After challenging for the Impact X-Division Title in the past, Tessa Blanchard will get her first shot at the Impact World Title this Sunday at Hard to Kill.
She will challenge champion Sami Callihan in an intergender match and she discussed the statement she will be trying to make when she spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
“This Sunday, no matter the outcome, it’s special. It feels like we’re doing something important and we have the opportunity to change pro wrestling altogether. So, I’m really looking forward to it,” said Blanchard who then talked about all of the firsts in women’s wrestling recently.
“I started to realize that I wanted to make history in my own way. I wanna make a difference in this business in my own way. Something that’s unique to me and unique to the business altogether. I never knew exactly what that looked like until things started to come full circle and it’s looking a lot like this Sunday.
“Wrestling on the indies and traveling to all of these different countries, I’ve been able to have my own little firsts. For instance, wrestling in MSG with Triple-A and being the first American to hold the Reina de Reinas Championship. Those are ways to make history in my own way.”
When it comes to intergender wrestling, Blanchard mentioned that she wrestled guys on the indies and it didn’t feel like an intergender match as it just felt like pro wrestling. She then put over all the men she’s wrestled in the last year and she’s proud to have been in the ring with them.
“Wrestling men has forced me to elevate my game and it’s turned me into the athlete and woman that I am today,” stated Blanchard. “So this Sunday we have the opportunity to do something that maybe people aren’t comfortable with. It’s something that’s disruptive and maybe some support it or some write it off because it’s different. It’s uncomfortable and not what you see every Monday night?
“We’re introducing something to the world of pro wrestling that hasn’t been done before on this scale. To be a part of it feels like we’re making history.”
There have been some very loud critics of intergender wrestling who think men should only wrestle men and women should only wrestle women. Blanchard offered a response to those critics.
“No matter what you, where you go, what like of work you’re in, there’s always gonna be people who have something to say. There’s nothing wrong with that as people have their opinions. Just as there is British strong-style wrestling and Lucha Libre wrestling, there is intergender wrestling. Maybe not every style is for everyone and there’s nothing wrong with that,” said Blanchard.
“The only thing I hope is that people can stay open minded enough to realize that there is a way to tell this story. We’re in a time where women are looked at as athletes and we can kill it equal to if not better than anyone.”
She added that no matter what she does she wants to be the best. Keeping that mentality of extreme self confidence has helped her believe in herself and that’s when things happen organically.
“Looking forward to this Sunday, I’m aware there’s gonna be critics. I’m aware there’s gonna be people who like it and people who don’t. But when I have people who come up to me after watching one of my intergender matches and say, ‘You know what? This wasn’t for me beforehand but after watching you I understand it.’ That’s something that feels like a sense of accomplishment when it happens,” revealed Blanchard.
Her father Tully Blanchard is a wrestling legend and Tessa was asked how Tully feels about her wrestling men.
“My dad has always been super supportive of me. If I ever need advice or mentorship, he’s always been there for me. He may even be someone who didn’t really understand it at first, but he sees that I love what I’m doing and the passion I have. That’s what he’s most supportive of,” said Blanchard.
Sami Callihan has a tendency to bring out the most-violent sides of his opponents. He did it earlier with Eddie Edwards and Blanchard was asked if he’s also doing it with her.
“I think the more invested I am, it brings out a different side of me. With Sami and I, this has been going strong for eight months and it’s been one thing after another. All of it has led to this Sunday as Sami’s been the one thorn in my side as I’ve beaten Fulton, beaten Dave, beaten Jake. I’ve been so close to the X-Division championship and oVe has been that thorn in my side,” said Blanchard. “Sami’s been that one hurdle because all of his boys have had his back. But this Sunday and it’s gonna be me and him and it’s gonna be unique from Slammiversary because this time it’s going to be a f***ing fight.”
Tessa Blanchard will face off against Sami Callihan for the Impact Wrestling World Championship this Sunday night in the main event of Impact Wrestling’s Hard To Kill. For tickets and more info please visit www.ImpactWrestling.com.
Tessa’s full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today’s episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In the full interview Tessa discusses critics of her feud with Sami Callihan, her Impact World Title match against Callihan at Hard To Kill, becoming a role model to young women, possibly unifying the World and Knockout’s Championships, her fiance DAGA, whether they’d ever do an infidelity angle and more.