If you’re not watching Impact Wrestling these days, you are missing the brilliance of Tessa Blanchard. Not to mention, there is also one of the most interesting storylines in wrestling going on during their weekly show. Tessa Blanchard is currently in a feud with Sami Callihan.
Blanchard has slowly turned from the biggest heel in Impact Wrestling’s women’s division to, arguably, the biggest face in the entire company.
Tessa completed a program with Taya Valkerie over the Knockout’s Championship and then moved onto Callihan. Callihan and his oVe faction were involved in a short storyline with Scarlett Bordeaux. Due to the fact that Callihan and his cronies were giving Bordeaux a hard time. Out came Blanchard to make the save.
Slammiversary: Blanchard vs. Callihan
Over the next few weeks, Blanchard and Callihan continued to cross each other’s paths. Ultimately, this lead to an incredible match at Slammiversary. Callihan came out on top, but Blanchard earned his respect.
If you didn’t see this match, find a way to watch it. Blanchard more than held her own in a very violent and vicious match. Callihan didn’t hold back. Neither did Blanchard. There were lots of hardcore spots and even a few really nasty spots on the ramp.
Blanchard didn’t blink an eye. Blanchard has been competing against men regularly in Mexico. Even though she is smaller, she is wrestling the style of matches that make her believable as an opponent. She delivers a great forearm shot and the Magnum (top-rope Code Breaker) is a perfect foil for larger male opponents. Impact Wrestling is far from perfect, but they are really hitting on all cylinders in this story. From the booking of the matches to the promos to the build, you can’t ask for much better.
Unlikely Partners: Callihan and Blanchard Team Up
Impact Wrestling would then go on to host the Impact Mash-Up Tag Team Tournament. Blanchard and Callihan would become tag-team partners. This tournament featured both men and women who were put in tag teams regardless of alliances or faction connections. Unlike the Mixed-Match Challenge, Impact is allowing men and women to compete against each other.
Blanchard and Callihan won the tournament and now were set to face off at Impact Unbreakable. If you aren’t familiar with Callihan’s work in Impact, he is a despicable heel. Some say, he might even be the best heel in the business. Either way, he’s definitely doing incredible work in Impact. He is the perfect opponent for Blanchard. Because his character and the truly disgusting individual he portrays, it’s very believable he has no qualms being violent against a woman.
The thing that is so great about this angle is how much they are giving to Blanchard. Impact could have been lazy and given Callihan the majority of the match, but Blanchard took a ton of the match. Again, Blanchard comes out looking like a star. She is actually coming out looking like the biggest star.
Tessa Blanchard vs. Sami Callihan is “Just Professional Wrestling”
After Eli Drake turned down the opportunity to wrestle against Tessa Blanchard, Sami Callihan has embraced it. Callihan cuts a promo about facing Tessa at Unbreakable. There’s been discussion on Twitter on intergender wrestling and the believability. Impact has taken a clear stance on this subject. As stated in the above promo, watching Blanchard and Callihan is just professional wrestling. It’s actually damn good professional wrestling.
At Unbreakable, Callihan went over again. Having been conditioned by WWE’s 50/50 booking, I fully expected Blanchard to win here. She didn’t. However, they had another spectacular match. This match is available on the Impact Plus app. You get a free month after signing up. My suggestion is to get the free month and catch this match.
Will Blanchard become “The Man” in Impact Wrestling
While other’s are claiming to create a revolution or host an evolution for women in wrestling. Tessa Blanchard is actually doing it. Even though she lost the first two matches, Blanchard has issued a warning for Callihan. She plans to come after him. Due to winning the mash-up tournament and beating Blanchard, Callihan gets a shot at Brian Cage and the Impact World Championship. Don’t be surprised for Callihan to come out victorious and set up the 3rd match in a trilogy, but for the title.
Don Callis has the book in Impact. He witnessed the Omega/Okada trilogy from a front row seat in New Japan. One of the great things about that rivalry was watching the progression of Omega. Omega was able to learn and grow as a wrestler and eventually overcame this unbeatable force in Okada.
We are witnessing a similar storyline progression for Blanchard. She has beaten other men, but Callihan is her foil. In storyline, we are watching her learn and grow to ultimately beat Callihan. Outside of the story, fans of Impact have been watching a young wrestler grow into the biggest star in a company.
Tessa Blanchard is The Biggest Star in Impact Wrestling
Blanchard is from a wrestling family. She has it in her genes. Unlike her dad, she isn’t going to play second fiddle to any man. When you watch Blanchard, she isn’t reduced to somebody’s girlfriend. She isn’t treated like a side-show on display to gain PR reactions. Callis and the Impact executives can clearly see she is the best professional wrestler on a very good roster. Instead of saying look at us we’re pushing a woman, they are letting a woman earn her way to the top based on her accomplishments.
Blanchard is fantastic and will only get better. She has a confidence and a believability in her promos other wrestlers, including women and MEN, should strive for. She’s putting on fantastic matches and can keep up with any man she’s gone against.
Callihan and Callis deserve a ton of credit. A lot of men could be chauvinistic and say they aren’t going to allow a woman to upstage them. However, Callihan has been extremely giving. It doesn’t matter though because Blanchard would take it anyway. She’s just that good.
If this were on a bigger stage, this would be the story in professional wrestling. As a wrestling fan, pay attention. What Tessa Blanchard and Impact wrestling are doing is truly fantastic. The natural progression will be to crown Tessa Blanchard the Impact World Champion. That’s when Blanchard will truly be “The Man” in women’s professional wrestling. Or just professional wrestling as Sami Callihan would say.