Even though Impact Wrestling kicked off 2019 with their Homecoming pay-per-view on Sunday, there was still some time to look back to 2018 a night later. The Wrestling Inc. handed out their Impact Awards prior to the Impact! television tapings and many stars were on hand for the ceremony. The winners were voted by the readers of Wrestling Inc. as part of our year-end awards.
Among the winners was Tessa Blanchard being voted as the 2018 Impact Knockout of the Year. 2019 hasn't started off that great for the former Knockouts Champion, but she still reflected on her successful first season in Impact Wrestling.
"Thank you, it's an honor," Blanchard said upon receiving her plaque. "I'm not really surprised. I came into Impact and I ran through the entire Knockouts locker room just like I said I would."
Blanchard won the Knockouts Championship just a couple of weeks after her Impact debut and held onto the title for over four months. But she lost it to Taya Valkyrie at Impact Homecoming the night before thanks to help from Gail Kim who was the special guest referee.
During her acceptance speech for the Knockout of the Year award, Blanchard took a shot at Valkyrie and promised retribution.
"Taya Valkyrie, who's the champion now, is only deemed relevant because of who she was in the ring with last night," stated Blanchard. "I'm about to head back to the arena and handle some business because I'm pretty ticked off about last night.
"Honestly, even though I'm not the champion now, I am still wrestler of the year."
LAX were also on hand to accept their plaques for being voted as the Wrestling Inc. 2018 Impact Tag Team of the Year. Ortiz and Santana had two different stints as the Impact Tag Team Champions and are currently holding the belts, which is their third reign overall.
"I would like to humbly say… we knew we were gonna win this," said LAX manager Konnan. "I'm glad we did. They deserve it. The first LAX, Homicide and Hernandez, they made history and were great to work with. These guys are the future and the present and it's a beautiful thing to get to work with you guys every week."
"It's humbling. It's surreal," said Santana. "We're just two Spanish kids from New York City that had a dream and had the balls to chase it. Here we are and with hard work we make it happen."
In addition to Blanchard and LAX, Sami Callihan was also a big winner as he was named the Wrestling Inc. 2018 Impact Wrestler of the Year.