Tessa Blanchard is set to make history on Sunday when she challenges Sami Callihan for the IMPACT Championship in the main event of IMPACT Hard To Kill.
Even at 24, Blanchard is already a well-traveled veteran, having competed in the 2017 Mae Young Classic, wrestling at All In, and working for promotions such as Lucha Libre AAA, Stardom, and WOW. And while women all over the world are making history, Blanchard is doing things her way.
"I think my goal ever since I started wrestling was that I want to make history in a way that’s unique to me and unique to the wrestling business. We’re in a time where women are given such a platform, and there’s the first this, the first that and the first women to do this – and it’s great. It’s so awesome for women’s wrestling and the evolution of women’s wrestling. And I couldn’t be more thrilled about that. But, I want to make history in my own way. Something that’s different," Blanchard told Alex McCarthy of TalkSPORT. "And I feel like IMPACT is given me the platform to do just that. But I’ve always said that since the beginning that I want to make history in my own way. And I didn’t really know what that looked like at the time, but day by day, a match by match, loop by loop, I’m figuring it out. It’s all kind of led me to the culmination of it this Sunday. It’s just one of the ways that we’re able to make history in my own way."
The feud with Callihan dates back months as the two headlined IMPACT Slammiversary in July 2019. And while they may be bitter enemies on-screen, they have worked together off-screen to create a feud that is more than just male vs. female.
"You know, something that’s really neat about IMPACT is they allow us to have a lot of creative control over how we are perceived on TV and over our designated storylines or whatnot. Sammy, all of our beef aside and everything that we have going on aside, is one of the most creative people I’ve ever met. And I like to think that I’m pretty creative too. But whenever your style clashes with someone new, you kind of can create something really neat," she said. "I always say that it’s really cool when I get to wrestle people that I think are great, because it takes me to a new level. And there’s a sense of pressure that comes with it that I use as fuel to take me to that next level. And Sammy, he is so talented, and he’s so creative, and he’s as great as I say he is. And he’s our world champion. Now, one thing I say about him while that may be true, is that you’re so great in this business that he can be our world champion without resorting to cheating and these nasty tactics and having all of his oVe boys coming in and jumping in the ring every other week."
Blanchard also credited Gail Kim, Tommy Dreamer, and Jimmy Jacobs as being mentors during her time in IMPACT.
Fightful will have live coverage of IMPACT Hard To Kill on Sunday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. ET. You can check out the full lineup for the show by clicking here.