Tessa Blanchard Warns & Wants Gail Kim, Talks her Magnum Finish, Homecoming, more

Jan 4, 2019 - by James Walsh

Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio
Guest: Tessa Blanchard
Date: 01/03/19
Your Host: James Walsh

Impact Wrestling’s Knockouts Champion Tessa Blanchard stepped into the Epicenter today just 4 days before stepping in to the ring with Taya Valkyrie with Gail Kim as special referee at Impact Wrestling’s Homecoming pay per view. During our conversation, we discuss Homecoming, the jump from POP TV to Pursuit, the tribute finish of Magnum which is a top rope Codebreaker, and more!

Impact Wrestling’s Homecoming takes place on January 6th from the Asylum in Nashville TN and is available on pay-per-view. For more information, visit www.ImpactWrestling.com!

Please visit www.wrestlingepicenter.com to listen to/view or download this interview!



On Gail Kim being special referee of her title defense against Taya Valkyrie at Homecoming:
“Everyone is going to see three of the best women’s wrestlers in the world in the ring at the same time which is very special. Regarding Impact making Gail Kim the special referee… I have said it before. I get it because not a single person in the Impact locker room has been able to take the title from me so why not stack the odds against the champion, right? Personally and professionally, Gail is able to separate personal and business aside. But, it is no secret that personally, she has never liked me. Professionally, she has always helped all the women. But, personally, she has never liked me. But, that’s OK! Personally, I’m not too fond of her either!”

On her true feelings of Gail Kim:
“She is one of the people, aside from my family, that made me want to get into the business. She is one of the best in the world. She is one of the pioneers that was trying to make women’s wrestling into what it is now. She fought for the women! She still fights for the women! So, while I respect her, I’m hoping that she is going to go into this match unbiased. But, you know, we really won’t know until we get there on Sunday in the ring. I’ve always done whatever is necessary to retain my Knockouts title by any means necessary. With Gail being the referee, I hope she saw what I did to referee Brandon Tolle the other day. When he got in my business, I made sure there was no more Brandon Tolle. If Gail Kim gets in my business, I’ll make sure there is no more Gail Kim.”

On her opponent Taya Valkyrie:
“As far as Taya, Taya has had opportunity after opportunity after opportunity at my title. She always comes up short. But hey, she’s married to the champion – The Heavyweight Champion! So, lets keep giving her a shot, right? That’s fine. Whatever. She’s one of the Knockouts that always takes me to my limits in different ways than I would expect. But while Taya is so good, she is still no diamond. She is still no Tessa Blanchard. I am one of the best in the world! This Sunday, everyone is going to see that.”

On performing in the birth place of Impact, the Asylum, on Sunday:
“You know, I think it is a really special thing. To be back at the Asylum, I’ve never been there but that is Impact’s roots. I think the women, especially, are going to make history this Sunday in something very, very beautiful.”

On her 2018:
“This past year, I’ve been making history in different ways than other women in the business are making history. That is the cool thing… I have the freedom to travel the world! I’ve won titles and championships all over the world! I’ve gotten to main event Korakuen in Tokyo, Japan. Coming up now, I’m going to debut on WOW Superheroes on AXS TV! I competed in the first women’s match ever to air on China TV. No one can take that from me! So, in different ways, I’m making history. That is a really neat thing for me. That is what I always wanted to do in wrestling is to travel – To go everywhere and to do everything and wrestle everyone. I’ve wrestled some of the best women and men in the world! I want to wrestle everyone in the world so when I beat them, I am the best in the world!”

On challenging for traditionally male gold in Impact:
“One thing I’ve always had in the back of my mind is I’d love to be X Division Champion one day. I think it would be a really neat thing to make that a no-gender title. One thing that I love is how versatile I’ve become. I can go toe to toe with the best men in the world. I’ve wrestled Brian Cage, AR Fox, David Starr, Tracy Williams -Some of the best in the world to me! I’ve gone toe to toe with them and given them a run for the money not because I’m a girl but because I am one of the best wrestlers in the world! I say that with confidence, not ego. I would love that platform on Impact Wrestling. I don’t know if we’re going that route. I don’t want to make those kinds of decisions. But, I think that could be a really neat thing. If done right, I think inter-gender wrestling can be great!”

On the origins of her new “Magnum” finish as a tribute to her step-dad Magnum TA:
“Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever told this story. So, I’m a huge Chris Jericho fan. I’ve always been a huge Chris Jericho fan. I was in Japan – I believe it was Osaka. I was wrestling a girl and I hit the finish and she kicked out. I’m like, “Well, fudge! What do I do now?” So, I go to the top rope and I do a move off the top rope. That was the first time that I had ever been to the top rope! From that, it progressed. I was trying to think of something that I could do to anyone that was unique to myself and still showed intensity and still had a little bit of the past in it. So, as I said, I’m a huge Chris Jericho fan – I love his finish. But, I wanted to up the anti a little bit. So, I do it off the top rope. My step-dad (Magnum TA) is an amazing person. He was an amazing wrestler. But, his career was cut short. He is someone that I look up to and someone that I respect. He is someone that I go to for advice… I think he is extremely underrated and does not get the recognition that he deserves. I think that he should be a WWE Hall of Famer, to be frank! I wanted to name something after him and I remember one of the commentators coming to me and saying, “Tessa, I need the name of some of your moves.” I was like, “Well, this is the Magnum!” (laughs) I remember my step-dad always telling me to be careful with that move. He’d say, “That ring is unforgiving. That ring hurts.” Every move, every bump! It doesn’t feel good. If it was easy, everyone would do it! It is a very taxing thing on your body. So, my step-dad told me to be careful with that move. That move is tough on me. It is a very tough thing on my body.”

On Impact leaving POP TV and heading to Pursuit:
“What is cool is, Impact isn’t trying to compete with anyone. Impact is, simply, an alternative. It is such a neat thing because you see talent that is giving, literally, 200% from the beginning of the show until the end. Nothing is just passable, everything is great! That’s what I say, I don’t want to just be passable. I want to be the best in the world! I don’t want to be good, I want to be great! So, I’m taking the time to get there – To learn from the people that are better than me and the people that have done something in the business. Nothing is just good enough. We take the time and we make it freaking great! That is the great thing about Impact – They care about each individual talent and everything that we put out on TV has a lot of thought and time put into it. A lot of people that are extremely knowledgeable, like Gail Kim for instance. Gail Kim has done so much and has so much knowledge. I think she’s extremely underrated. She wants the product to be great and she doesn’t mind taking the extra time to get it there. That is a really invaluable thing to me.”

On her goals in 2019:
“You know, I’m not sure what is going to happen in 2019 but I do know that it is going to be better than 2018. That is a huge statement to make because 2018 was absolutely amazing. But, with the WOW Superheroes on AXS TV which has Mark Cuban and Jeanie Buss behind that. I’m so excited for people to see that air in January. With Impact, I hope to retain my Knockouts championship. I hope for women to main event an Impact (PPV) event which has not been done yet. I hope to share the ring with Gail Kim one day… I hope that inter-gender wrestling can make a breakthrough. There are a lot of hopes for 2019. But, you know, I’ve been going moment by moment, match by match, and it seems to be working out so far!”

On her final thoughts heading towards Homecoming on January 6th:
“Everything about Impact Wrestling last year was on an upswing. We’ve been able to lock down talents that are the top independent talents in wrestling right now – Pentagon, Fenix, Sami Callihan, Brian Cage… It has been huge! Impact, right now, is hotter than ever. No matter what station we’re on, people go to find Impact Wrestling. The Homecoming card is loaded! You’ve got Taya and myself, you’ve got LAX and the Lucha Brothers, Ultimate X is back, Eli Drake is one of the best in the world and he’s wrestling Abyss… And then, in the main event, you have got Johnny (Impact) and Brian (Cage). The whole entire card is loaded! “

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