Deonna Purrazzo Finding Fulfillment In Current IMPACT Run, Hopes Tenille Dashwood Is Focused At ‘Rebellion’

Deonna Purrazzo is out to prove she’s the best wrestler in the world today and wants to show she can work with women of any generation.

Purrazzo recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard about facing Tenille Dashwood at IMPACT’s Rebellion pay-per-view on Sunday and talked about the magnitude of the event itself. During a promo on last week’s show, Tenille talked about starting the Women’s Revolution and appeared to be a little less self-absorbed ‘All About Me’ and a little more serious than usual. Purrazzo agreed that Tenille has been showing a little bit more fire and focus as of late, and the champion hopes that’s the same opponent she gets in the ring this weekend.

“You know what, I hope she has a new focus, I do. Because Rebellion is shaping up to be one of the biggest pay-per-views ever for IMPACT, if not for this year [anywhere]. So, the way she won the number one contendership, if that’s any indication of what she brings to the table at Rebellion—and I don’t necessarily think that it is—then I’m in for an easy night. The Tenille Dashwood of four years ago or five years ago that helped start the women’s revolution and help shaped modern women’s wrestling, I want that Tenille Dashwood at Rebellion,” Purrazzo stated. “I’ve been begging for competition for the last few months and if Tenille is what she says she is, and one of the best that we have to offer, then I want her showing up that way.”

Tenille claims to be the spark of the Women’s Revolution, but Purrazzo has certainly brought the Knockouts division up another level since her arrival last summer, reigning as champion for 255 of the 330 days she’s been with IMPACT. Purrazzo continues to prove she’s the measuring stick in IMPACT (and reinforces why she’s racked up so many awards) and she hopes Dashwood knows what she’s in for at Rebellion.

“Everyone’s career has ebbs and flows to it, and what I was doing a year and a half ago pales in comparison to what I’m doing now, right? Tenille hasn’t been the most successful in IMPACT Wrestling, and I don’t think that any great competitor will just stand on past accomplishments alone. She has to bring it to the table the next two weeks and I’m sure she will,” Purrazzo explained, “but I don’t really know what to anticipate coming from her because she hasn’t shown us all that she can do the last few months.”

“She’s been more about her social media and she’s been more about her influence on Instagram and on Twitter and that’s great. That’s how we garner our following and our interest, but at the end of the day at Rebellion she’s in a Knockouts Championship match against a two-time Knockouts Champion,” she noted, “and those past accomplishments and that following does nothing when you’re standing across the ring from me.”

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Before Tenille gets her shot at Purrazzo, she will have a singles match against Susan on IMPACT this week. When asked about how both Susan and Kimber Lee have added to her range as a performer, Purrazzo said she’s largely been a solo act her whole career, but interacting with the two on a weekly basis has definitely benefitted and shows growth beyond just being a wrestler. In addition to the dynamic the trio has, Purrazzo has also been able to change the conversation, no longer having to explain what a ‘Virtuosa’ is first. Now, Purrazzo’s work (and name) speaks for itself, and she says it’s all just a natural progression in her development and the stories IMPACT has been telling.

“The fact that it’s not the only question that people have—’Well what does the Virtuosa mean?’—it’s so fulfilling to me because I’ve spent so many years trying to explain it. And I think that just the natural progression of character development, you introduce something and then—I’ve been in IMPACT for almost a year now—so I’m slowly getting to show new traits and a new identity which comes from storylines and that character development itself. So, yeah, I’m so happy that I don’t have to explain the definition of a Virtuosa anymore,” she said, “that people just get it and accept it for what it is, and understand it and appreciate who I am in my wrestling.”

Purrazzo had Jazz’s final match in IMPACT Wrestling, defeating her at Hardcore Justice, and she said it meant “everything” to her on a personal level.

Jazz was cited as an influence in pushing women’s wrestling forward, and while she believes they had a match worthy of a sendoff match, Purrazzo said the feud also did a lot for her on-air character as well. Not only is she getting the chance to show she’s a wrestler that can work with women from any generation, but Purrazzo is finding new layers to her character and working with Jazz and ODB helped make that possible.

“I watched women like Jazz growing up and seeing that they were pushing for women’s wrestling to be more, that is why my dream was to help further that [mission] and to push the envelope for women’s wrestling, to allow it to become what it is today and that’s for it to be respected. So, to be in the ring with her, to be able to share the ring with someone like ODB, like that’s a little girl’s dream come true. So, it was super special for me on a personal level, but then as a character, I think that I’m getting away from being ‘The Virtuosa’ and I’m finding new layers to who the greatest women’s wrestler is and that’s someone that can defeat anyone from any generation, any era,” Purrazzo explained, “and so I think defeating Jazz and defeating ODB has kind of let me tap into that a little bit more.”

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