Posts Tagged ‘Tessa Blanchard’

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Tessa Blanchard spoke with WWEHall Of Famer Jim Ross on The Jim Ross Report. Among many other things, Blanchard revealed when her current Impact contract expires. Additionally, Blanchard shared her thoughts on the formation of All Elite Wrestling.

According to Blanchard, she will be with Impact till 2020. ‘The Queen Of The Carolinas’ shared that she has made difficult decisions for the development of her craft, though she is not motivated by money.

“Over this past year, I’ve had to make some really hard business decisions, say ‘no’ to some certain things, and I decided to go to Impact, sign there for two years, so I’ll be there until 2020,” Blanchard divulged. “And I think it [has] been the best thing for me. I’ve really grown to find myself. I’ve started to learn the TV style, if you would. And with WOW, I’ve been able to meet some of the best people. And one thing for me is I’ve never been motivated by money. That [has] never driven me. I care more about who people are as a person and being around good people because when you leave the world, you’re not going to be able to take the money. You’re only going to take the memories and the people you keep around you plays a huge part in it.”

On the subject of AEW, Blanchard indicated that she has not looked into whether existing her contractual obligations would prevent her from working with AEW. With that said, ‘The Diamond Of Professional Wrestling’ said that she thinks AEW will be successful as Cody [Rhodes] and The Young Bucks are intelligent and driven.

“We haven’t really looked too far into contractually, but I think it’s going to be successful,” Blanchard said. “Cody’s like a brother to me and The Young Bucks are very, very, very smart people. Cody as well. And if they want something, they’re the type of people that are going to tackle it and dive head first into it.”

In Blanchard’s view, AEW like WOW does not need to compete with any other professional wrestling promotions and will showcase a different style of professional wrestling.

“Progress only happens with change and people love something different,” Blanchard explained. “And they don’t have to compete with anyone. Just like WOW, I don’t think they’re looking to compete with anyone, it’s just an alternative, which is really cool because I think they’re going to showcase a different type of wrestling, a different style.”

Blanchard approved of AEW’s signing of the wrestling dentist not named Yankem, Britt Baker.

“I know that they signed a few females, I believe, already. Britt Baker being one of them and I love sharing the ring with her. I think that she’s going to be a star one day. She’s athletic and she has everything going for her.” Blanchard added, “so it’s exciting that she gets to be a part of AEW.”

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Former Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion and daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Tully Blanchard, Tessa Blanchard had an undeniably successful 2018. Blanchard secured her first Knockouts Championship on August 12, 2018 and would hold the title in a dominant reign over the Impact women’s division for the remainder of the year. Impact Wrestling even awarded Blanchard their “Knockout Of The Year 2018” award for her contributions to the company.

Blanchard recently took time for an interview with TheGorillaPosition.com and while discussing various topics, she credited the last five years of training in pro wrestling for molding her in to the well-rounded competitor audiences see today. Blanchard recounted some of her most inspiring accomplishments and explained how learning all sorts of wrestling styles from around the globe allows her to adapt to different competitors in the ring.

“I just hit my five-year mark since I first began my training,” Blanchard said. “And right now, I feel like I’ve really, finally come full circle. At that point, if someone had asked me, where do you think you’d be in five years? There’s no way I could have imagined I’d be here. I’ve wrestled some of the best wrestlers in the world – both male and female. I’ve had the longest women’s match in [pro wrestling] history. I got to travel to Australia and I got to main event at Korakuen Hall. I got to be a part the first women’s match in the history of China.

“Everywhere I go, the styles are different,” Blanchard continued. “When you wrestle in Japan, it’s more strong style. When I go to Mexico, it’s definitely more high-flying. And in my matches I’ve had with Taya in Impact, it’s been a lot more ground-based. So, I basically have to be ready for anything, and be able to adapt depending on where I’m wrestling, or who I’m in the ring with.”

Blanchard is a third generation superstar, being the daughter of Four Horsemen member and WWE Hall of Famer, the aforementioned Tully Blanchard. She’s inspired to step out from the shadow of her father’s legendary career and create a legacy that is completely her own.

“I’ve said since day one that my last name might get my foot in the door, and give me an opportunity,” Blanchard admitted. “I’m not denying that. But, once you step in that ring, you’ve got to be able to back it up. You got to be able to work hard. And that’s what I do. I work hard, because that’s what’s necessary. You have to go that extra mile. Everybody can look at me, and make all the excuses they want. Like, ‘Oh, it’s because of her Dad or, it’s her last name.’ But if you work hard, none of that matters… it’s all just bulls–t.”

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Tessa Blanchard spoke with Wrestling Epicenter about Impact heading to Pursuit, Chris Jericho (and her step-dad, Magnum TA) being inspirations for her finisher, and her goals for 2019. Here are some of the highlights:

Impact leaving POP TV and heading to Pursuit:

“What is cool is, Impact isn’t trying to compete with anyone. Impact is, simply, an alternative. It is such a neat thing because you see talent that is giving, literally, 200% from the beginning of the show until the end. Nothing is just passable, everything is great! That’s what I say, I don’t want to just be passable. I want to be the best in the world! I don’t want to be good, I want to be great! So, I’m taking the time to get there—to learn from the people that are better than me and the people that have done something in the business.

“Nothing is just good enough. We take the time and we make it freaking great! That is the great thing about Impact—they care about each individual talent and everything that we put out on TV has a lot of thought and time put into it. A lot of people that are extremely knowledgeable, like Gail Kim for instance. Gail Kim has done so much and has so much knowledge. I think she’s extremely underrated. She wants the product to be great and she doesn’t mind taking the extra time to get it there. That is a really invaluable thing to me.”

Her goals in 2019:

“You know, I’m not sure what is going to happen in 2019, but I do know that it is going to be better than 2018. That is a huge statement to make because 2018 was absolutely amazing. But, with the WOW Superheroes on AXS TV, which has Mark Cuban and Jeanie Buss behind that. I’m so excited for people to see that air in January. With Impact, I hope to retain my Knockouts championship. I hope for women to main event an Impact [PPV] event which has not been done yet. I hope to share the ring with Gail Kim one day … I hope that intergender wrestling can make a breakthrough. There are a lot of hopes for 2019. But, you know, I’ve been going moment by moment, match by match, and it seems to be working out so far!”

The origins of her “Magnum” finish as a tribute to her step-dad, Magnum TA, and Chris Jericho:

“Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever told this story. So, I’m a huge Chris Jericho fan. I’ve always been a huge Chris Jericho fan. I was in Japan—I believe it was Osaka. I was wrestling a girl and I hit the finish and she kicked out. I’m like, ‘Well, fudge! What do I do now?’ So, I go to the top rope and I do a move off the top rope. That was the first time that I had ever been to the top rope! From that, it progressed. I was trying to think of something that I could do to anyone that was unique to myself and still showed intensity and still had a little bit of the past in it. So, as I said, I’m a huge Chris Jericho fan—I love his finish, but I wanted to up the ante a little bit. So, I do it off the top rope.

“My step-dad (Magnum TA) is an amazing person. He was an amazing wrestler. But, his career was cut short. He is someone that I look up to and someone that I respect. He is someone that I go to for advice … I think he is extremely underrated and does not get the recognition that he deserves. I think that he should be a WWE Hall of Famer, to be frank! I wanted to name something after him and I remember one of the commentators coming to me and saying, ‘Tessa, I need the name of some of your moves.’ I was like, ‘Well, this is the Magnum!’ [Laughs] I remember my step-dad always telling me to be careful with that move.

“He’d say, ‘That ring is unforgiving. That ring hurts.’ Every move, every bump! It doesn’t feel good. If it was easy, everyone would do it! It is a very taxing thing on your body. So, my step-dad told me to be careful with that move. That move is tough on me. It is a very tough thing on my body.”

Blanchard also discussed more on Gail Kim and Taya Valkyrie.

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Impact Knockouts Champion Tessa Blanchard spoke with Wrestling Epicenter about her upcoming title defense against Taya Valkyrie at Impact Homecoming and her thoughts on Gail Kim. Here are some of the highlights:

Gail Kim being special referee of her title defense against Taya Valkyrie at Homecoming:

“Everyone is going to see three of the best women’s wrestlers in the world in the ring at the same time, which is very special. Regarding Impact making Gail Kim the special referee … I have said it before. I get it because not a single person in the Impact locker room has been able to take the title from me so why not stack the odds against the champion, right? Personally and professionally, Gail is able to separate personal and business aside. But, it is no secret that personally, she has never liked me. Professionally, she has always helped all the women. But, personally, she has never liked me. But, that’s OK! Personally, I’m not too fond of her either!”

Her true feelings of Gail Kim:

“She is one of the people, aside from my family, that made me want to get into the business. She is one of the best in the world. She is one of the pioneers that was trying to make women’s wrestling into what it is now. She fought for the women! She still fights for the women! So, while I respect her, I’m hoping that she is going to go into this match unbiased. But, you know, we really won’t know until we get there on Sunday in the ring. I’ve always done whatever is necessary to retain my Knockouts title by any means necessary. With Gail being the referee, I hope she saw what I did to referee Brandon Tolle the other day. When he got in my business, I made sure there was no more Brandon Tolle. If Gail Kim gets in my business, I’ll make sure there is no more Gail Kim.”

Facing Taya Valkyrie:

“As far as Taya, Taya has had opportunity after opportunity after opportunity at my title. She always comes up short. But hey, she’s married to the champion – The Heavyweight Champion! So, lets keep giving her a shot, right? That’s fine. Whatever. She’s one of the Knockouts that always takes me to my limits in different ways than I would expect. But while Taya is so good, she is still no diamond. She is still no Tessa Blanchard. I am one of the best in the world! This Sunday, everyone is going to see that.”

Performing in the birth place of Impact, the Asylum, at Impact Homecoming:

“You know, I think it is a really special thing. To be back at the Asylum, I’ve never been there but that is Impact’s roots. I think the women, especially, are going to make history this Sunday in something very, very beautiful.”

Thoughts as she heads into Sunday’s PPV:

“Everything about Impact Wrestling last year was on an upswing. We’ve been able to lock down talents that are the top independent talents in wrestling right now – Pentagon, Fenix, Sami Callihan, Brian Cage, it has been huge! Impact, right now, is hotter than ever. No matter what station we’re on, people go to find Impact Wrestling. The Homecomingcard is loaded! You’ve got Taya and myself, you’ve got LAX and the Lucha Brothers, Ultimate X is back, Eli Drake is one of the best in the world and he’s wrestling Abyss, and then, in the main event, you have got Johnny (Impact) and Brian (Cage). The whole entire card is loaded!”

Blanchard also discussed her 2019 goals, Impact’s move to Pursuit, and more. You can check out the full interview in the video above or read the highlights by clicking here.

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.”

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.”