Deonna Purrazzo was a part of the so-called COVID cuts in April as WWE scaled back operations due to the pandemic. Because of the timing, Purrazzo didn’t really get to experience performing without fans until she joined Impact a few months later.
Purrazzo talked about adapting to having no live crowd in attendance when she joined Wrestling Epicenter.
“[Laughs] It definitely is something that takes some time to adapt to because it is not something that any of us has ever experienced ? to not have fans. But I think that my training, back to day one, helped with that because we were putting on matches at training in front of no one, in front of one or two other trainees,” recalled Purrazzo. “I think that having that training helped me going into Slammiversary, my first big pay-per-view match ever, and kind of not be bothered by not having fans. But it is interesting! It is only getting harder the longer that we do it. I hope one day soon we can have fans back!”
As seen on AEW a few weeks ago, the promotion entered into a partnership with Impact Wrestling which could provide even more exposure for Purrazzo. She discussed this working relationship and how the effects are already being felt.
“I think it is amazing when people are able to put aside their differences, whatever they are, to work towards a common goal. I don’t know what this is leading to. I don’t know what Kenny Omega and Don Callis have planned as far as cross-promotion or whatever it is. But, I’m real excited to see what is going to happen in the near future,” stated Purrazzo.
“And, what is most important is there are so many more eyes on Impact Wrestling now. I mean, our Twitch stream had record number viewers, our social media blew up. We trended No. 1 for quite a while [Thursday] night. So, all in all, I’m just excited to see what the future for Impact Wrestling is and I hope that those viewers that tuned in to see what we are all about stick with us.”
Pretty much every woman involved in wrestling has one time or another had to deal with body shaming on social media. Purrazzo is no different and she revealed how those types of comments affect her.
“[Laughs] Well, there was one tweet… And I try not to really engage with those types of fans, if you want to call them fans [laughs]. ?But there was one person who tweeted to me that I needed to lose 30 pounds and do some squats,” revealed Purrazzo. “That struck me because I was a little girl that grew up wanting to be a wrestler in a time where women’s wrestlers were size 0 models and they weren’t real women who came in a variety of sizes and shapes. For me, 30 pounds is a lot of weight! I’m not unrealistic with myself. I’ve been through the ringer with anxiety and depression and reclaiming my emotional health and my mental health this year. All of those things contribute to what your physical health looks like.
“And, I might need to lose 5 pounds. I might need to lose 6 or 7 pounds. I’m not against the losing weight part. But, I’m against calling people out for it. And I’m against people who call themselves fans thinking it is okay to criticize a woman’s body because it is more than doing squats. I do squats every day. It is a mental game as well. It is so much more than just working out. You know what I mean?”