By now, it’s no secret that Tessa Blanchard is your new Impact Wrestling KnockOuts Champion. Talk about well deserved and undeniable. She will represent the company very, very well and this was a shrewd move to put the belt on her. Any wrestling promotion would love to even have her on their roster but it’s important to remember that she chose Impact Wrestling over the WWE. That’s right, she did. That is not necessarily a trend that we have seen much of in recent years as the bigger company usually outbids and lures top talents away. Tessa is smarter than that though. She is different. She is a diamond. She also believes in Impact Wrestling and can see the writing on the wall with how this promotion is evolving and changing for the better. For Impact management to lock up a top, young wrestler like Tessa is a massive accomplishment. A third generation star whose father, Tully Blanchard, is an original member of the Four Horseman (and also whose step-father is Magnum T.A.) is exactly the kind of performer that Triple H would love to have on that extremely bloated sports entertainment roster. I’m sure when she’s a free agent again down the line that they will come after her even harder, but for now, they get to have a taste of their own medicine as Tessa will continue to prove how unique and amazing she really is.
— Tessa Blanchard (@Tess_Blanchard) May 17, 2018
Blanchard was recently on the weekly Impact teleconference and there were a couple of her statements that really stood out to me. By the way, WrestleZone does a great job of live tweeting and paraphrasing these weekly media calls and I will use two of their tweets here. Let these responses from Tessa sink in:
.@Tess_Blanchard wants to build upon what her grandfather and stepfather have done in this business. @IMPACTWRESTLING is her platform and they are supplying her with the tools to do that. She’s still honing her skills &she chose to sign with Impact because she went with her gut.
— WrestleZone on Mandatory (@WRESTLEZONEcom) August 9, 2018
.@Tess_Blanchard says that the @IMPACTWRESTLING women’s roster is the best on the planet. Everyone is competition but she is a different breed. She sees herself as top tier and someday the landscape of everything is going to change.
— WrestleZone on Mandatory (@WRESTLEZONEcom) August 9, 2018
That last sentence in particular is very interesting to me as this line of thinking makes me respect Tessa even more than I already did. For a younger person (23 y/o) she certainly has an uncanny ability to see the long-term aspect of things. I imagine that she’s getting some great advice from her family too, but not everyone is intelligent enough or humble enough to always follow that kind of advice. Yes, someday the landscape of pro wrestling will change dramatically (and it has already began to do so) and hopefully Tessa will remain a cornerstone of Impact Wrestling when that process starts to really unfold.
You’d have to be just plain ignorant at this point to not see that Impact is heading in the right direction. Don’t be distracted by those that keep pushing a negative narrative. 2018 has been a tremendous success so far, especially given the unfavorable circumstances that the new management group inherited. This should be a time for Impact Wrestling fans to be excited about the future of the company. Of course, some people will get really hung up about TV ratings going up and down. Others will bitch and complain about how certain things aren’t playing out on-screen with certain characters like they think it should. It’s like anything else in life really. If you want to focus on the negative aspect then you will. Here at DiscussPW (and more specifically our Spark the Discussion podcast) we have a simple motto about “keeping things positive, at least when it comes to Impact”. It works for us and even though our numbers are somewhat modest, we remain a tight-knit, fun place to be. I guess if we were fat-shaming people on Twitter or posting douchey selfies maybe that would help us get more popular numbers-wise? If that’s what people want than thank god they’re somewhere else. We’re doing just fine here with what we have going on, trust me. I’m not trying to tell people how to be a fan but when you’ve been around this Impact fan base as long as I have, you start getting sick of the predictable and tiresome behavior out there.
What I see with Tessa is a very sharp and precise in-ring skill set. She doesn’t waste time or motion in the squared circle. Blanchard has many impressive moves in her repertoire but the hammerlock DDT that she’s using as her finisher is particularly stunning because of the proper way that she executes it. She is a femme fatale with unmistakable beauty and a certain viciousness. Like Don Callis recently said on his “Killing the Town” podcast, when she hits someone with a forearm shot, it really looks like it hurts. She is a fantastic worker. Her believable strikes aren’t just a couple of wimpy “going through the motions” type of blows. She has an impressive fluidity in the ring with her move set that will just get better and better over time. Tessa also has a distinctive swagger that is downright infectious. Even just the way that she mouths the first couple of lines to her theme song when she makes her entrance and later leaves the ring is badass. It all just fits perfectly. When she comes down the ramp you can feel that you’re seeing something special. She has tangible confidence. It really comes across that she fears nothing and no one. Also, during her recent teleconference she expressed her fondness for intergender matches. You see a lot of those types of bouts in Lucha Underground and other companies and they aren’t always my favorite to be honest. However, Tessa could be an exception to that because she is very strong physically and technically skilled enough to make it more believable if she matched up with most male wrestlers. Maybe someday she will have a feud or two with guys on Impact? There are many options for a superb talent like this.
Her dad, Tully, recently appeared on the Twitch Impact/AML “Confrontation” event in Greensboro, NC. It’ll be interesting to see if he gets involved more with Impact in the future. Maybe he’d show up for a taping set or a pay-per-view and be in Tessa’s corner at some point? I, for one, would like to see that but the focus should definitely be on Tessa herself. It’s amazing to consider how many wrestling shows that Tessa has been in over the last couple of years. She has been all over the indy scene. She’s also been involved with MLW and Rise and other well-known promotions. Blanchard is also going to be in a four-way match at the much hyped ALL IN event on September 1st. She’s out there on the front lines getting tons of experience, honing her skills and making her way in this business. She is constantly grinding and working and immersing herself in the pro wrestling industry. Her workout routine must be intense and focused because her physique has become more muscular and refined in the last year. She is a glamorous powerhouse. Tessa has the work ethic and drive to be one of the best female wrestlers that we’ve seen in a long time. Her promo skills are solid and will continue to evolve. Just think about the awesome feuds that she can have in the KnockOuts Division for years to come. Tessa Blanchard staying with Impact should give you hope for other talent signings and the future of the company in general. A lot of things with Impact Wrestling have changed for the better and this promotion will continue to improve and grow. Yes, getting out of the Impact Zone in Orlando has made a huge difference for the product overall, but having a remarkable wrestler like Tessa Blanchard on the show is absolutely priceless.