Impact Wrestling's World Champion Tessa Blanchard was released on Thursday and stripped of the title in the process, a surprising move from one of North America's largest wrestling companies. The decision was reportedly made following contractual disagreements between Blanchard and Impact. According to a report from Fightful, Blanchard's current deal was set to expire this Monday and the two sides were at a stalemate.
Impact Wrestling paused operations at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic but has returned to taping shows once again. However, Blanchard did not return for any of the tapings. It appears that the situation came to a head when the company asked Blanchard to tape some promos for her involvement at Slammiversary in July. According to a report from Fightful, Blanchard asked for additional pay (called a "day rate") to do so and Impact said no.
Blanchard won the Impact Wrestling World Championship from Sami Callihan in January, making her the only female to hold the title in company history.
Blanchard has long been seen as one of the top female wrestlers in the world, and we have been told that both AEW and WWE have interest in her services. WWE has had opportunities to sign her to long-term deals in the past, as Blanchard competed in the Mae Young Classic in 2017 and also worked sporadically for NXT in both 2016 and 2017, wrestling on television more than once.
Given the fact that Blanchard's father, Tully Blanchard, currently works for All Elite Wrestling, one would think that a move to AEW would make a lot of sense. AEW has a budding women's division that could certainly benefit from the presence of a veteran like Blanchard, and tie-ins with her legendary father would always present intriguing possibilities.
Where would you like to see Tessa Blanchard land next? What are some prospective match-ups that could draw the most interest? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, and give me a follow on Twitter @ryandroste for all the latest in WWE and AEW.