At just 24-years-old, Tessa Blanchard (born July 26, 1995) re-wrote history in a largely male-dominated industry. She is an American professional wrestler who was a former Impact World Champion and Impact Knockouts Champion (between 2019 and 2020) and is currently signed to Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide and Women of Wrestling (WOW).
Blanchard ticks most boxes as she has a fantastic track record inside the ring and organizations are always looking to strengthen its roster. Tessa Blanchard is one of the best female wrestlers alive right now with her incredible power and great agility, meaning she can work any style and do so confidently. She’s strong on the microphone and really does carry a star power presence. She also ticks the wrestling royalty box as a third-generation professional wrestler: Blanchard is the daughter of Four Horsemen member Tully Blanchard. In addition to performing at various independent promotions, Blanchard is a former The Crash Women’s Champion, AAA Reina de Reinas Champion, and WOW World Champion. But wait, there are many more interesting, personal facts and quotes about Tessa Blanchard that people like to know. Here are 13 of them:
13 Tessa Blanchard Facts That You Should Know!
1. Tully’s daughter is a controversial star, but there is more to Tessa than heat and titles:
It is undeniable that the daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Tully is a trailblazing pro wrestler of the modern era. She defeated Sami Callihan to become Impact World Champion in 2019, putting her name in the history books in the process, a championship win that was stained by allegations of racism and bullying in the build-up.
But if you were to trace back, like many of her peers and contemporaries, Tessa Blanchard discovered the magic of the stage from an early age. Being the daughter of an all-time great heel was always going to leave some performative genes (apples rarely fall far from trees), but it was the world of music and story that initially grabbed the child was not the violence of the squared circle.
In an interview with the San Antonio Daily Express, Blanchard stated that she never wanted to be a wrestler, instead she dreamt of a spot on Broadway. Tesse became proficient in music and theatre all through school before eventually enrolling at the Charlotte Children’s Theater, entering a world of Shakespeare and amateur productions.
As the pro wrestling industry continues to evolve, and the future of the industry depends on its ability to develop engrossing characters with the ability to tell fascinating stories. Tessa’s background stood her in good stead.
2. History with Ricochet:
Ricochet and Tessa Blanchard were a couple in real life, and it is unknown how that relationship ended.
The two even had a t-shirt available, with an illustration depicting the couple as ‘King and Queen’. The self proclaimed King’s (Ricochet) Instagram page was also largely a fan page to Tessa, full of couple pictures and saccharine captions. Nothing is eternal, and the two subsequently broke up in 2018. There were rumours of a physical altercation at the WWE Performance Center, a fight that may or may not have cost Tessa’s career at WWE, but these have never been confirmed.
Fellas who are interested in Tessa can say their final goodbye to their feelings as on November 20, 2019, Blanchard broke the news of her engagement to Mexican wrestler Miguel Olivo, better known by the ring name Daga.The couple married in August 2020 and resides in Mexico.
4. Hollywood and acting:
She was the stunt double for actress Florence Pugh in the film Fighting with My Family, produced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, about former WWE wrestler Paige.
Yes, after wrestling all over the world, wowing global audiences from Japan to New Jersey, winning championships, wrestling in opening matches and main events alike, Tessa wrestled in the movies, standing in as stunt double for an actress portraying another prodigious product of a famous wrestling family: Paige
Donning the real name Saraya-Jade Bevis, Paige is the most successful member of the famous Knight family, her accomplishments far outstripping the name in which she got her start. The 25 year old played the stunt role of one of the most important and impressive female performers of the modern age, a championship trailblazer who was forced to retire early in depressingly miserable circumstances. While she did all the stunts and wrestling scenes, Paige was played by Florence Pugh in the film.
The future Impact World Champion and fellow wrestling royalty, Tessa Blanchard can brag about the motion picture released in 2019 titled ‘Fighting With My Family’. Especially since it meant that Tessa got to wrestle in front of a packed Monday Night RAW crowd, portraying one of the most memorable moments in recent memory in the process.
5. Tessa Blanchard has a history of competing against men:
Most pro wrestling arenas are cautious when it comes to intergender wrestling, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen- and thankfully between 2019 and 2020, Tessa was able to do so.
“I’ve loved wrestling the guys since I started in pro wrestling. That’s just how it started. I was in the ring with Cedric Alexander Caleb Konley, George South, for hours and hours and hours. In one of my first matches that I remember I went a little over an hour with Georgia South in an open North Carolina armoury. It’s just where I was comfortable. It’s something that’s super organic to me. And I get why people have their view on intergender wrestling. For me, I’m very open minded and I don’t view it as a man versus a woman, I view it as just pro wrestling”.
She wrestled in the following intergender wrestling events and even bagged an IMPACT World Championship for the men’s division.
- 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, during which she lost.
- She later competed in a ladder match for the Impact X Division Championship, which was won by Ace Austin, on October 20 at Bound for Glory.
- On the November 19 episode of Impact!, Tessa Blanchard won 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 the Hard to Kill pay-per-view 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 in Impact was taped on March 7, 2020 and aired on April 7, 2020, she teamed with Eddie Edwards for the Impact World Tag Team Championship against champions The North (Ethan Page and Josh Alexander) in a losing effort.
- After going on a leave of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Blanchard departed Impact Wrestling on June 25 after her contract was terminated before it was set to expire on June 30; she was stripped of the Impact World Championship in the process.
Today, this makes her a genuine threat.
6. Prior to leaving Impact, this is what she said about the organization:
“It’s kind of neat because I’ve been with IMPACT a little over a year and a half now. And I definitely had to work my way up. But I signed with IMPACT basically on a gut feeling and every resource that they provided me with, they’re completely invaluable. From Gail Kim to Jimmy Jacobs to Tommy Dreamer acting as mentors, they’re people who have lived what I’m living now and have life experiences and have walked the path I’m walking. So on top of my dad, my stepdad, they’re great advisors and people if I ever need any advice or mentorship, they’re always there. So that’s invaluable to me. And Impact has provided that. And then I’ve also had the platform to wrestle some of the people that I perceive to be the best in the world”.
“You know, something that’s really neat about IMPACT is they allow us to have a lot of creative control over how we are perceived on TV and over our designated storylines or whatnot. Sammy, all of our beef aside and everything that we have going on aside, is one of the most creative people I’ve ever met. And I like to think that I’m pretty creative too. But whenever your style clashes with someone new, you kind of can create something really neat. I always say that it’s really cool when I get to wrestle people that I think are great, because it takes me to a new level. And there’s a sense of pressure that comes with it that I use as fuel to take me to that next level”.
7. Racism Issues and bullying allegations:
Tessa Blanchard was released from IMPACT Wrestling in mid 2020 despite being the World Champion at the time. Due to her talent, Tessa has instantly been linked to all the other top companies in the industry from AEW to WWE. However, the 25 year old doesn’t have a perfect track record and there could be just as many reasons why WWE might be hesitant.
The main reason that WWE would consider not signing Tessa Blanchard is the allegations of racism that surrounded her. In fact, the third generation wrestler was called out by several other wrestlers online and that is something that WWE will take very seriously.
Controversies like this are something the WWE organization will dislike, so signing someone with so much negativity and problems might not be the best idea, no matter how much talent she has.
During Tessa Blanchard’s time in IMPACT Wrestling, she was called out online by other wrestlers (including NXT’s Chelsea Green) for being a bully. Stories of her backstage behavior were made public knowledge and they didn’t make for good reading. According to Wikipedia:
“In January 2020, multiple female wrestlers came forward with bullying and racism allegations against Blanchard, including an incident involving Blanchard spitting in a black woman’s face and calling her a racial slur. The woman in question, Black Rose, later stated that the incident did indeed take place.Blanchard denied the allegations”.
8. She is also kind of a diva?
Tessa Blanchard didn’t have the smoothest of careers in IMPACT Wrestling outside of the ring, and that could be due to her diva-ness.
The reason she was released was reportedly down to her not sending in any taped promos, as the company had asked. Whether that’s fact or fiction remains a mystery.
9. Her wrestling royalty is extended:
Most people in the wrestling world can easily work out the link between Tessa and Tully Blanchard. Promotions go out of their way to make it clear anyway, frequently reminding viewers that Tessa is the daughter of the legendary Tully Blanchard, an integral member of the Four Horsemen. They may even go further, reminding you that Tessa is in fact a third-generation star, with grandad Joe Blanchard getting his start in Calgary back in the 1950s.
But there is a lot more wrestling history in Tessa’s family, beyond the Blanchard name. Her stepfather is none other than Magnum T.A., one of the great ‘what if’ stories of the modern pro wrestling eras! Magnum is the two-time NWA United States Heavyweight Champion who was all set to reach the top of the mountain before a devastating car crash forced him into early retirement.
Magnum also happened to wed Tully Blanchard’s ex-wife, and Tessa and her siblings moved in with her mother and stepfather when Tessa was just four. It took years for Tessa to decide on a career in the squared ropes, but having such a wide range of brains to pick from surely gave her a leg-up from the start.
10. As soon as she was legally old enough to do so, Tessa left home:
A plethora of pro wrestling experience is a good thing to call on, but it is somewhat useless if you aren’t actually in touch with your family. Tessa has spoken on a number of occasions of a brief period where she cut all contact with her family, as years of substance abuse and neglect became too much.
That path led primarily through bars and clubs for the most part, with extended periods of work as a bartender keeping Tessa’s head above water. Bar work may not be the most glamorous but it can put you in some seriously unusual (and not to mention confrontational) situations, excellent experience for segueing into the chaotic politics of professional wrestling.
Not that the squared circle was anywhere near Tessa’s mind. A year passed without a word of reconciliation either way, until all of a sudden it was 2012 and it was WrestleMania season. Tully was going into the WWE Hall of Fame. A life-changing experience was right around the corner.
11. She had an epiphany at a young age:
The WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012 was headlined by the recently-retired Edge, with a strong class of inductees weighing up the bill. Inductees such as Mil Mascaras, Yokozuna, Ron Simmons and Mike Tyson, along with the classic incarnation of the Four Horsemen. Ric Flair became a two-time inductee in the process, while Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, JJ Dillon and Tully Blanchard finally got themselves inside.
A young Tessa Blanchard was in the audience to see her father get inducted, and the future Impact World Champion has often said that it was this experience that made her want to give wrestling a go.
“Why wouldn’t it? Seeing your father inducted into a Hall of Fame on the biggest weekend of the year, all the glitz, glamour, pomp and circumstance, the respect afforded to the past and the desire and commitment displayed by the future. It was surely just about as infectious as an atmosphere could get”
Soon enough, Tessa Blanchard wanted to become a professional wrestler and she knew she had to look for wrestling schools not too far from her, keeping it a secret from her family all the while.
12. Training with Cedric:
Tessa found a wrestling school just 20 minutes from her home and a reputable one at that. When she turned 18, Blanchard began training at Highspots Wrestling School, a Charlotte-based school run by George South. A much-loved career jobber, South carved out more of a name for himself as a trainer as opposed to a performer, and Highspots has trained a bevy of men and women who have gone on to make a splash in the modern wrestling world.
Tessa Blanchard is among them, as well as the man she considers a ‘big brother’ in the wrestling world. Cedric Alexander was in the same class as Tessa and did all he could to help the rookie along, the two frequently having long matches once practice was over. The two displayed a commitment that went above and beyond what was expected of them, often training until the early hours of the morning.
Tessa and Cedric eventually went down different paths but a reunion isn’t out of the question, what with rumours frequently circling about Blanchard and WWE. If MVP and The Hurt Business find themselves on the lookout for a female component, they could do worse than give Tessa a call.
13. Career-Changing Advice From CCC:
After a few months of training, Tessa eventually got back in touch with her family, the magic of the squared circle reuniting the Blanchards and the T.A.s. Blanchard also showed that she had a quick grip and a clear indication of the benefit of lengthy matches with Cedric Alexander after hours. You could say that all of her ducks were neatly in a row, but something still wouldn’t click for Tessa when it came to the audience. In desperate need of advice, Blanchard found it from a source she didn’t expect to hear from:
During her tough times with regards to audience appreciation, constant inner nagging that the crowds had no real interest in her because of her name, pressures that she was where she was because of lineage alone- Carlito stepped up to help.
Wise words were needed to change her mindset, and those words came from none other than former WWE secondary champion himself, Carlito Caribbean Cool, the son of the iconic Carlos Colon.
“Tessa, you don’t need to apologise for who your dad is, you don’t need to apologise for what family you’re in. You were born that way. But you do need to work hard and you do need to back it up.” Ignoring the irony of Carlito telling someone to work hard for now, the words make all the sense in the world. A famous name can open doors, but monikers and birth certificates are irrelevant once the bell rings.