“Impact Wrestling has confirmed that it has terminated its relationship with Tessa Blanchard and stripped her of the Impact Wrestling World Championship.”

After the announcement on Tuesday of Joey Ryan and Dave Crist firings and the suspension of Michael Elgin, Tessa Blanchard release just took the wrestling world by surprise. If we won’t detail the reasons why Impact Wrestling chose to terminate their relationship with their World Champion, this decision will change the direction taken by the company for the next few weeks and months.

Blanchard made her debut with Impact Wrestling at Redemption, in April 2018, when she joined the commentary team during a match between Kiera Hogan and Taya Valkyrie. She would wrestle her first match a few weeks later in the Impact Zone. At ReDefined special event, in August 2018, Blanchard defeated Allie and Su Yung in a three-way match to win the Impact Knockouts Championship. She would get involved in a long feud with Taya Valkyrie who would win the championship at Homecoming in January 2019.

Tessa started a feud with Impact Wrestling Hall of Famer Gail Kim as she was the special guest referee at Homecoming and cost Tessa the belt when she hit the Eat Defeat. The two would compete at Rebellion on April 28. Blanchard defeated Kim in what was officially Kim’s last match. After the match, Kim praised Blanchard for her abilities and as the future of the division when Blanchard thanked Kim and returned her respect.

On July 7, Blanchard competed against Sami Callihan in the first intergender match to ever headline a professional wrestling pay-per-view event at Slammiversary XVII. She later competed in a ladder match for the Impact X-Division Championship, which was won by Ace Austin, at Bound for Glory. She would later win a Gauntlet match against Daga, Moose, Rich Swann, Michael Elgin, and Brian Cage to become the No. 1 contender for the Impact World Championship. At Hard to Kill PPV on January 12, 2020, Blanchard defeated Callihan to win the Impact World Championship, becoming the first woman in history to win the title.

Her last match was aired on April 7, 2020, when she teamed up with Eddie Edwards for the Impact World Tag Team Championship against champions The North (Ethan Page and Josh Alexander). Due to COVID-19, Tessa was tuck in Mexico with her fiancé and fellow Impact wrestler Daga. She couldn’t defend the title at Rebellion last April. She was announced to defend the belt at Slammiversary on July 18.

This announcement questions the fate of the Impact World Championship as the match was made official for Slammiversary XVIII, where she was supposed to compete in a Fatal Five-Way match against Trey Miguel, Eddie Edwards, Michael Elgin, and Ace Austin. We can expect Impact Wrestling to make of this match whether a number one contendership bout or a match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, revived by Moose a few weeks ago.

We can also question the fate of the intergender direction that the company chose to take last year. Sami Callihan and Tessa Blanchard had epitomized this new attitude a way no one would have expected it to, with pride and respect, bringing more wrestlers alongside them in this new experience, like Ethan Page, Taya Valkyrie, Jake Crist, Josh Alexander, Eddie Edwards and more. We will see in the coming weeks if the company chooses to continue this way, or not, even if nothing prevents them from continuing it.

TNA/Impact Wrestling have survived many crises in its long life. The rebuilding process that President Ed Nordholm and Executive Vice-Presidents Scott D’Amore and Don Callis have developed over the last 2 years couldn’t be criticized as the company has never been more interesting to watch and is trending on social media, week after week. Stay tuned in the coming weeks on SteelChair for more news on Impact Wrestling and the fate of their World Championship.

Co-Written with Anthony Davies – Image courtesy of Impact Wrestling 

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

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