AEW Star Deonna Purrazzo Discusses The Beginnings Of Her Journey In Pro Wrestling

If not for stumbling upon her twin brother watching wrestling when she was nine years old, AEW star Deonna Purrazzo may have never turned into "The Virtuosa" we see today on AEW television.

While appearing on "Talk Is Jericho," Purrazzo detailed the very moment that wrestling became her obsession, and though her brother became something of a wrestling casualty, her path was laid out for her right then and there.

Upon observing what she was pretty sure was Jericho hitting someone over the head with a chair, Purrazzo was curious about the world of pro wrestling. "What is going on? What is this world? I need to know everything about this," said the former TNA star. "My brother says I ruined wrestling for him because I then became obsessed. I saw the women do it and [thought], 'If I learned how to do that, I think that I could be good [one day] and then I just never grew out of that.'"

Wanting to learn and getting the opportunity to do so are two very different realities. Though Purrazzo found a wrestling school that accepted students at 16 within driving distance from her New Jersey home, she couldn't get her parents on board at that time. With a little patience, however, they encouraged her to stick with it.

"When you're 18, if this is still what you want to do and you can figure out a way for you to do it, then by all means, do that then," she recalls them telling her.

A chance encounter leads to a career

While attending community college, Deonna Purrazzo still hadn't found an in for pro wrestling training as she, for whatever reason, took a different path to class one day and stumbled upon a VFW hall with a sign that said, "Live Pro Wrestling: The first Friday of every month." She then took to Google and found that, lo and behold, there was a wrestling school right there.

This led to her first match against a local wrestler named Jana at an event called D2W Season's Beatings 4 in Wharton, New Jersey in December 2013, in which Purrazzo recalls having plenty of nerves.

"I was terrified," she told Jericho. "All my friends were going to be there and I was super emotional so I cried for three days beforehand. I just felt like, if this is what I worked pretty much my whole life for, this is what I always said I was gonna do, this is my defining moment, if I'm not good at it, then what did I work all this time for?"

The new AEW star, who has appeared in TNA, Ring of Honor, NXT, AEW, and the indies, credits a background in athletics such as cheerleading, track, and gymnastics for giving her some basic tools to help her in wrestling. 

She feels that there's still room for improvement, singling out the speaking aspect of wrestling as something she's still working on. "The public part of it," she admitted. "Still, I would say I'm not the greatest public speaker."