At only 22 years old, Tessa Blanchard is finding herself as one of the busiest women on the independent circuit. In addition to recently signing with Impact Wrestling, she has also wrestled for Lucha Underground and WWE. She was a part of the Mae Young Classic last summer, where she was eliminated by Kairi Sane in the first round. Despite the early elimination, Blanchard told Wrestling Inc. in an exclusive interview that she was grateful to be a part of the tournament.
"At the end of the day it is a huge blessing," Blanchard said. "I wasn't upset with how things played out at the Classic. I was super proud and grateful to have been part of it. They only had so many women in the Classic and they picked some of the best women out there in the world. At the time that was insane to me.
"Kairi Sane and I had done two tours in Japan together. We were supposed to have a singles match, but she ended up getting pulled off of that show, too so our singles match never happened. She was sitting in the ring at the Performance Center and she said to me that we were going to have a match together at the Classic, and I thought she was kidding, but she was like, 'no, no, me and you!' We were both so excited because we have been waiting for so long to wrestle each other. We were both super excited. Everything that happened that week and being part of the Classic was a huge honor. I honestly couldn't think of anyone better to share the ring with than Kairi, which meant a lot to the both of us."
To the surprise of many, Blanchard wasn't signed after the tournament. She noted that she never gets her hopes up for anything and takes things as they are. She also revealed that she has had talks with WWE since the Classic.
"Honestly, I had spoken with [WWE]," Blanchard said. "I am still in touch with them. We are both on very good terms, contrary to what people think, we are on very good terms. I don't get my hopes up or anything, I am really enjoying what I am doing right now by having the matches, the inter-gender matches that I am having. I am getting to travel all over the world doing what I love and making a living out of it. That is a huge blessing to me. I am not necessarily in a rush to go anywhere. Whatever happens, happens. Everything happens for the right reasons and the right time, and the fact that it didn't happen to me at the Classic, God had a different plan for me."
WWE recently announced that the Mae Young Classic will be returning this summer, and will tape in August. While Blanchard likely won't be a part of the tournament this year, she is excited that it is returning.
"I think that is super exciting, the first one was really awesome," Blanchard admitted. "There were women all over the world where sometimes they don't get to be seen here in the United States, and for WWE to bring them over to the Classic and put them on this platform for it to show that women's pro wrestling is in good hands. It is a really special thing to be part of."
Blanchard is also the first-ever PCW Ultra World Women's Champion, having defeated Chelsea Green to win the vacant title last April. Blanchard, the daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Tully Blanchard and stepdaughter of former NWA U.S. Champion Magnum T.A., will defend her title this Friday against Rachael Ellering at PCW Ultra: Opposites Attack in Wilmington, CA. Like Blanchard, Ellering has the business in her blood being the daughter of legendary manager Paul Ellering.
"PCW is one of my favorite places to wrestle right now on the west coast," Blanchard said. "They have a bunch of buzz behind them. They bring in top talent from all over the world. It is such a cool environment. I remember when me and Chelsea [Green] walked out, it was for my championship, and as I came through the curtain I remember thinking how special it was. I only felt that feeling two other times, one was when I came out of Lucha Underground and the other was when I came out through WrestleCircus. That crowd---I don't know what it was, but I had that same feeling and it was like, this means something, this is special. To be paired up with Chelsea, and now this weekend to be paired up with Rachael Ellering this weekend, who I haven't wrestled in a little over a year, but I've had some of my favorite matches with her. I am really excited."
PCW Ultra: Opposites Attack takes place this Friday at the ILWU Memorial Hall in Wilmington, CA. In addition to Blanchard vs. Ellering, Penta El Zero will defend the PCW Ultra World Heavyweight Championship in a steel cage, while PCW Ultra World Light Heavyweight Champion Shane Strickland will put his title on the line against Dragon Lee and Warbeast will defend the PCW Tag Titles against OVE. UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar, ACH, Hammerstone, Jeff Cobb, Brody King and Darby Allin will also be in action. You can purchase tickets for the show at PCWUltra.com.