Deonna Purrazzo debuted in IMPACT Wrestling at Slammiversary 2020. In her time with the company, she immediately became a featured player in The Knockouts Division and was named “Knockout of the year” by IMPACT for 2020.
In a new interview with Spencer Love, Purrazzo discusses whether or not her current run with the company has been what she wanted, whether she's a fan of the Knockouts name for the division, working without a contract early in her run, and more.
Spencer Love passed along the following quotes to Fightful.
Deonna on if her current run with IMPACT has gone as she’d expected:
“A little bit of both, I guess. I think - I didn't really have any expectations. You know, when I got fired, it was kind of like, 'okay, what's the next step,' and IMPACT was knocking right away, like, 'hey, we want you here. What can we do to make this work?' I'm just so fortunate that they were like, 'we want to put you at the top right away.' I think people assume that when you leave WWE or you leave another company, it's just like you have a list of demands. 'I want this, and I want this, and I want to right this wrong,' like, I was just like, 'I'm cool to do whatever! If you're positive that I can fulfill your expectations, then let's do it and I'll give it a try.' IMPACT has just been so gracious with the trust that they put in me, and I've been able to, I think, knock it out of the park every time.
“We've grown this like mutual respect for each other over the last four months and really developed a great relationship that I can only hope transpires for the next couple years."
Deonna Purrazzo on committing to a contract
“Well, I think that, for me, especially like the last - even before WWE and NXT, like, I was contracting a Ring of Honor - and then I left Ring of Honor and I went right to NXT, and there was no breathing room in between that. Now, I just think for me, it was I've signed two contracts. I wasn't ready for what came with those things. I wasn't necessarily happy with both of those contracts and the way my time had panned out. So, let's take a step back and let's kind of take a breather and see what happens and, you know, see, the way that creative sees me and the roles that I'm going to be put in and kind of feel this process out a little bit more now that I have some time. More than just personally, I mean, we're still in the midst of a global pandemic, and I think that it's not just a hesitation on my part. It's also a hesitation on theirs. Like, 'where's our company stand? Where do we see this person? Are we going to invest in this person in the long term?' I don't know why it's maybe taken this long, but I think if I had to surmise why, it's just like a mutual understanding of, like, 'let's see and wait,' and then the world's crazy. So let's see and wait (for) what 2021 brings us, you know?"
Deonna Purrazzo talks about working without a crowd:
“I'm not like - you know, I'm kind of snobby to them, and I'm kind of like 'I'm above you, and I'm better with you. I'm the greatest women's wrestler in the world!' Right? So yeah, I think that going back to how I was trained, (it) was in just a little room with a ring and my trainer, and maybe two or three other people. So we would do matches on the fly all the time, we would - I've wrestled myself in that environment. So, I think just all my training kind of aids the world we're in now, and that there are no fans, but that shouldn't teeter the wrestling you do. And, it kind of helps you plan a little bit more for yourself, instead of like, 'ooh, at this point, the fans should maybe be doing this, or maybe we do this because it'll get a good reaction.' I think, for me, it aids to my storytelling, and just really feeling the moments and feeling the story that we're trying to get across.”
Deonna Purrazzo is happy to be a “Knockout:”
“Yeah! There's been a ton of pushback, like, right when I started with IMPACT of the Knockouts name and I love it. I grew up knowing them as the Knockouts. I never felt a negative connotation towards it as a fan. I just feel like a Knockout is beautiful, is sexy, is powerful, is strong - is a Knockout, literally. I like it. I think it's different. There's other women's divisions and everyone else is a woman, and I feel like it gets grouped in with the Diva era, but I think that the connotations and just the way that they were - I don't know what the word I'm looking for - but the way that they were portrayed is completely different, what a Diva was and what a Knockout was, and I think IMPACT, and even when it was TNA, developed a really strong women's division by branding them as Knockouts and then allowing them to be strong, powerful, sexy, top athletes in their company. I grew up watching Divas and feeling like I wanted to change that perception. I'm happy to be a Knockout. I'm happy to be the Knockouts champion, I'm happy to continue to build that brand with me now."
You can check out the full interview at this link.
Deonna Purrazzo recently accepted Taya Valkyrie’s challenge to a title match at IMPACT Hard To Kill 2021 on January 16. Fightful will have live coverage.