Tessa Blanchard made Impact Wrestling history at Hard to Kill this past Sunday by becoming the first woman to win the Impact World Championship by defeating Sami Callihan. Booker T gave his thoughts on Blanchard’s title win on The Hall of Fame with Booker T & Brad Gilmore.
“Those guys look like they’re just trying to find their spot,” Booker said. “They’re still trying to find a niche.”
“I’m not holding my judgement on it. Big ups to Tessa Blanchard because she’s good. She’s really good at what she does, but this is the worst idea for Impact Wrestling in the history of the company,” Booker T said. “It really is that bad. It’s worse than paying me 10 grand for six-hour power commercial that never aired.”
Booker T gave his reason for why he thought the decision was bad. Gilmore also made a comment about having separation within the men’s and women’s divisions.
“Because now all the men in the company, if they wrestle her and she beats them it diminishes every guy in the company. I mean who’s the top guy in the company now? I cannot see ‘The Man’ Becky Lynch wrestling Samoa Joe or Brock Lesnar,” Booker T said. “I mean this is the worst idea in the history of wrestling. It really is. It makes me question and wonder if somebody tried to blow this thing up on purpose like somebody said, ‘let’s see how bad we can mess this up.’
“My thing is this, if Tessa Blanchard went back and wrestled the women, she should be able to beat all of them. The woman that beats her should be able to go out and beat the men too. The crossover intergender wrestling is something for independent companies. If they want to be looked at as an indie group, keep doing stuff like this.”
Booker T continued to explain why he thought Impact’s move was a bad one by bringing up Ronda Rousey vs. Jon Jones. He also talked about real-life implications like domestic violence.
“I don’t think this is what empowering women is meant to be. I really don’t think so because I’m not saying Ronda Rousey is not a tough woman, but if you put Ronda Rousey in there with Jon Jones, watch what happens. You put her in there with the lower level men, watch what happens to her or Amanda Nunes with the top [guys],” Booker T said. “You don’t want to start blurring those types of lines when it comes to performance especially when it comes to men and women these days. Normally, when a man hits a woman, he goes to jail. I don’t want to see a man put their hands on my sisters. Even as tough as my sisters are, I’m not gonna have that, and to actually see it play and to see someone think this is a good idea for television, for a man and a woman to be fighting, it’s ridiculous.”
Booker T addressed potential backlash to his reaction. He clarifies that his reaction comes from his experience in the industry and what he sought after.
“People can look at it and say what they want to say about it, but for me, it’s not something that I would ever have on my Reality of Wrestling. And people can say, ‘aw man he’s outdated. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.’ It’s not that at all,” Booker T said. “I look at it from what I’ve done in this business as a performance, but I try to make it as realistic as possible. I’ve never seen a female boxer fight a male boxer. I would take Roger Federer of Serena Williams. I’m serious. I’d take Novak Djokovic over Serena Williams just because the guy’s overpowering, and that’s what normally happens in a fight between a man and a woman.”
If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Hall Of Fame With Booker T & Brad Gilmore with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.