Sami Callihan and Tessa Blanchard have been feuding on and off in Impact Wresting all year. When she was the first person to step to him after he became the Impact World champion last week, it was clear the promotion was going to take their intergender program to the next level.
Yesterday (Nov. 8), they made it official. Tessa challenges for the company’s top prize at Impact’s next pay-per-view (PPV), Jan. 12’s Hard to Kill in Dallas.
Here’s the press release, and a photo from the press conference, for what Impact is touting as a history-making main event:
IMPACT WRESTLING TO MAKE HISTORY AS TESSA BLANCHARD CHALLENGES SAMI CALLIHAN FOR THE IMPACT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AT ‘HARD TO KILL’ ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 12
The Groundbreaking Event Marks the First Time in Professional Wrestling History that a Woman will Challenge for a Promotion’s Top Championship Live on Pay-Per-View
NEW YORK CITY - (November 8, 2019) IMPACT Wrestling, a subsidiary of the leading independent multi-platform media company Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc., announced today in New York City that third-generation superstar Tessa Blanchard will take on bitter rival Sami Callihan for the IMPACT World Championship in a historic main event matchup at the promotion’s upcoming Hard To Kill pay-per-view event on Sunday, January 12, 2020, at The Bomb Factory in Dallas, TX. The bout marks the first time in professional wrestling that a woman will challenge a man for the top title live on pay-per-view. Callihan and Blanchard were both in attendance today, joined by several IMPACT Wrestling officials.
Titanium tickets for Hard To Kill at The Bomb Factory officially go on sale on Nov. 15 and general admission tickets will be going on sale on Nov. 18.
The title fight will not be the first time that the foes have faced off in the ring. Their bitter rivalry extends back to Slammiversary XVII, where Callihan was able to overcome a tremendous effort from Blanchard and pin her after unleashing a vicious arsenal of DDTs and piledrivers. Since that unforgettable showdown, Callihan defeated Brian Cage to claim possession of the IMPACT World Championship on the debut of IMPACT! on AXS TV in November.
“IMPACT Wrestling has always been a trailblazer in the professional wrestling world, from our Knockouts division to never-before-seen matches like Ultimate X,” said Scott D’Amore, executive vice president of IMPACT Wrestling. “In her short career, Tessa Blanchard has already demonstrated that she is not only one of the best female professional wrestlers in the world, but one of the very best, period. On January 12th, she will get the opportunity to make history when she challenges for the World Championship live on pay-per-view.”
“I intend to become the first female World Champion in IMPACT Wrestling history on January 12th at Hard To Kill,” Blanchard said. “This isn’t just about our rivalry, and this goes far beyond the IMPACT World Championship. This is about showing everyone that Tessa Blanchard is the real deal, and I’m here to stay. I can go toe-to-toe with any man or woman in the world, and in any type of match. I’ve earned this shot, and I won’t stop until I’m raising that belt up high for all of my doubters to see.”
“I’ll give Tessa credit for one thing: she’s not afraid to make herself look like a fool on national television,” Callihan said. “I’ve already proven that she is not on my level and I intend to do it again. No one will be making history at my expense, so I plan on destroying Tessa and establishing my legacy as the greatest World Champion in IMPACT Wrestling history.”
As Impact works to regain ground in the wrestling market now that they have a stable television home for the first time in a long-time, an intergender World title feud will certainly get people’s attention. Will they tune in for it, or be upset by it? If the former, will they stick around after and remain viewers/customers?
We’re about to find out.