Deonna Purrazzo has proven herself to be one of the elite performers in the world over the past year or so and all she needs is a chance.
After spending two years with WWE in NXT, the 26-year-old stepped out in 2020 and took The Virtuosa to IMPACT.
Since then, Purrazzo has brought together exceptional work in one of the best divisions in the world – the IMPACT Knockouts division.
She has reigned as the champion for a big part and she still really feels like she’s starting out. Prior to IMPACT’s massive pay-per-view rebellion – which fans outside of the US can order on FITE – talkSPORT had the chance to chat with The Virtuosa.
About the withdrawal of Jazz…
“I didn’t know we were going towards something like this when Jazz first entered IMPACT. I was so excited. People thought The Virtuosa was patronizing on TV – and she was – but Deonna the person watched Jazz when I was little.
“When I grew up she was such a force in women’s wrestling and you’ve always heard her name was ahead of her time. It was really fun to be able to interact with her a bit, to fight her a bit.
“I think especially for women who grew up wanting to be wrestlers my age, who wanted to be a part of this change in women’s wrestling that we’ve seen over the last seven or eight years, it’s a dream. come true to work with and interact with these people.
“To call them your friend, your colleague, to defeat them!” [laughs]. IMPACT has come full circle in so many different ways that fighting Jazz to Hardcore Justice was just one of them. “
About the arrival of the character of The Virtuosa on IMAPCT…
“When I started with IMPACT, a little less than a year ago now, the presentation of The Virtuosa was 100% of the things I had started in NXT.
“The way we kind of presented her two or three steps ahead of her opponent, she’s smart, intellectual and a student in the field of pro wrestling, being a technical craftsman, it was really like that. that I wanted The Virtuosa to be presented.
“I wanted it to be larger than life and to tie together all of the elements of history, my culture and my ethnicity that I really think The Virtuosa encapsulates, which is very broad!
“I think a lot of wrestling characters fall into the ‘it has to be simple and everyone has to understand’ but I think The Virtuosa is very nuanced. It’s part of my condescension to be like “I don’t really understand” but maybe you are not supposed to understand because you are not a Virtuosa!
“So I think the character might have been a little too large for other people to understand, but since I wanted him to showcase when I got there last May, we hit the nail on the head. We were able to develop the character which is fascinating and I develop it every week in front of everyone on TV.
Taylor Wilde’s return to IMPACT…
“I talked to Taylor, probably almost a year of my career up to this point, about what I was starting to do in IMPACT and she was just starting to come back to the wrestling scene so find her again. in IMPACT is so exciting.
“At this point I have to beat ODB, I just retired Jazz, so is this another IMPACT legend that I work with, but also defeat ?! I do not know. This possibility is exciting.
“But beyond Taylor Wilde, other surprises are to come. There’s just a ton of outings that have happened, so there’s someone like Chelsea Green who is my best friend and one of my favorite opponents in the ring.
“So if she came to IMPACT when she can, that would be great. Mickie James is another former Knockout champion, that would be phenomenal.
“Our division has been a vital part of IMPACT and TNA as a whole. So the fact that there are opportunities for growth and growth and growth is so exciting to me.
On the recruitment of Chelsea Green and Mickie James…
“I mean, especially Chelsea, but it’s a bit difficult. Because when I was released last year, I was happy with it. I was kind of like ‘woohoo! Freedom! I get to be myself. That’s not a lot of the case this time around.
“Especially at Chelsea, it was more of a shock. So, I was just like letting the dust settle and then we’ll talk about it all. Obviously, IMPACT is where I want it to be and I want it to thrive and be successful.
“I think being so close and having the relationship that we have, that she saw me thrive last year as well, is kind of a relief. And seeing her fiancé Matt Cardona flourish last year is also relieving.
“Because it’s like I thought I was going to be in this place, I thought it was going to be my home forever, but I will be okay no matter what.” I went there, I did this. I’m sure IMPACT would love to get it back. She is also a former Knockout champion… ”
On Gail Kim’s comments on the possibility of facing Purrazzo…
“When I saw these headlines come up and got tagged, I was like ‘ooo! I need to read this right away ”. Obviously that turns me on because Gail is one of the ones I watched growing up.
“Gail is like the first woman to do what I did, but years ago. Like, that’s not the place for me and she’s gone. And look at the career she’s had outside of WWE, with IMPACT. Working with her on recordings is amazing because she just pushes me out of my comfort zone and she wants each of us so much that it’s just inspiring.
“And I want to do the job I do to make her proud. So if there was ever that possibility of getting in the ring, I mean, I hope she wants to.
“But I know she’s’ I’m retired! I am retired!’ But, I don’t know… I don’t want to say no to anything and I’m up for anything and everything.
“I want the knockout championship to be the most coveted title there is. The fact that there are all of these great women out there or will be in the coming months to possibly claim my championship is more than I could ever have asked for.
Match On the Bound for Glory with Kylie Rae changing hours before…
“It was as much of a surprise to me as it was to the rest of the world that it wasn’t going to be me and Kylie. And I only knew a few hours before the show that the match had been changed and that Su Yung would return.
“It was a whirlwind of a day. I may have gone through all the emotions I could have experienced! I remember standing in the ring and saying, “I don’t know what I’m doing!” I was so thrown in a loop.
“I participate in any game, but especially in a big game on the card, with a vision. What I want to look like, what I want to create that night and the impression I want to leave on myself, my opponent, at Bound for Glory. And I was so, so, so excited to put on what I thought was a five star masterpiece clinic with Kylie Rae.
“And then, of course, that didn’t happen. And that was just OK, we have to take a minute and reassess. Even more now I’m watching Bound for Glory and I’m so proud of what we were able to create because it wasn’t what I thought I was going to do.
“But, then I think it was even better because we had to bring in a supporting character, than four weeks where I lost the title and the build to get it back at Turning Point.
“It was all so quick and real that I’m just as proud of this game and what happened afterwards as I would have been with the game I had in mind.
Be sure to watch IMPACT on IMPACT + and attend Rebellion on April 25th on FITE