Photo Credits – Impact Wrestling, Wrestle Circus, WOW, WWE and Pro Wrestling Tees
It has been over a year ago that Impact Wrestling made the decision to fire their reigning World Champion and one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world at the time. So why would the company fire their World Champion? Well to say she left them no choice and a ton of behind the scenes baggage and heat would be an understatement. In the almost 20 year history of TNA/Impact Wrestling, there is a very, very small list of talents they have fired and firing your World Champ is unprecedented in the modern era for any company.
Let’s Take A Look Back:
Let me say I was a big supporter of her since the first time I saw her in Wrestle Circus taking on Rachel Ellering in one of the best women’s matches I’ve ever seen. I remember thinking WWE is definitely going to sign these two. Not only are they great in the ring, they have the marketability of second generation performers and Tessa like Charlotte has that father was a horsemen connection and could make a hell of a feud between the two.
Once I saw Tessa announced for the inaugural Mae Young Classic, I thought WWE is either going to have her win it all or at least make it to the finals because there is no way they didn’t sign her. Well Tessa didn’t even make it out of the first round losing to the eventual winner of the tournament, Kairi Sane and WWE didn’t sign her. I was stunned by this and thought WWE made a huge mistake but after what came out the weekend of Hard to Kill about Tessa it filled in the pieces and explained why they didn’t sign her and why they likely won’t ever sign her.
January 2020 at Impact’s Hard To Kill PPV, Tessa became the first woman to win the Impact World Heavyweight Championship. That weekend should have been a major career highlight for Tessa, it all started with an innocent tweet by Tessa that not only blew up in her face but may have tarnished her career forever. Tessa tweeted that “women should be supportive of each other”; I’m not sure what her reasons for tweeting it in the first place, maybe she was mad that women weren’t tweeting her support since she was on the verge of making history winning the biggest championship in Impact.
Whatever the reason, the floodgates opened and stories started to immerge of Tessa bullying women in the locker room and even spitting at and calling a girl the N word in Japan. Tessa made one response tweet that it was untrue and ridiculous but multiple women came forward and confirmed the story and provided their own negative Tessa experiences. One of these women is, Chelsea Green, who worked with Tessa in Impact, where according to Chelsea, Tessa belittled her. Chelsea was employed by NXT at the time of this tweet and she had no reason to lie about Tessa, they didn’t share a locker room anymore so they weren’t competing for roster positions. Allysin Kay, who also worked with Tessa in Impact and was the NWA Women’s Champion at the time of this tweet, chimed in that Tessa tried to dig up dirt on her to bury her. Some people tried to take Tessa’s side and say it was personal jealousy and these women were trying to protect their spots in NXT and NWA respectively since Tessa may have gone there once her Impact contract expired but as time has passed and more stories have come out, it is clear that it likely wasn’t jealousy at all.
Personally, I don’t think these women were lying or being jealous and I don’t believe it has anything to do with protecting their spots. I think it has 100% to do with calling out a hypocrite that wants women to support her but her never supporting her peers. For me, I lost all respect for Tessa the person, I still think she is an incredibly talented performer but if the allegations are true, which I think they are, you do not want a cancerous talent in the locker room. Allegedly Impact told their talent to issue no comments, if asked about the allegations during Hard to Kill weekend. To me that makes Impact look worse in this as if they are covering it up. It’s a black eye for Tessa and Impact on a weekend that they wanted to make history. Well they are made history but not the kind that they wanted and not the last of bad history they would make.
Fast forward 5-months later, Impact fired her as their World Champion for refusing to film promos from her home. There’s a lot to unpack here, knowing Tessa’s baggage and the controversy surrounding her that weekend, Impact should have changed their plans and not of had her win the title in the first place. I’m not sure if COVID impacted their plans on how long of a reign that they were envisioning for her.
Impact taped shows in advance and were building towards their Slammiversary show in July 2020. Tessa was MIA as she lives in Mexico and could not get out of the country when the COVID hit. Whether that is true I’m not sure because entertainment companies can pull strings like WWE did getting Brock to Florida from Canada for WrestleMania. If Tessa couldn’t leave Mexico and cross the border, then I don’t blame her for missing shows because it’s not her fault. However, that is not what got her fired from Impact, supposedly they asked her to record promos from her home and send them in, so they can edit them into the shows leading up to Slammiversary, where she was scheduled to defend her World title. She either refused to do it or just ignored the request and sent nothing.
On one hand, I feel Impact got what they deserved as they should have never put the title on her especially knowing her baggage but it makes Tessa look even worse. How do you have the guts to disrespect the company that put their world title on you by being that lazy that you can’t hold up an iPhone and record a few promos about your opponents from your own home and literally send them over?
Since that time, WWE and AEW essentially made it clear that they did not want her on their rosters as they viewed her reputation as liability to their locker rooms and chose to not bring in a potential cancer into their locker rooms. Impact, also had no intentions to bring her back in as they still consider that bridge burned. ROH didn’t even consider bringing her in despite launching their women’s division as her talent didn’t outweigh her baggage for them. There were rumors that the NWA considered it but my guess is that went nowhere either.
In October 2021, it was announced the re-launching Women of Wrestling (WOW) are going to take a gamble on her and personally, if Tessa hasn’t changed this will not work out for them as she will poison that locker room.
I’m all for second chances but you need to take responsibility for your past mistakes and all Tessa has done is deny them despite multiple accusers from a variety of promotions that have no apparent reason to lie or fear for their spots in their respective companies. In addition, Tessa has decided to release a shirt on PWT that glorifies the fact that she has according to the dirt sheets, “Nuclear Heat”. This is apparently a Tessa and WOW shirt idea, so WOW are stupidly embracing the heat and ignoring why she has the heat in the first place. WOW, it is not because of a character she is portraying, it is because of how she treats her peers behind the scenes. Tessa, instead of trying to make money off of it, maybe you should try to clean up your image, instead of pretending you never did anything wrong. You can’t undo the mistakes you have made but you can try to make amends with those that you have wronged and show that you are a better more mature and respectful person.
Fans love redemption stories but you cannot have redemption if you don’t attempt to make amends with those that you have wronged and changed your ways. Shawn Michaels is the perfect example of a redemption story in wrestling, he had a tremendous HOF level in ring career before his back injury but Shawn freely admits today that he was a horrible bitter person and was rightly so hated by his peers. When Shawn embraced religion, he changed his ways and even those that were skeptical of him changing like his longtime rival, Bret Hart, admit that they like Shawn today and Shawn’s second run was arguably just as good if not better than his first run.
Teddy Hart is a perfect example of the opposite, someone that had a ton of talent but had too much of an ego and his career never really reached the heights that it should have gone to as he never learned the error of his ways.
The question is has Tessa learned? Can she resurrect her career or will she remain a pariah in the industry? Time will tell if she can fix her image but just based on no apparent attempt at remorse and her selling a nuclear heat shirt, doesn’t show me that she is taking any of it seriously and will likely not lead to a positive result for anyone involved with her.
Again, these accusations against Tessa and my opinions on this matter are based on the assumption that the allegations are true. To date, I have not seen anyone come forward that was there and defend Tessa and deny the allegations. False accusations are a horrible thing and if someone was making false accusations against myself, I would do the same thing Tessa is doing deny them if they aren’t true. However, if they are true I feel you need to take responsibility for it. No one is perfect and all I’m saying in this piece is that if the allegations are true and she hasn’t changed her ways then she shouldn’t be in the business but if she has changed her ways I’m willing to give her a second chance. She is a tremendous talent in the ring and it would be a shame if that talent wasn’t showcased because she can’t get along with her peers. The business is about RESPECT for the business, the fans and your peers.