going to see her in WWE, Hendrix gave a very definitive answer.

“Never,” said Hendrix. Never. “I am with National Pro Wrestling League and I am very happy. I found a home for myself, I found a brand that I can believe in, and I can help revolutionize. And, honestly, not many women can they’re there for the starting of a division. And this just isn’t any division, let’s be clear. This isn’t just an independent. This is a TV program. This is a revolutionary program. How many women are going to be able to say that?”

While Hendrix does not plan on signing with WWE, she wishes them the best, but is content with her current status as a women’s competitor for NPWL.

“I wish the WWE best, but I know where my home’s at, I know where my heart’s at, and I go where I’m really appreciated,” Hendrix said. “I go where I’m gonna see the most potential for myself. For all of my dreams, my hopes, my aspirations. Have I had opportunities with the WWE? Yes. Have I had opportunities with TNA, Ring of Honor? Yes. I’ve done, in this business, almost everything I’ve ever wanted to do to some level, in some way, shape, or form. So, I think that’s really cool for the little girl in me that watched it growing up to be able to say.”

Hendrix credits the feud between Trish Stratus and Victoria as the feud that sparked her interest to become a wrestler, and also credits Sherri Martel, Velvet McIntyre, and the Ultimate Warrior as strong personalities that continued her interest while doing research by watching old wrestling videos.

 

Tommy Dreamer faced Eddie Edwards at Slammiversary this past Sunday. The Innovator Of Violence recently took part in a media call where he discussed his company House Of Hardcore. Impact Wrestling’s Global Force Network includes a lot of content, but Dreamer explained why HOH will not be made available there. He already has an exclusive deal with Twitch so this makes it an impossibility. He then proceeded to praise the service Twitch offers and its huge viewership potential as well.

“I’m already on Twitch [with House Of Hardcore] so I have my own streaming service,” Dreamer said. “I think it’s a wonderful idea for Impact Wrestling [to offer multiple promotions on the GFN]. They have offered me to do that but I have an exclusive with Twitch where I am getting paid for my content already. So that’s why I didn’t do it.

“I’ve looked at the wrestling business and a lot of times the wrestling business will repeat itself. I don’t want for bad history to repeat itself in the sense of I don’t want the territories to get swallowed up just like they did in the 80’s. When I say territories there are some really good independent companies that are out there running consistent shows.

“If Impact was putting crappy quality on their app then you get what you get what you pay for. I think they’re putting out nicely produced shows so it’s all about content. That’s what Hulu wants and Netflix […] they just want content and wrestling has such an amazing fan base that it’s the content that’s watched. You know its funny most people don’t know what Twitch is… Impact has a Twitch channel. Twitch has more subscribers than the WWE Network. It’s just getting the word out there.”

Dreamer has influenced a generation of hardcore wrestlers after him. As he approaches his 30th anniversary in the pro wrestling business, Dreamer mentioned a couple people in Impact Wrestling who could carry on his legacy.

“The word hardcore has been bastardized by WWE. People think about blood, or tables, or chairs. To me, hardcore is a work ethic. You know it became hardcore was WWE’s version was early ECW and in ECW we did every single thing we could to put on a great performance for the fans.

“In Impact, I want to say every single wrestler could be hardcore. Becuase everybody goes out there an busts their butts to entertain the fans. No matter what situation they have been in.”

He listed names like Sami Callihan and Pentagon Jr as two guys who could carry on his legacy of hardcore wrestling. Dreamer also praised the current Impact Wrestling roster and pointed a spotlight on some people who he feels have an especially bright future.

“I am a huge fan of LAX. I think they have such amazing talent. Brian Cage, he’s another guy although he’s a pain in my ass at my House Of Hardcore shows. I wanna say the biggest impact I feel to come out of the [Knockouts Division] is Tessa Blanchard.

“[Blanchard] is money and she is signed a long-term deal with Impact Wrestling. I have never heard such a buzz about anyone in the industry.”