Tessa Blanchard was born destined to be a champion – it’s in her DNA. The granddaughter of wrestler Joe Blanchard, the daughter of Tully Blanchard and the stepdaughter of Magnum TA, her journey inside the squared circle began in 2014. She quickly built a solid reputation around the world, including Lucha Underground. She made her IMPACT Wrestling debut at the Redemption pay-per-view in April 2018, when she joined the commentary during a match between Kiera Hogan and Taya Valkyrie. At Slammiversary on July 22, Blanchard scored her first pay-per-view win, defeating former Knockouts Champion Allie. Now she set her sights on claiming the highly coveted Knockouts Championship, and will let nothing stand in her way! IMPACT Wrestling is on the Road to Bound For Glory which will be held October 14 in New York and air live on pay-per-view. Icon Vs, Icon recently caught up with this legend in the making to get an inside look at her passion for professional wrestling, the obstacles she faced and what the future holds for her in the near future and beyond!
What are the biggest obstacles you faced in your career and what keeps you driven?
I run into obstacles every day. Having the last name that I do is both a blessing and a curse because I always feel the pressure on my shoulders to live up to that. At the same time, I’m taking my own path and making my own way in this business. IMPACT has given me the platform to do that. I had such a great time working with them. Honestly, what I think keeps me so driven is my purpose. I know exactly what my purpose is, and I know where I want to see myself in five years. I know what my goals are, and I always keep that in the forefront of my mind. I’ve enjoyed my time with IMPACT and I’ve appreciated them giving the platform to showcase where I want to end up in the next five years. One thing I say is “You don’t have to get ready if you stay ready.” … That’s one thing that I do — I stay ready! I’m in the gym twice a day, seven days a week, I’m dieting all the time and keeping both my body and my mind right. Every time I step into the ring there is a different obstacle but I’m very confident in myself and my ability. I’m very excited for the future.
You have a great connection with your family. What was their reaction to you becoming a professional wrestler?
I’m not sure if many people know this, but I actually got into the business without even telling my family. It was something that I did on my own. I had been training for six to eight months before I even told my dad or stepdad. They are all very supportive! They make sure that I knew this was going to be a hard journey and, that if this was something that I wanted to do, then I would have to put absolutely everything I had into it. It’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle. It’s seven days a week and you are constantly traveling, which is one of the hardest parts. You’re traveling from city to city and away from home most of the time. While you’re traveling you’re trying to find a gym, trying to find healthy food options and trying to keep your body and mind right! You’re doing all of that at the same time, so it’s a true balancing act. They are supportive, but they are also realists and they have tried to instill that in my mind.
Aside from your family, who had the biggest impact on you as a wrestling fan?
My favorite wrestler of all-time is Johnny Valentine. I believe him to be the best bad guy ever in wrestling and he is my absolute favorite. Actually, recently I had a conversation with Greg Valentine about this at WrestleCon Mania Weekend in New Orleans. Female-wise, one person that I really, really, really would like to share the ring with is Gail Kim. I say that because I believe her to be one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world!
I can’t argue with that! What made IMPACT the right platform to launch your professional career?
There was a conversation I had with myself internally. As I said, I have goals and a purpose. I want to build upon what my grandpa, dad and stepdad did in this business. I want to do that while making a name for myself. To make a name for myself, I feel it’s important for me to establish myself before I go anywhere else. IMPACT has given me the platform, exposure and access to the tools and teachers to do that. I’m very, very grateful for that. I’m learning so much, honing my skills and taking it to the next level. Honestly, I just went with my gut … I feel like this is a great place for me right now. It feels good. It’s a good locker room and a good production.
What are your goals when it comes to your current run on IMPACT Wrestling and beyond?
My main goal at IMPACT is to be the Knockout Division Champion. I’m going to have my opportunity to claim that on Sunday against Allie and Su Yung. That is the goal because having that championship means that you’re the best. I’m confident that I am “The Uncrowned Champion” because I am THE BEST women’s wrestler in IMPACT Wrestling! … I want to do everything possible in wrestling. I want to go absolutely everywhere I can, wrestle everyone that I can and accomplish everything that I can. In my journey, I feel this is just one stop on the road!
It’s such a blessing to be able to carry on what my grandfather, dad and stepdad laid the foundation for in our family. At the same time, like I said, I want to pave the way and make a name for myself. That’s very empowering to me. One thing that I’ve always said is that I want to inspire and motivate people. It just so happens that God gave me the platform of professional wrestling to do that for people!
That’s a great outlook! Thanks for your time today, Tessa! I wish you continued success!
Thank you, Jason!
For the latest and greatest in-ring and behind-the-scences action, visit IMPACT Wrestling’s official site at www.impactwrestling.com. Follow the continuing adventures of Tessa Blanchard on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.