Impact Wrestling Star Tessa Blanchard Attempts To Become First Female World Champion
This Sunday, Tessa Blanchard aims to make pro wrestling history. If she can defeat Impact world champion Sami Callihan at the Hard To Kill pay-per-view this Sunday night, she will become the first woman to ever hold a major world title. And in doing so, she will follow in the footsteps of the true greats who have held the championship before her. Kurt Angle, Mick Foley, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Sting are just a small sampling of the iconic lineage of the Impact World Championship. If Blanchard defeats Callihan on Sunday, she will become the first woman to walk amongst them.
Tessa Blanchard is a third-generation wrestler with a legendary bloodline. Her grandfather Joe Blanchard wore tag team gold in various NWA territories in the 1950s and 1960s. Her father is current AEW personality Tully Blanchard. Tully was a legendary competitor for Jim Crockett Promotions in the 1980s, where he reached national prominence as a trusted lieutenant for 'Nature Boy' Ric Flair in the legendary Four Horsemen. He would later accompany fellow Horseman Arn Anderson to the WWF, where the pair held tag team gold as The Brain Busters. As if that wasn't enough of a decorated wrestling lineage, Tessa's stepfather is Magnum TA, another top star of Jim Crockett Promotions and who competed in classic battles with Tully, including an iconic 'I Quit' match in 1985.
Women's wrestling has seen a surge of popularity in recent years, with fans demanding to see more of their favourite female athletes. Female wrestlers are now treated as main-event attractions, with WWE finally taking the step to have women headline WrestleMania last year. However, the subject of intergender wrestling remains a divisive one.
The practice of women wrestling against men thrives on the independent scene, and many current WWE stars such as Toni Storm, Tegan Nox and Asuka cut their teeth on such battles before joining the company. But in the mainstream intergender battles remain rare. Impact Wrestling have done admirable work in presenting Tessa Blanchard as an equal to any wrestler on the roster. Blanchard has blazed a trail with countless memorable battles not only with Callihan, but also powerful heavyweight Brian Cage, former WWE star Rich Swann and cult favourite Joey Ryan. Tessa's incredible run to the top of Impact's main-event scene is a testament to the modern wrestling audience's hunger for intergender wrestling.
Tessa has a chance to write her name in the history books as wrestling's first-ever female world champion. Even the legendary Chyna, who captured the WWF Intercontinental Championship during her record-breaking WWF run, never achieved this feat. However, she cannot afford to look past current belt holder Sami Callihan.
Nicknamed 'Death Machine,' Callihan blazed a violent trail through the independent scene, walking a path laced with brutal bouts and bloody deathmatches before landing in NXT. Unsatisfied with life under the WWE umbrella, Callihan left and found his way to Impact. Since his arrival, he has caused devastation alongside his oVe (Ohio Versus Everything) stablemates Jake and Dave Crist and Madman Fulton. Blanchard will have to overcome not only a well-travelled veteran at the top of his game, but the interference of his ever-present gang of followers.
Tessa Blanchard will need to walk through fire to make history at Hard To Kill on Sunday. If her previous battles with Callihan are anything to go by, we are set for a classic encounter as she attempts to deservedly write her name into the history books. A Blanchard win would be a victory not only for her, but also for women's wrestling and where it stands in 2020.
Impact Wrestling's Hard To Kill will be held on 12th January in Dallas, Texas. Fans can tune in by signing up to FITE TV.
Featured Image Credit: Impact Wrestling