Tessa Blanchard On Having High Expectations For Herself, Getting A Chance To Compete At AAA’s MSG Show

tessa blanchard

Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard

Tessa Blanchard took part in a media interview at IMPACT Wrestling‘s United We Stand event in Rahway, New Jersey. The former Knockouts Champion talked about the company making strides in presenting more intergender matches on programming in recent weeks, including her match against Joey Ryan at the live event:

“I’m really, really happy about it where we’re starting to make that transition. One thing over the past few weeks of IMPACT is, if a man gets in my way, I’ve not been afraid to knock them out. Tonight’s not going to be any different, same with Joey Ryan. My main focus has been on Gail, but I’m really excited about this transition that we’re making with intergender wrestling.”

Tessa was asked about her expectations for herself, and she said there’s plenty to live up to, but she’s on another level due to her pedigree and hard work:

“I have very high expectations out of myself. I have a huge family name to live up to and a huge legacy to live up to. I feel the pressure of that every day of my life, but I feel like it’s a blessing and a curse. I do feel like since I am a third-generation wrestler, I do have to hold myself—and there are a lot of people that expect certain things out of me—I’m an athlete, and I’m a top athlete. I train seven days a week. I’m mentally and physically prepared for any situation that I might be thrown in, and that’s what puts me in the upper echelon compared to other Knockouts.”

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Earlier that day, Tessa was seen at the AAA Lucha Libre press conference at Madison Square Garden. She said she dreamed about competing there one day, but now getting the chance she hopes to regain some gold and teased a potential match with recent rival Taya Valkyrie:

“I remember five years ago being in my hotel room in New York City, and I had the view of Madison Square Garden. I had a video where I said that I’m going to wrestle there someday, and never did I think that it would actually happen realistically, so it still feels a little crazy. Just standing in the Garden today, there’s an aura about that building that is just second to none.

One thing that I touched on at the press conference is Taya Valkyrie is the Knockouts Champion right now, but she wouldn’t be if it wasn’t because of Gail Kim. Taya’s never beaten me in a fair fight one-on-one, Taya’s always needed a stipulation or a special guest referee or something that puts the odds in her favor. Because I am a top athlete and because I am one of the best—if not the best wrestler in IMPACT Wrestling—I feel like they have stacked the odds against me a little bit in Taya’s favor. Maybe Madison Square Garden is the place that I take that title back.”

Tessa also spoke about her work across different television shows including IMPACT, WOW and Lucha Underground, and said she might appear on several shows, but she’s still the same Tessa. She also praised the efforts of the WOW roster, saying they are more than just actresses and people need to have a more open mind about women’s wrestling:

“They are different brands, but collectively, nothing about Tessa Blanchard changes. I’m the same Tessa Blanchard there as I am at WOW or IMPACT. I’m very true to myself no matter where I go. One thing I love about WOW is we’re taking women who come from all different walks of life. We have girls from jiu-jitsu and MMA backgrounds, we have mothers, we have students, people from everyday life who have found this love for professional wrestling. They are finding this passion that we all share. I live in Long Beach now and I’m training these girls five days a week when I’m not on the road, and to watch them grow from scratch is a really cool thing for me. It’s something that a lot of people don’t expect. Some people are like ‘oh, they can’t do it. They’re just actresses, they aren’t professional wrestlers. They can’t do it.’ That [thought process] just shows how close-minded people are because they can do it.”

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