The Timeline of How It All Went Down
· 5 min read September 11, 2020
Here at Pro Wrestling Overtime, we’re always keeping an eye out for new storylines. We stay on track of developing stories and the reasons why it is happening. Tessa Blanchard. Haven’t heard that name in awhile? Let’s breakdown the why and how everything started.
The Start of the Battle With Tessa Blanchard
Impact Wrestling and Tessa Blanchard together had set out to make history starting with the July 2019 Slammiversary with her wrestling in an intergender match against Sami Callihan. Of course, no one knew this was the start of her babyface run that would lead to a history making moment. It also started her downfall in Impact Wrestling.
With that match, Tessa Blanchard and Sami Callihan started telling one of the best stories in pro wrestling of 2019. After a rigorous and hard fought six month battle with Callihan, Tessa Blanchard made history on January 12th, 2020. She became not only Impact Wrestling’s first woman to hold the Impact World Championship, but also the youngest at 24 years old.
Impact Wrestling had decided to put many eggs in her basket. They had backed her to the hilt after racist comment allegations came out right before she won their title. They had made it clear to her and the world that she was the future. Little did they know she wasn’t going to be their future.
Where Did She Go and Why?
Well, from my understanding (feel free to tell me your opinion in comments), Tessa asked for some time off from Impact Wrestling in March. She taped her last match for Impact Wrestling on March 7th. She went to Mexico where she lives with her now husband, Daga. At the time, they were in the process of planning their August wedding.
Covid-19 hit in late February/early March and President Trump immediately closed our borders. Tessa Blanchard was still in Mexico. Impact Wrestling contacted Tessa Blanchard asking when she was coming back because as an American citizen she could cross the border. However, then fiance Daga could not because he is not an American citizen. She called the American embassy and was told they had no clue when the travel ban would be lifted allowing him to travel or her to go back to Mexico if she entered the United States.
Tessa Blanchard and Covid-19
At the time, Americans believed Covid-19 would be a short term issue. Tessa and Impact Wrestling did not see any problems with her making the April 21st Rebellion-Night One Main Event. She was supposed to defend her title against Michael Elgin and Eddie Edwards. This did not happen. Tessa Blanchard issued a tweet stating that she was worried about traveling because of Covid-19.
Was she more worried about getting Covid-19 or about getting back into Mexico? At this time with some of Daga’s family being older I believe her and that it was about Covid-19 and her worries. Remember little was known about the spread of it and we were finding out many new facts all the time. In April, I don’t think her wedding was an issue…yet.
Continuing Into May and June
On May 5th, POST Wrestling wrote that she had missed the Nashville tapings where Impact Wrestling started a tournament to determine her new number one contender. Bleacher Report stated that Impact Wrestling asked her to video herself from Mexico. She was supposed to talk about different topics such as her championship goals, competitors and the tournament. They wanted the videos to show in the late May episode and especially the June 1st episode. Tessa didn’t send them.
Quickly, it became apparent though that in late May to early June, Tessa’s concerns had switched. Many fans still thought she was concerned about Covid-19. What many didn’t know and Impact Wrestling wasn’t saying was the ticking clock on Tessa Blanchard’s contract had started. Her contract was set to run out June 30th. This was putting Impact Wrestling under the gun because their biggest show every year is Slammiversary. It was scheduled for July 18th.
The negotiations on her contract had stalled and it became obvious to Impact Wrestling that Tessa had plans to become a free agent. She was going to obtain offers from other promotions. She never ruled out returning to Impact Wrestling. However, Tessa had stated that more money and date availablity would need to happen. At this point, Impact Wrestling wanted Tessa Blanchard to agree to return to Impact Wrestling and drop her title.
PW Insider stated that Impact Wrestling also believed that they could do as WWE had started doing to their wrestlers who had injuries. They wanted to just add extra time to Tessa’s contract and extend it to keep her. Of course like it has MANY WWE wrestlers, this angered Tessa that they would add time because of a global pandemic. Especially after Impact Wrestling had stated that wrestlers did not have to risk themselves. In the meantime, Tessa was asking for a small time extension in order for her to come back for Slammiversary including additional money.
The Wedding Concerns
Tessa quickly realized that if she entered the United States and then there was a possibility of her not making it back to Mexico for her wedding. Especially if Impact Wrestling added time to her current contract due to being out for Covid-19 issues. Her wedding was scheduled for late August. She knew with Slammiversary on July 18th and then additional promotion she could be cutting it close. Tessa would need to quarantine herself before the wedding to make sure that she did not carry Covid-19 to any guests in Mexico.
Part of Tessa, I believe thought she would win this battle. She always had with Impact Wrestling. I think she thought they would give her a three or six month extension with additional money or bonuses to come back. They would allow her to leave for her wedding. In the beginning, I think she believed she would come back into the United States. By late May I think she knew there wasn’t going to be a solution.
Tessa Blanchard and the Termination
On June 25th, Impact Wrestling terminated Tessa Blanchard’s contract. “When it became increasingly obvious that Blanchard appearing wasn’t going to happen, Impact opted to cut bait, terminate the deal and move forward,” according to PW Insider. Tessa couldn’t believe that Impact Wrestling had taken this step, but began to focus on her wedding. She tried not to pay attention to the media. They were painting her as a spoiled brat and as an impulsive troubled star that may not be worth taking a chance on in the future.
What do you think? Is Tessa Blanchard worth a chance for a promotion? Can she rebound to reach her potential? Or is she really a troubled wrestler that has shot herself in the foot way too many times? Let us know right here on Pro Wrestling Overtime. Stay tuned for my take about her and where she goes next in Part II.