** IMPACT Wrestling held a media call featuring IMPACT World Champion Tessa Blanchard (audio courtesy of the Fightful Pro Wrestling YouTube channel). Tessa was asked about the allegations against her, referring to when multiple wrestlers spoke out on Twitter about her bullying them and bringing up that Tessa made a racially charged remark towards La Rosa Negra in Japan. Tessa put out a statement about the situation weeks ago and she further denied those allegations during the media call.
“You know, it was a very emotional weekend. It was full of highs, full of lows. I chose to step away from social media for a little bit because of all the things that were going on, but you know, with everything that was going on that weekend, not everyone’s gonna like me. Not everyone’s gonna agree with what I choose to do with my life. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve faced challenges. One thing I will say though is I’ve never used a racial slur of any kind. It’s just not in my heart, it’s not something that I’ve done, it’s not something that I will do. It’s just not true. Some people, they look at social media and someone will make an accusation, someone will say something and then everyone hops on the bandwagon. We’ve all got our own stories. There’s a side of everyone’s life that’s public and there’s a part that’s private. There’s a part that’s for all the world to see and can be judged by anyone that’s actually interested in it, and it’s very unfortunate that some people resort to saying certain things but it’s just not true and that is as much as I’ll say on it because I know who I am. People online, that’s the world we live in with social media. I’ve faced challenges and obstacles that have enabled me to persevere to become the woman and athlete I am today. This is just another stone in that step.”
Blanchard was asked was she mentally affected by everything that occurred that weekend. She said that it was a blower but she is an individual that is mentally strong and she was able to push through with her family by her side.
“You know, that weekend, I’m gonna remember for a while because it’s a moment, it’s a match, it’s an event that I’ve prepared for mentally and physically for months and months and months, and it had been built up for eight or nine months I believe. So there was already a lot of emotion into it, and the day before, I was kind of hit pretty hard. It’s something that I chose to step away from social media, to step away from everything to kind of live in the real world because, to see your co-workers and see your peers say things about you and some things are just not true about you, it did hit me very hard but, I’m the kind of person that I have extreme mental strength, and with my family, with my little sisters being there that weekend in the front row to watch everything culminate at that event, it was special for me because I knew everything that I’d been through. I was gonna have to use it as fuel almost to go out there and perform to the best of my abilities, to be the best version of Tessa Blanchard that I could be that night and go out there and win the world championship. That way, my little sister who’s 12, other little girls, any younger talent might look at me and take something that I love and I made myself great at it, to take what they love and they can be great at it too, and that’s what motivated me. I can handle almost anything. Not everyone’s gonna like you. I’m gonna build my own legacy based on my work ethic. Not by trying to win some popularity contest.”
WWE Hall Of Famer Booker T took to his Hall Of Fame podcast to share his thoughts about Tessa’s title win at Hard To Kill. Booker said it was the worst decision in IMPACT Wrestling history and explained his reasoning for thinking that. Blanchard reacted to Booker comments with the following comments:
“Well, I’m honored to be put in the championship picture. I’m under a contract, and I’ve been doing everything that’s been asked of me to do within my ability, for the wrestling fan which is why… I’m under a contract. I’ve done absolutely everything that I can do to the best of my ability for the wrestling fans. That’s what I always wanna do. I wanna compete, I wanna perform to the best of my ability for the fans. The why’s, the where for’s, that’s coming from a different meeting. A meeting that I’m not a part of and I do the best that I can to accomplish what I’m asked to do.”
Tessa Blanchard also revealed that just a few weeks prior to Hard To Kill, she had knee surgery.
“I didn’t tell people this, I didn’t go public about it but, four and a half, five weeks before that match, I had knee surgery, and I went out there 125 percent and gave my all, and I came out the world champion.”
** Inside The Ropes released another portion of their interview with William Regal. In this clip, Regal talked about his relationship with Paul “Triple H” Levesque. Regal stated that he and Levesque barely talk but the two understand one another and what each other wants from a business perspective.
“It’s a weird thing that we have. We barely talk. There will be people — we’re closer than, you can’t even say friends or whatever it is. There’s a different bond between us that’s hard to explain and he knows it as well so, he’s got people he’ll say and I know what he’s thinking and he knows what I’m thinking and I take care of it while he’s doing his thing and then he brings his bit and I bring mine, and that’s why we bonded the first day I ever met him.”
** Along with several others, Brett DiBiase, son of WWE Hall Of Famer Ted DiBiase, was arrested in an embezzlement scheme. According to WJTV, special agents from the office of State Auditor Shad White have arrested John Davis, Latimer Smith, Dr. Nancy New, Zach New and Anne McGrew in connection with a multi-million dollar embezzlement scheme. There was an eight-month investigation that took place and auditors found out that the listed names conspired to illegally obtain millions of dollars from the Temporary Assistance of Needy Families program. While preparing to embezzle the money, DiBiase was in a luxury rehab facility in California for his own drug use and Davis and Smith created documents for DiBiase to complete the embezzlement scheme, knowing he was not performing the tasks that were asked of him. To read the full story, head over to this link.
** Former 11-time ROH World Tag Team Champions The Briscoes spoke with Sports Illustrated. Jay Briscoe said that he has no desire to leave the house that they played a part in building in Ring of Honor.
“We’ve spent 18 years helping to build this house and we have no desire to move out. This is home for us. ROH has always given us the liberty to perform how we want to. The competition that happens in the ring has always been our main focus and our roster is more diverse than ever. We pride ourselves on being able to match up with any style.”
Mark Briscoe on the other hand, has considered the other options out there but stated that with ROH’s recent business moves, he feels that ROH is the place to be for The Briscoes.
“Personally, I thought about the other options,” said Mark Briscoe. “However, with the recent signings and moves that have been made in ROH, I feel that we are in the best position moving forward, and that this is the place to be in wrestling. When Ring of Honor first formed in 2002, we were there from the beginning. It was something special from the very first show. ROH influenced and changed the game perhaps more than any other promotion in wrestling history. In the ring, bell to bell. That’s what we’re about—in the ring, bell to bell.”
Both men said that they’d love to have matches with either The Usos, The Revival or the Lucha Bros.
** According to Showbuzz Daily, 97,000 viewers were tuned into WWE Backstage on FS1 on February 4th. The special guest for the show was 2020 men’s Royal Rumble winner, Drew McIntyre.
** Court Bauer noted on Twitter that the most recent episode of MLW FUSION is the third highest rated show in the history of MLW on beIN Sports.
** Kenny Omega is doing a live show with Inside The Ropes.
** Chris Van Vliet conducted an interview with The Question Mark and NWA National Heavyweight Champion Aron Stevens:
** KGNS TV ran a story about independent wrestler Rok-C who competes in Booker T’s Reality Of Wrestling promotion.
** Following up on her announcement that she was undergoing surgery again, NXT’s Karen Q shared on Twitter that her surgery was a success.
** 106.3 The Buzz published a story about Wichita Falls, Texas’ own Keith Lee having his own action figure.
** Prior to the 2/5/20 episode of Dynamite from Huntsville, Alabama going live on TNT, Riho took on Shoko Nakajima and there was a tribute segment involving Missy Hyatt and Austin Idol. After Dynamite went off the air, Jimmy Havoc took on Sonny Kiss, and Hikaru Shida took on Cassandra Golden. Next week’s AEW Dark will also feature The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson) vs. Jurassic Express (Marko Stunt & Jungle Boy).
** On the latest edition of the Sports Guys Talking Wrestling podcast, the Guerrillas Of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) joined the show. The two parties talked about the forthcoming Bullet Club Beach Party during WrestleMania 36 weekend and Tanga Loa revealed that the idea of the Beach Party/Block Party came from his partying days with his former roommate, WWE 24/7 Champion Mojo Rawley.
“Basically say thank you to the fans, connect with them and allow them to be part of our world for just a moment in time. Even if it was… but outside of wrestling, they’re always with us when we’re wrestling on TV or when they watch live streams through New Japan World, but an opportunity just for them to be around us in a relaxed environment. But just for them to hang out, and get to know us in a more intimate setting, so to speak, and I used to live with Mojo. Mojo Rawley with WWE and we used to party all the time and this is how I got the idea and I was telling Tama, I was like, ‘Dude, we gotta throw a party. This is how we say, ‘Hey, Bullet Club fans, thank you so much for being part of the ride, for supporting us all this time. Let’s have a party.’”
** Prior to NXT going live on the USA Network on February 5th, Austin Theory defeated Shane Thorne, and Kayden Carter bested Indi Hartwell in dark matches.
** Bar Wrestling: ‘We Work Hard, We Play Hard’ Results (2/5/20) Los Angeles, California
– Four Way Match: Dom Kubrick def. Douglas James, Lucas Riley and Eli Everfly
– Watts def. Zicky Dice
– RockNES Monsters (Yuma & BHK) def. Ray Rosas & Andy Brown
– Holidead def. Joey Ryan
– Heather Monroe def. Jaime Senegal
– B-Boy, Adrian Quest, & Los Luchas (Zokre & Phoenix Star) def. Rocky Romero, Chris Bey, Shota Umino & Ren Narita
** Jeff Jarrett did an interview with GiveMeSport about Elias and Elias’ return from injury.
** All Elite Wrestling posted a photo of Cody’s back after he took ten lashings from MJF and Wardlow on Dynamite.
** On the latest edition of WWE After The Bell with Corey Graves, Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks joined the show. During the Belair portion of the show, she was asked if she’s content in NXT or if she’d be interested in a move to RAW or SmackDown and here’s how Belair responded:
“I’m not gonna say that I’m content. I’m never really content. I’m always wanting more. But what I will say is, NXT is my home. I consider it my family and I love my journey that I’ve had in NXT. I feel like three and a half years in, I still have so much that I could do if I do stay in NXT for a while. I’m still chasing the title and I haven’t run out of things so I think I could have a very long career in NXT if that’s the case. But with that being said, I think… well I know, Bianca Belair is going to shine no matter where she’s at. Whether that’s NXT, RAW or SmackDown, and I just kind of just — I just go with the flow. I really believe that what’s for you will be for you and so I just continue to stay in my lane, I stay focused on myself, I do what I’m supposed to do, I don’t take days off. If I don’t get my way or things don’t go my way, I don’t take days off and I just really believe what’s for you will be for you and regardless if that’s in RAW, NXT or SmackDown, I’m gonna shine and stand out like I always do. So, wherever it takes me, I’m ready for the journey and my husband’s on RAW, so if I went to RAW, I wouldn’t necessarily complain. I get to see him a lot more but, I’m just excited for the future. I think I have endless possibilities whether it’s on RAW, NXT or SmackDown.”
Sasha Banks then joined the show and Corey asked her about her trip to the Sendai Girls’ dojo in Japan in the Summer of 2019. Sasha had the opportunity to train with Meiko Satomura and she talked about how that opportunity came to be:
“Well pretty much, I always had a goal in life to go to Japan and train, and I love learning legit everything about wrestling and culture and style and technique, and Japan was just one of my biggest things. So I knew Satomura-san from the Mae Young Classic so I sent her a message on Instagram and I was just like, ‘I would really love to come to your school and train for a little bit’ and she told me yes. So I bought a plane ticket and I went over there, and it was legit, one of my, probably best experience I’ve ever done. I legit miss Japan almost every single day. I had a great time over there and I learned so much.”
** According to Sport Business, TSN in Canada will be airing XFL regular season and playoff games.
** Booker T and his Hall Of Fame podcast co-host Brad Gilmore talked about Goldberg’s forthcoming return to WWE this coming Friday and who Goldberg could be announcing or calling out as his next opponent.
** GCW ‘The Art Of War’ Results (2/5/20) Tokyo, Japan
– GENTARO & Tomoya Hirata def. Kikutaro & Shigehiro Irie
– Toru Sugiura def. KTB
– Daisuke Sekimoto def. Chris Dickinson
– Death Match: Drew Parker, Ryuji Ito & Toshiyuki Sakuda def. Jimmy Lloyd, Matthew Justice & Orin Veidt
– Death Match: Abdullah Kobayashi def. SHLAK
– Death Match: Isami Kodaka, Kenji Fukimoto & Takashi Sasaki def. Alex Colon, Danny Havoc & Matt Tremont
** NJPW Road to New Beginning Results (2/6/20) Tokyo, Japan
– Yuya Uemura def. Yota Tsuji
– El Phantasmo def. Gabriel Kidd
– Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi def. Toa Henare & Tomoaki Honma
– SHO, YOH & Will Ospreay def. Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado & Zack Sabre Jr.
– Togi Makabe, Ryusuke Taguchi & Kazuchika Okada def. DOUKI, Taichi & Minoru Suzuki
– Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Hiromu Takahashi def. Taiji Ishimori, Jay White & KENTA
– NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships: BUSHI, EVIL & Shingo Takagi (c) def. Robbie Eagles, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii
** Laredo Morning Times did an interview with Rok-C, who wrestles for Booker T’s Reality Of Wrestling promotion. Rok-C appeared on this past Monday’s RAW in San Antonio as a part of No Way Jose’s conga line and she thinks it was just a step towards her dream of competing for the WWE one day. Rok-C is 18-years old.
“The experience was so amazing. Walking out into that crowd was so surreal to me because it’s something I’ve dreamt about since I was a little girl. Just being a part of that atmosphere, surrounded by people that inspire me, motivated me 100 times to accomplish my dream. I feel like this opportunity was just a step down the path of achieving my dream of joining the WWE one day. Right now, I’m just enjoying my journey and loving every single second of it.”
** Former 6-time WWF Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett talked to SunSport about the lineage and importance of the Intercontinental Title in WWE:
“I’ve had this conversation with a lot of folks and it’s just a completely generation now. It’s like getting a No.1 song way back, that was really something special. Now today, the methods of the distribution, it doesn’t quite carry the same cachet. That Intercontinental Title will always be that logical progression, steppingstone if you will, but nowadays we can pick up our phone and watch wrestling instantly. Years ago in WWF, and yes you had WCW and some other organizations, but there was only one main one and that’s what you watched. WCW had the U.S. Title and then others in Japan and Mexico that were steppingstones to a world championship. Nowadays due to the method of distribution, you can watch so much content that is original from independent promotions all across the world, so there are so many more belts and titles that, in essence, it brings the overall championship aura down. In WWE, you have the WWE Title and the Universal Championship that didn’t exist years ago. The I.C. Title has always been and always will be a unique belt with the lineage that goes with it. But it all depends on the champion and it always has. You are looking at the greatest of all-time, and do you know why I was the greatest of all-time? Because I told you that I’m the greatest of all-time. But it is just a different era.”
** Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted on Instagram about season two of Titan Games on NBC.
** Carmella and Otis Dozovic will be on next week’s WWE After The Bell.
** SPORTbible released another portion of their interview with NXT Champion Adam Cole.
** Titus O’Neil appeared on News Channel 8 to promote the 2020 Sant’ Yago Knight Parade.
** Southpaw Regional Wrestling characters and the stage set-up will be included in the February 7th WWE 2K20 update.
** SunSport spoke with Adam Cole and Cole told the publication about the origins of his “Bay Bay” catchphrase and first saying the catchphrase during his NXT debut at TakeOver: Brooklyn in 2017.
** Xavier Woods and Tyler Breeze have officially kicked off season two of Battle Of The Brands:
** Sheamus did an interview with SPORTbible in-which he talked about improving his physique and having his sights set on becoming WWE Intercontinental Champion.
** While speaking with the Orlando Sentinel, Jordan Devlin said he’s been in the wrestling business for well over a decade but feels like he’s only been good for the past three years.
“I often say that I’ve been wrestling for 18 years but I’ve only been good, or what I consider good, for three. The benefits that come with being at the U.K. Performance Center have really taken me from being a capable pro wrestler to the Irish Ace. It’s given me confidence in myself, it’s given me a character, it’s polished me up to a high shine.”
** LA Park vs. Eddie Kingston is official for RevPro’s ‘High Stakes’ show on February 14th.
** Coming out the 2/6/20 episode of NXT UK, Kay Lee Ray and Toni Storm agreed to have an I Quit match for the NXT U.K. Women’s Championship.
** According to Showbuzz Daily, the 2/5/20 episode of Miz & Mrs. on the USA Network brought in 475,000 viewers following NXT. That number is up from last week’s show which drew 437,000 viewers.
** WWE won a ‘Cynopsis’ award for their series, ‘My Son/Daughter is a WWE Superstar.’
** EFFY was the most recent guest on the Queen’s Court podcast.
** Vickie Guerrero released a new edition of her podcast and it was from the Jericho Cruise featuring the female athletes of All Elite Wrestling.
** WWE pushed out a trailer for their ‘Ruthless Aggression’ series that premieres on the WWE Network on February 16th. The series takes a look back at the Ruthless Aggression era of WWE and includes interviews with John Cena, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Paul Heyman, Bruce Prichard and a great deal of exclusive throwback footage.
** Here’s the newest video on Ronda Rousey’s YouTube channel: