At Bound For Glory, Deonna Purrazzo will put her Knockouts Title on the line against Mickie James. It all started when James appeared at Slammiversary and recruited Purrazzo to compete at NWA’s first-ever all women’s pay-per-view, NWA EmPowerrr. After several heated exchanges with James in the leadup to the event, Purrazzo would go on to retain her Knockouts Title against the legendary Melina on that very night. But it was what happened just 24 hours later at NWA 73 that truly changed everything. Following her return to the in-ring competition, Mickie James was assaulted by Deonna Purrazzo, bringing a grim end to her monumental moment.
Vowing to show her what “Hardcore Country” was all about, James would retaliate with an all-out attack on Purrazzo inside the IMPACT Zone. But when James challenged Purrazzo to a Knockouts Title match at IMPACT Wrestling’s biggest event of the year, Purrazzo would turn her down, citing that she hadn’t earned the opportunity. Luckily for James, IMPACT Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore happened to disagree, vetoing Purrazzo’s decision and making the match official. Last week, Purrazzo invited herself to James’ house and they brawled brutally.
Will Deonna Purrazzo continue her dominant reign as one of the greatest Knockout Champions of all time? Or will Mickie James prove why she’s one of the pillars of IMPACT Wrestling and capture Knockouts gold once again? The two wrestlers not only talked about Bound For Glory this Tuesday on a press pass but they also shared with host Gail Kim their vision of women’s wrestling, and many other things.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 1, 2021
The Epic Road To Bound For Glory
- A cat-and-mouse game…
Mickie: “Obviously, I didn’t see that coming. So, I didn’t know how that was going to work out. Luckily my son wasn’t there because we would be having a much different conversation right now, for one. I suppose, eventually, I would have called the authorities and had her arrested and her cute little white shoes. She would look really cute in a jail cell like that.”
Deonna: “It seems like everyone’s spitting the narrative a little bit. I think we forget what happened at Slammiversary when Mickie came to my house, to my Impact Wrestling, our Impact Wrestling, and attacked me. So as far as I’m concerned, we’ve spun this narrative so far to somehow make me the bad guy. But I’m the victim in all of this.”
Mickie: “You’re the victim? If I remember correctly, I came to Empowerrr to invite you to be a part of something that I thought was pretty special, and I respected you as a champion. I think that you are a star, and I was grateful for the opportunity to have you and Impact Representative at Empowerrr. I’m sorry that your ego allowed you to spin this in another way, but if I look at it, I think it’s twice now that you have had to attack me behind my back and catch me off guard in a place, where you knew that I wouldn’t expect it. That’s how you’ve gotten the advantage twice now.”
- If you could add a stipulation to your match…
Deonna: “Mickie has already professed how great of a technical women’s wrestler I truly am. So, if I get to pick the stipulation, it’s gonna be a submission match. That’s what I do best. I break arms and that is the strategy I go into every match, wanting to use. So, I would pick a submission match so I could snap her arms, clean off her body.”
Mickie: “I bet you would. I would have to say, based on what happened at my house, we could either go old school like the country style and do the old four corners or the bull rope match, or we could just do something that I’ve had a lot of success with before and we could do a cage match. To make sure that your King couldn’t be out there with you. To make sure we don’t have anybody interfering to help you out or anything like that so.”
Gail Kim: “I personally would have chosen a Last Knockout Standing match.”
Mickie: “I like that too.”
- Which attribute do you believe outweighs the other
Mickie: “I don’t know if one really outweighs the other, just because I was the most decorated just means that I lost them more, unfortunately. What it does say is that I’ve had different people to perhaps defend it against. I think that Deonna has definitely dominated since she’s walked into the doors, and she’s definitely made a name for herself, and she’s certainly made a statement at my expense. I think that there’s a lot more than just the championship when I think about what’s at stake here and what’s on the line. Of course, it’s about the Championship at the end of the day, but this has gotten really personal, and so that’s the edge. That’s the real edge.”
Deonna: “If I had to weigh out dominance or experience, I think there’s a middle ground between the two, but I think for me, my edge is that I’ve been doing this consistently for the last 18 months at Impact Wrestling. I’ve been at the top of our Knockouts Division. I’ve been the champion for the majority of that time. At NWA 73, I watched Mickie go out for her first match in nearly a year, and I saw her question herself. I saw her wonder, can I do this? Am I gonna be great at this? It’s been a year. What’s it gonna be like out there? I don’t have those questions about myself. I don’t have the if or what happens after. I just know how to be a dominant champion, and I’ve done that and I’ve proved that. So, for me, it’s going out there and saying, I’ve done this, and I can do it, and I’m gonna continue to do it forever, but for Mickie, it’s the question she’s gonna ask herself before she walks through the curtain. She has done it and she knows she has done it. The world knows she’s done it, but can she do it again? I don’t have those questions.”
- How important that match is
Deonna: “My biggest focus is not anything but Bound of Glory. This is the biggest match. One might say that I’ve had this far. Um so, my focuses are set on this, and it’s been an incredible year. I’m grateful for all of the cool things I’ve been able to do and the history I’ve been able to make for myself. I mean, really, carve out my name as the best technical women’s wrestler in the world, but this match is gonna be a tell-tale sign that if I am what I am and I can do what I say I’m gonna do, and that’s defending my Knockouts Championship successfully. That is what’s gonna cement my legacy permanently. I have no other focus right now but my match at Bound for Glory.”
Mickie: “Well, it’s a real shame that’s what you’re banking on to cement your legacy cuz I don’t think that’s gonna work out for you, Deonna. However, I’m gonna be honest, I’ve been fortunate enough to do a lot in the business, and I had taken a lot of my focus and put it in women’s wrestling and representing that, be able to put on Empowerrr, to have the opportunity to come back and fight for the Knockouts Championship, something that I’ve held three times after not holding any championship anywhere in the last, it’s been a while. It’s been a while since I’ve held gold. So it’s a huge opportunity for me, and it’s a huge opportunity for me against Deonna, who is, without a shadow of a doubt, probably one of the best women out there right now, globally across the globe, and so, it’s gonna test me on a lot of levels. It’s mentally testing me, and I’ve been prepping for it, like mentally and physically, because I know that she’s gonna bring 10,000 percent. So, I’m gonna have to do the same. Love her or hate her, you gotta respect that about her.”
The Women’s Evolution and “Knockouts Knockdown”
- How important it is for you to have an event focused completely on women’s wrestling and its evolution to what it is today
Mickie: “It’s incredible, and it shows all the amazing things that all the women can do across the world, and I think that Knockouts Division and Impact have always been ahead of the curve with the women. I feel like they’ve always done really cool stuff, and so, to bring back Knockouts Knockdown, and to be a part of that, on the commentary team with Veda, and to watch all of these matches, live, in person, and unfold. It was just amazing. Coming off Empowerrr and then being asked to be a part of this was really special to me. Then, there was a special match that I had obviously a real interest in, which was Deonna’s Pick Your Poison match.”
Gail: “Coming off the tale of NWA Empowerrr, for me to be able to be a part of that, I told Mickie after the event happened, thank you so much because us women, we always feel like we’re fighting, no matter where. I’m retired, and I still feel like I’m fighting for women’s wrestling at this point, even though things have gotten much better. I have to say, to know that we did it together and not only was the show fulfilling, entertainment-wise for the fans, but it was emotionally fulfilling for us as women in this business to know that all these years of hard work has paid off in some way. And for us to be able to bring Knockouts Knockdown that hasn’t been back since 2017, to bring it back right off of that and taking that momentum, it’s been great, like using a lot of the same girls, the really top of the industry right now. It’s just a really exciting time for women right now. I think 2021 for women’s wrestling has been a huge success.”
Deonna: “I think to have both of these events so close to each other really pushes forward the narrative that women’s wrestling is important and should be cared about and is a draw. We can do everything that we want to really, but Knockouts KnockDown is really special to me because that was my eighth professional wrestling match with TNA/Impact (in 2016 against Madison Rayne), so it was a really full-circle feeling when we were told there was gonna be a Knockouts Knockdown and now I got to be a part of it on the flip side. So, I’m really excited to see what the reaction is gonna be on Saturday when everyone sees this event. I think we brought in some really great girls who are looking for an opportunity, and again, I know what that feeling is. I really think that people are gonna pay attention to these ladies, and then, I’m obviously the Virtuosa. So, I am the head of the pack at IMPACT and I really am excited about my match. It doesn’t matter who Mickie picked for me in this Pick Your Poison thing because I’ve dominated them all, most of our Knockouts roster, most of the outside ladies that have come in. So, I have no problem with whoever you picked, Mickie.”
- On free agents and young talents
Mickie: “The whole free agent thing is a cool thing. I think because they can kind of show up wherever and that’s a delightful surprise. I don’t really know. Whoever it is, I hope they don’t show up in our match because I got a lot of work to do out there already and I got a lot of butts to kick already. So, I don’t need two.”
Deonna: “I would agree that being a free agent is cool, and we’ve seen a bunch of cool people come into IMPACT Wrestling over the last couple of months. Chelsea Green is one of those people. We’re bringing in a ton of free agents for our Knockouts Knockdown pay-per-view. So, I think it’s awesome. Giving them the opportunity at Bound for Glory, at our biggest event of the year to come in and make a statement is essential to any wrestler that wants to renew themselves, and I got that opportunity at Slammiversary to win the Knockouts Championship for the first time and really solidify myself. So, it’ll be interesting to see who shows up. Definitely. And I hope some people do to shake up our Knockouts Division. More people for me to beat after I kick Mickie’s butt.”
Mickie: “Two women who I really thought who were unsigned or untapped talent that were at Empowerrr that I really thought was Tootie Lynn. Obviously, I think Little Tootie Lynn, she’s so cute and so young and hungry and just so sweet and humble. Another person that I thought did a remarkable job is Masha Slamovich, and I think she’s a star. She’s got a lot of sauce, and she’s quite poisonous if you will. Or it could be.
Deonna: “When I came back to the indies, the first person I really wanted to wrestle with was Rok-C, and she just recently won the Ring of Honor Women’s Championship. It’s really exciting to see her kinda come into her own, and I feel like there’s a ton of similarities between us. So, I just have a special place in my heart for her and then, someone who actually comes from my training school and was the first person who came to mind, Megan Bayne. I’ve wrestled her quite a bit up in the NorthEast. I’m really excited to see where the next year or two takes her.”
One and the other
- Something you like or admire about your opponent
Mickie: “I will say what I admire most about Deonna is what she’s done since she’s walked into IMPACT Wrestling, and she’s really carved out her own name. I think that you’ve done a remarkable job, Deonna. I will say that, from professional to professional. She’s an amazing talent. I’ve watched her matches and her ability to go in there with all of her opponents and have what I like to say is the match of the night, and I know that at Bound For Glory, regardless of what anyone says, you’re going to be up for the fight of your life, and I expect nothing less than that from you. So, the real winners, hopefully, are the fans.”
Deonna: “I admire most how headstrong Mickie is about women’s wrestling, and how much she loves it, and wants, again like we’ve been talking about, to put it at the forefront of professional wrestling. That is something I dreamt about doing myself as a child growing up, wanting women to be more than they were perceived to be. So to be working with women who feel that same way, and are in a position to make it happen, is very special to me. So that is what I most admire about you, Mickie.”
Knockouts Knockdown will air live on Impact Plus this Saturday at 8 PM EST (1 AM BST), YouTube for IMPACT Ultimate Insiders, and Fite TV.
Bound For Glory will air live from Las Vegas on Saturday, October 23 at 10 PM EST (3 AM BST) on Pay-Per-View in North America and around the world digitally via FITE TV.
IMPACT Wrestling is airing on Thursday at 8/7c on AXS TV in the USA and around the world on IMPACT Wrestling’s new YouTube membership Impact Insiders.
All pics, screencaps and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling, AXS TV, Fight TV and Dan The JOBR