Tessa Blanchard On Comparisons To Chyna, Being A Bridge Between Divisions

Tessa Blanchard is happy to be associated with an empowering character like Chyna, and thinks it’s cool to be the face of a new movement.

Blanchard recently took part in a media call and was asked about being the ‘face’ of the intergender wrestling movement. Tessa said it was nothing new to her since she started out wrestling men like Cedric Alexander and George South, and talked about how she is so proud of what IMPACT has done through intergender wrestling and what she’s done in the company. Tessa said she was in a position to not only make history but she was also thankful to those that came before her. Tessa says she always looks at Chyna, someone she’s been compared to over the years, as an inspiration. “[Chyna] is a pioneer for what we are trying to accomplish now but in a different way.”

Blanchard also addressed the Chyna comparisons in an interview with Wrestlezone, where she talked about potentially being a bridge between the men’s and women’s divisions. Tessa said it was a cool thing to be looked at that way, and cited Chyna’s Intercontinental title and New Japan runs at historical moments that were inspiring to her as well.

“A lot of people might look at it as uncomfortable, a lot of people might not be OK with it, it’s not ‘normal’, it’s ‘not the wrestling they grew up on’ or the one they sit down on Monday nights and watch as a family. It’s not what they’re used to, it makes them uncomfortable and it’s disrupting everything that they’re OK with in the professional wrestling world,” Tessa said, “and that’s everything that I love about it. I love that it’s different, I love that we’re able to make history in a way that’s ever been done before.

“I thought it was so cool when Chyna was fighting for the Intercontinental Championship when [she] was in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. I think that’s one of the coolest things ever,” Tessa said, “and it’s so empowering because where we are now in 2020, women are athletes. Women can go out there and we can kill it like the best of them. To be one of the faces in women’s sports that create that change, it’s pretty neat.”

Earlier in the year, Tessa posted a fanmade graphic of her being presented as the “10th Wonder Of The World” and if it’s something she’d entertain running with in the future. Tessa explained how she came across the image on the internet and said it was a cool shoutout to wrestling’s past in a few ways.

“Maybe? …Andre was the 8th, Chyna the 9th, I’m going to be the 10th. I thought it was a cool shout out to them too. Andre named my stepdad and I’m just a huge fan of Chyna,” Tessa said, “I think she’s just an empowering character and I wanted to be associated with that. Some people compare me to her sometimes and I hear it in passing, I thought it was a cool picture, but who knows, maybe it could stick.”

Read More: Gail Kim On Tessa Blanchard Situation: ‘I Hope People Can Move Forward’