Tessa Blanchard should be Impact Wrestling’s World Champion by the end of 2019.
Now, I can hear the wrestling traditionalists (mainly Jim Cornette) choking on their 1980s bottle of kool-aid as they read my opening sentence, but it doesn’t make it any less true (and I thought I might as well start my first ever piece for TWM with a DDP-style BANG).
And to further make Mr Cornette blow a gasket, the 24-year-old daughter of legend Tully has done more in the last six months to further the women’s revolution in wrestling than any women on any roster in any company… in any country.
When she joined Impact in 2018 – making her debut as a guest commentator for the match between Kiera Hogan and Taya Valkyrie at Redemption – she was already labelled as one of the hottest free agents in wrestling at that time.
She was already the full package: Captivating on the microphone, sharp in the ring, had the look of a star and handles herself like a champion inside and outside of the ring.
Tessa Blanchard had it all from the minute she stepped foot inside the halls of Impact Wrestling.
While the company itself has gone through many changes over the last two years, and the programming has slowly, week-by-week, improved, there has been one constant fixture of that show which has made me, and I’m sure many others, give Impact Wrestling another chance. And that has been North Carolina-born Tessa.
Going back to the start of her wrestling journey, Tessa was born into wrestling and was trained by three legends – George South, Tully Blanchard and her step-father Magnum T. A.
Even further back before that, her grandfather was former American footballer and professional wrestling Joe Blanchard. It was kind of a given that Tessa would step foot into the ring at some point.
She told UPROXX earlier this year:
“I knew off the bat that when I started in professional wrestling, that I wanted to be one of the best. I didn’t want to be good; I wanted to be great. I didn’t want to be passable; I wanted to go down in the history books one day. And so when I started at eighteen years old, I would drive the fourteen hours to New York City for $75, sleep in my car, and turn around and drive fourteen hours right back. I would make that drive almost every weekend just so I could be around wrestling, set up the ring, set up the chairs, help out, just be around wrestling and learn and watch and study, and I would go to the ring six, seven days a week from six p.m. until three or four in the morning with Cedric Alexander training and training and failing and messing up just so I could finally get it right and be freaking great.”
And “freaking great” is exactly what she has been since her first day in Impact Wrestling.
Her first set of matches with Kiera Hogan, Su Yung, Taya Valkyrie and Allie – who are also, or were in Allie’s case, assets to the company – were the launchpad to the feud and match which would bring even more eyes onto the product.
It was the decision to bring Gail Kim out of retirement for one more match that has since proven to be a master-stroke by Impact’s writing team.
I have to admit that as with most returning legend storylines, I wasn’t sold, but their match at Rebellion in April was one of the best women’s matches in recent memory. If you haven’t done so, I would urge everyone to watch it because it really did tear the house down.
It also proved what an underrated talent Gail Kim was, and still is.
Now, I know that intergender wrestling is not everyone’s cup of tea *cough* Jim Cornette *cough*, but when it works, it really works, and Tessa’s recent outstanding feud with The Draw Sami Callihan has been one of the best feuds of 2019.
Some would argue that it was Sami’s ability to have outstanding matches with almost anyone or anything that made the feud work, but I disagree.
Sami himself would disagree.
Wrestling is about suspending disbelief. It’s about forgetting that Sami is male and Tessa is female. It’s about putting to one side centuries-old sexist tropes that have zero place in today’s world.
Tessa Blanchard could legitimately knock out pretty much any male on the planet today, and that is exactly why her feud and subsequent matches with Sami and the other members of oVe were so watchable and truly broke the glass ceiling for Tessa.
She took the brass ring, broke it in half, and made a diamond out of the remains.
For her to hold the Impact Knockout’s title would be a step down for her – and I mean no disrespect to any of the fantastic women’s wrestlers in the company, but it is a fact.
The only way for her to go is to become a full-time member of the male roster.
There is an argument for the X-Division title to be hers before the World Championship, and I can see the merits of that, but if Impact want to cause a real stir in the business, which is moving at an extremely fast pace right now, then pull the trigger and make Tessa Blanchard the number one talent in the company, or face being left behind by the tidal wave coming its way in October.
And with that, there is only one thing left to say.
Make Tessa World Champion. (#MTWC)