Deonna Purrazzo was All In, until she was all out....but not All Out, if that makes sense.
If it doesn't then you might not remember that the soon-to-be free agent in Purrazzo was originally announced for All In back in April 2018 -- five months before the event happened. It just so happens that her Ring of Honor deal was coming up and she had a big suitor in the form of World Wrestling Entertainment. WWE thought they had her in the bag with a short-term deal, but things were in the way, and a lot of things were coming her direction.
"It was the WrestleMania in New Orleans and SHIMMER had their all women’s show and that was the day that Canyon Ceman (of WWE) approached me and had said, “Hey, we’d really like to hire you.” I was like, “Well, you can’t, because I’m employed at Ring of Honor.” He was like, “Well, I thought we had discussed taking a short term contract.” I said, “We didn’t discuss anything. That is not your choice. I do have a six month opt-out, but I don’t know if that’s something I’m willing to do right now.” He put it very frank, “This is your opportunity and I don’t know if this is going to be available in a year.'" Purrazzo recalled.
As it turns out, the opportunity would have definitely been there in a year. 2019 led to a huge market for pro wrestling free agents as WWE, Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, and the AEW (formed from the fetus of All In) all because big buyers. Months ahead, Purrazzo didn't know that.
Still, she tried to work out a deal where she could appear on All In.
"It was kind of like, well, shoot. This is my dream job," Purrazzo said. "Do I give it up and hope it comes around again? Or do I just do it and say I did it and see what happens? Obviously I did it and it obviously it turned out that it was because I was with Ring of Honor, it was because All-In was happening. I tried to get away with doing a few final Ring of Honor things and putting All-In under that Ring of Honor umbrella and being like, they’ve been really great to me, I don’t want to end things on a bad note with them. I’d really like to keep the date, but… Actually, it was put to me, now that I’m talking about it, “Well, if you do All-In, that’s six weeks of pay and six weeks of TV you’re being held off of.” I was like, “Okay, well, they must have something for me that they want to do with me. Obviously they didn’t, but.” It was more of like, do I just do this and say I did it and see what happens and I can always leave if I’m unhappy. I think that’s been my mindset from the get of this is an experiment for both of us. If it works then this is all I’ve ever wanted and if it doesn’t, I’m confident I can go back and do what I was doing before."
It’s been incredible to see first hand what @MattJackson13, @NickJacksonYB, & @CodyRhodes envision for pro wrestling.— The Virtuosa (@DeonnaPurrazzo) July 3, 2018
I am so sad I won’t be wrestling at #AllIn but my heart will be there September 1st https://t.co/LnrwHN1ErJ
Purrazzo was to be involved in a match that featured close friend Chelsea Green and eventual IMPACT Champion Tessa Blanchard, which also added Dr. Britt Baker and Madison Rayne. Looking back, Purrazzo admitted to Fightful that she wishes she'd have worked All In.
"Yes," she said when asked. "But, hindsight is so 20/20. I would have never felt that way had my WWE tenure not ended up this way, you know? That’s just life. You have to pick and choose what you think is best for you. Unfortunately maybe going to WWE at that time and being part of NXT then wasn’t what was best for me. But, who would have known it would have turn out this way?"
Deonna noted that her ROH deal expired on July 1, 2018, and had to sign her deal, get medicals and move within two weeks of that. At that point she'd decided to pick her battles and withdrew from All In. Cody Rhodes would tweet shortly after and wish her well as she was headed to WWE.
Deonna is unable to do All In. We love her. She’s phenomenal. She’s kicking ass/breaking arms no matter where you see her.— Cody (@CodyRhodes) July 3, 2018
You can see our full interview with Deonna Purrazzo above. Check out her upcoming series on Independent Wrestling TV, as well as her Pro Wrestling Tees Store