Editorial Columns

Working Out Jordynne Grace

Neville Triplett looks at the life and career of current Knockouts Champion, Jordynne Grace.

What does February 11th, 2020 mean to you?

For most of us that date is just another random Tuesday night. For Jordynne Grace it is a date that she will remember for the rest of her life. 

This is the day her life changed forever. February 11th, 2020 was the day she defeated the longest reigning Knockouts champion in Impact wrestling history. Taya Valkyrie aka Wera Loca, had held the Knockouts championship for a record 377 days when she stepped inside the ring with Jordynne Grace that fateful evening in Mexico.  

Prior to winning the Knockouts title, Jordynne Grace had been chasing the title for quite some time. On January 10th at Bash at the Brewery in San Antonio, TX Grace defeated Valkyrie via pinfall in a non-title match. Things finally seemed to be falling into place for the number one contender. Grace and Valkyrie would see each other again later that weekend with the title on the line. Sunday night January 12, Impact presented Hard to Kill in Dallas, Texas. A triple threat match featuring Jordynne Grace, ODB, and reigning champion Taya Valkyrie was scheduled with the title on the line.

This match ended with yet another victory for Valkyrie keeping her record for longest Knockouts tenure intact. The match was not without controversy as Taya’s manager, Johnny Bravo, interfered allowing La Wera Loca to retain her title.  

So just who is the current Knockouts champion?

Jordynne Grace was born Patricia Forrest Parker on March 5th, 1996 in St. Louis, Missouri. The future Knockouts champion started her championship journey at the tender age of 15 and made her first appearance on the Indie circuit in 2012. Prior to her meteoric rise to the top of the Impact women’s division, Grace successfully navigated her way throughout the independent circuit amassing an impressive collection of hardware along the way. Jordynne is engaged to fellow wrestler and champion Jonathan Gresham of Ring of Honor. Gresham is one half of the current Ring of Honor tag team champions along with Jay Lethal.  

The reigning Knockouts champion’s illustrious resume includes the PROGRESS women’s championship which she held for 259 days, the PWM women’s championship which she held for an unprecedented 455 days as well as multiple other titles from many other wrestling promotions. In 2019 Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranker her #26 out of the top 100 females in the industry. In case you were wondering, Becky Lynch was the #1 ranked women’s wrestler of 2019. 

Saturday July 18th, 2020 Impact Wrestling presents Slammiversary where Jordynne Grace will likely put her title on the line. While there has been no formal announcement on her appearance at Slammiversary, all signs seem to point to a match with a name familiar to Impact Wrestling fans. The Virtuosa, Deonna Purrazzo has returned to Impact and has her sights set on the Knockouts championship. As of now, the only one standing in her way is current champion Jordynne Grace.

There certainly has been a feud brewing between Jordynne Grace and The Virtuosa, Deonna Purrazzo. Twice in the last two weeks, Purrazzo has shown up to Impact Wrestling events to deliver a message to the champion. That message was sent loud and clear by attacking the champion and putting her in a submission arm lock. The first “message” was sent after Grace had successfully defended her title against Wera Loca, Taya Valkyrie. The following week at the conclusion of Impact Grace was addressing a question about the attack. Grace was in the middle of saying that all Purrazzo had to do was ask for a title shot when The Virtuosa attacked her from behind, again applying the fujiwara armbar to the Knockouts champion. 

Purrazzo and Grace appeared on Sirius/XM’s Busted open radio and things between the two quickly became heated.  

Is there more to this champion than wrestling? The answer is an unequivocal yes! Her “It’s Nice That” link from her twitter page proudly portrays a Black Lives Matter Banner and there is “a list of resources for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement” is the first item on the page. The champion offers followers everything from the chance to receive “online personal training,” to clothing, to autographs and video messages from www.jordynnegracewrestler.com

So why is Jordynne Grace the champion we need?

First and foremost, she is a dynamic in-ring performer who can take over the ring with her skill set. At just five foot one inches tall she is still able to effectively mix it up with much taller competitors such as the five-foot-seven Taya Valkyrie. Secondly, she is money on the mic. Her promos are full of energy, passion and are a throwback to the old school style of wrestling promos.

Fine, aren’t there many wrestlers who possess these attributes?  Yes, there are but Grace still brings more to the table. She is highly interactive with her fans on social media bringing an awareness that goes far beyond the wrestling ring. She promotes messages of empowerment, positive body image, and social change via her social media platforms.

Many entertainers, athletes, and celebrities shy away from controversial or political issues for fear of alienating fans. Grace seems to have embraced this opportunity and used it to try and foster positive change.  

The future looks bright for the current Knockouts champion. She is a fighting champion who looks willing to face all comers during her title reign. The Impact Knockouts division is the premier women’s division in all of professional wrestling and Jordynne Grace sits atop this highly competitive division. The collision course she is on with The Virtuosa, Deonna Purrazzo seems likely to conclude, violently, at Slammiversary 2020. Should Grace successfully defend her title against Purrazzo things will not get any easier for her. 

With competitors such as Taya Valkyrie, Kylie Rae, Rosemary, and Havok the road ahead looks to be bumpy as hell for the champ.  

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You can find me on Twitter @ngtriplett. Thanks for reading.

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