Has any woman had a better year than Tessa Blanchard? As one of the top stars at Impact Wrestling, the former Impact Knockouts Champion has been a part of many great moments. A push like hers would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.
Tessa also can't believe it. Speaking with Chris Van Vliet before Bound for Glory in the above video, Tessa talked about her career leading up to her rise to the top. She pointed out that it was all due to her hard work and dedication, not just the Blanchard name.
"It all just kind of seems unreal to me a little still," Tessa stated when talking about her run. "When I first started wrestling, I was driving 14 hours for a show just to set up the ring and hopefully get an opportunity and make $75 bucks and sleep in my car, then turn around and drive 14 hours back home. Just because I wanted to pay my dues. When I first started wrestling, people would always say 'You're only here because of your family name, you're only here because of this because of that'. Anything except for hard work. I would always say my last name, it might get my foot in the door, it might get me in front of the right people, it might get me an opportunity but the second you step in the ring, it doesn't do jack s**t for you."
One of the main storylines with Tessa over the year is fighting against the male wrestlers. Whether it is Sami Callihan, Jake Crist or an intergender ladder match, Tessa has managed to walk out a star each and every time, even when she loses those matches. While it is not everyone's cup of tea, intergender wrestling has become a style of wrestling that has caught on. Joey Ryan has made a career out of it, among other things.
Tessa reflected on her rivalry with Sami and how important intergender wrestling is to her.
"It's something that I've always been passionate about because I trained with the guys, that's the way I was brought up and I feel like it's helped my timing, my transitions, my intensity, different things like that but it was actually something (Impact) approached me with and it just worked. It was very natural, not forced, it just worked and I think that's why I love it so much. To have the match with Sami Callihan, I didn't know that we were going to be the main event until the night of. They told us that night and I thought they were kidding cause they mess with us all the time, I just thought they were kidding. So, that was special for me, that was my only PPV main event so far and then for it to be an inter-gender match, it's cool because it's a cool time for wrestling, it shows that wrestling is evolving."
As a result of intergender wrestling, Tessa has had multiple opportunities to fight for titles normally held by men. She lost the intergender ladder match at Bound for Glory for the X-Division Title, but she is hoping for bigger and better things. Held by Brian Cage, winning the Impact World Championship would mean the world to her. Tessa is ready to take it and honor someone who people think of when she wrestles.
"It's not something that's really been done since Chyna and that wasn't even the world title," Tessa stated. "A lot of people compare me to her, a lot. I don't know, I think if that were to ever happen, if that were ever to be reality, that would be another way that I can make history in my own way."
If she gets an opportunity, who will it be against? Cage is set to defend the Impact World Championship against Sami inside a steel cage during Impact's AXS debut this Tuesday.