Posts Tagged ‘Tessa Blanchard’

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.”



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.”

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.”

Impact announced today Tessa Blanchard has been signed to a long-term contract with the company. Impact Executive, Scott D’Amore, noted he’s, “Excited to have an elite athlete like Tessa Blanchard [be] part of Impact Wrestling for years to come.”

Previously, Blanchard had made a couple appearances for WWE NXT, including the Mae Young Classic where she lost to Kairi Sane in the first round. Back in April, Blanchard made her debut at Impact Redemption when she joined commentary during a match between Taya Valkyrie and Kiera Hogan. She then went on to have a feud with Hogan, including a No DQ match that Blanchard would win via pinfall. She has since feuded with Madison Rayne.

Blanchard is a third generation wrestler, granddaughter of Joe Blanchard, and daughter of Tully Blanchard.



Madison Rayne spoke with RealSport on working commentary, beating Tessa Blanchard, Impact/WWE using Women’s Tag Titles. Here are some of the highlights:

Impact bringing back the Impact Women’s Tag Titles:

“I don’t think that those titles were able to run their course before they were no longer used. And I think that’s sad, however I also think that tag team wrestling is something really special. It’s an art form. You have to find that person that you trust, that you trust to be on the same brainwave as you, and so I understand why they are no longer active at Impact Wrestling. I also don’t think that there’s the manpower, or the womanpower, within the Knockouts Division right now to have them.

But I do think that there’s something special about tag team wrestling and about women’s tag team wrestling, and I think I would like to see them come back to Impact at some point. I said a couple weeks ago on the Impact weekly teleconference that I don’t think this is the right time, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like a women’s tag team championship in WWE before I saw it back at Impact because [of] the depth of their rosters on all three of their platforms. I think it might be better suited there, but I think again that tag team wrestling is an art form and you shouldn’t just create titles because ‘Hey, they used to be here and we should bring ’em back because we like them.’

I think that there needs to be a lot of thought given to them, specifically with Impact and the Knockouts, because they didn’t get to really run their course the first time, and I would hate to see that be something that is just a rushed decision a second time. If that ever were to be the case, I would definitely have to maybe call up one of my former tag team partners and see if we can’t get something started.”

The difficulties of being on commentary (along with working next to her husband, Josh Mathews):

“It was exciting, and it was very nerve-racking. I’ve said this before. I’ve always had an appreciation for the men and women who provide commentary for wrestling or for any sport. They make it more exciting, and they give kind of an inside scoop. I didn’t realize how difficult it is. Especially in those moments where—you know obviously a lot of the content for Impact Wrestling is pre-recorded, but [there are] those live moments on pay-per-view where you have to think quickly and you have to be quick witted and you have to make sure that the thoughts in your brain come out of your mouth properly.

Also, whether [Josh Mathews] coached me or taught me or not, I knew that people were going to judge my skills based on what they thought Josh had taught me. And obviously he did. He gave me a lot of great pointers, things to do, things not to do, but I wanted to be really good because of my own skills too. But I knew that I was going to be judged, or that maybe he was going to be judged on whether or not I was able to do well with commentary. So I wanted to do good for me. I wanted to do good for him. And the girls, they deserve to have the best possible call for their matches that anyone can provide for them, and I wanted to be that. So I put a lot of pressure on myself, but at the end of the day I had a lot of fun doing it, and I hope that I did everyone justice who I was able to call matches for.”

Her win over Tessa Blanchard being called an “upset”:

“Yeah, there was a tense moment in my household when I heard Josh Mathews say that. I mean, if I’m being completely honest, it probably was an upset. Because here is Tessa Blanchard who is literally one of the most talented females in professional wrestling, across any platform. She’s incredible. She’s talented far beyond her years. Wrestling is her life. She travels the world on a regular basis wrestling, and then there’s Madison Rayne who comes and goes in and out of Impact Wrestling. She’s a mom, a business woman, a wife.

So I wear all these different hats, and Tessa is a wrestler. So after I was upset with Josh for calling it an upset, I completely agreed. To most people, it was. But to me, it wasn’t because there is not one woman actively in the Knockouts Division with the experience that I have. And whether I take a couple weeks away, a couple months away, or nearly a year away to have a child, I come back and I’m still Madison Rayne and I’m still confident in my in-ring abilities. So, upset or not, it goes down in the record books as a win for me.”

Rayne also discussed Impact management and her upcoming title match against Su Yung. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.

Impact Wrestling superstar Tessa Blanchard was recently a guest on Busted Open Radio. During the interview, she discussed not being signed by the WWE after her tryout in 2014.

As the daughter of wrestling legend Tully Blanchard, Tessa got her start in professional wrestling at an early age. Blanchard was just 19 when she had her tryout with WWE. When she didn’t get signed, she worked the independent circuit to hone her skills. Blanchard said she expected to make it to the WWE, but she doesn’t have any ill-feelings about not making it because it led to her traveling around the world and gaining new experiences.

“After my WWE tryout in 2014, I thought for sure that I was going to get signed and that it is finally happening and that I was going to finally be there. Then, when it didn’t happen I was heartbroken. I always think it is because God had a plan for me,” Blanchard said. “If I had gone and they would have signed me right away, I don’t think that I would have had the life experiences, and that I wouldn’t have been able to of traveled where I went and became the Pro Wrestler that I became that I am today, or the woman I am today if I had been signed back then.”

Blanchard did appear in WWE as one of Adam Rose’s rosebuds and as an extra in a segment with Sheamus and Cesaro. She also worked a few matches in NXT before she got the call to be a part of last year’s Mae Young Classic. Blanchard lost in the first round to Kairi Sane, who eventually won the whole tournament. Despite her early exit, Blanchard said she enjoyed being a part of the tournament and has no regrets.

“Honestly, I have zero negative feelings towards it. Everyone has their spot; whether you are happy with it or not somebody had to do it. I honestly was not upset at all,” she said. “I saw on the dirt sheets that ‘Tessa has a bad attitude.’ I think that I am misunderstood because people perceive me to be a certain way because I am generational. They expect me to be entitled and expect me to have things early on. I think people misconstrued that honestly. I was so excited for my spot on the Mae Young Classic.”

Blanchard said she was especially grateful for the chance to work with Sane because they had two previous opportunities to wrestle each other but they never came to fruition. Blanchard called being part of the Mae Young Classic one of the best experiences of her life.

“Kairi Sane and I had two tours in Japan together. She ended up having to come off of the shows because of her injury in Japan so we didn’t have a match. I remember walking into the dressing room at the Performance Center and her coming up to me and saying, ‘Guess what? Guess what? Me and you!’ She almost had tears in her eyes,” Blanchard said. “She was just so happy. Honestly, it was one of the best experiences in my life. A lot of those women are really great wrestlers. It was really cool to be part of it. Really, being eliminated in the first round didn’t bother me at all. I had a great experience being a part of it.”

In a recent, sobering interview with Fightful, Tessa Blanchard revealed her heartache at failing to secure a WWE contract following a 2014 tryout.

“‘After my WWE tryout in 2014, I was like ‘alright, I’m getting signed. I’m going to be there. I’m ready, let’s do this. It’s happening. Everything is happening right now.’ When it didn’t happen, I was heartbroken. I think it’s because God had a plan for me. If I would have gone and they would have signed me right away, I don’t think I would have had the life experiences or the experiences in wrestling.”

The revelation comes as little surprise, especially when once considers her various qualifications for WWE stardom. Second generation stars are usually sought-after, Tessa is a prodigal talent, and 2014 was the year in which WWE went into overdrive in its self-professed progressive portrayal of women’s wrestling. This sense of rejection must have been compounded upon learning that she was signed only as fodder for 2017’s Mae Young Classic, and not signed to a full-time deal in the aftermath. This sense of rejection must have tripled when WWE’s premature measure to bolster the ranks ahead of the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble match manifested as the two worst factions in recent memory.

Regardless, her evident talent has been recognised elsewhere; Tessa is All In, and thus has a chance to make genuine history on September 1st. There’s something poetic about this, given that the company that has strangely passed over her on more than one occasion has become a parody of that proclamation.

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