The Virtuosa Deonna Purrazzo continues to rule Impact Wrestling as the Knockouts Champion, and the reign doesn’t look like it is going to stop anytime soon. Between matches at AAA TripleMania, in NWA, and in her home court of Impact, Purrazzo has no shortage of challengers, and that’s why it was nice to get some reinforcements in the form of Matthew Rehwoldt, who became her partner in the Homecoming tournament. Next up for Purrazzo is Melina, who will be challenging Purrazzo for her title at NWA Empowerrr, but before she takes her on ComicBook.com had the chance to talk to Purrazzo all about her new ally, why she decided to be a part of Empowerrr, the Virtuosa’s evolution, and more.
First we wanted to know about her partnership with Rehwoldt, the Drama King, who made his big Impact Wrestling debut at Homecoming. “Yeah, so I didn’t know that I was going to be a part of it and when they asked me to be part of it and told me that they had an idea for partner for me, I was excited and I haven’t done a ton of inter-gender wrestling before. So to dabble in it a little bit and Impact’s so great where we have the opportunity to do that and do something like that,” Purrazzo said. “It was really fun. I think that with my Virtuosa character and Matthew Rehwoldt’s Drama King character, we compliment each other so well.”
“And it was fun because we had never worked together. I don’t know that we had ever met before, before he was there for the homecoming tournament. And we just jelled. It was the perfect pairing,” Purrazzo said. “We just understand each other and the nuances in each other’s characters and stuff. So I really, really enjoyed being a part of that tournament, having Matthew Rehwoldt as my partner and hopefully someone who will be by my side moving forward at Impact.”
Speaking of potential allies, Purrazzo has had a few, but with all the people gunning for her lately, would she ever think of forming and leading a faction?
“Yeah. So, absolutely. I think the more people you can get on TV, the more people that are around you, the bigger you look, right? And I want everyone to have the opportunity to shine in new ways in ways they weren’t able to do before,” Purrazzo said. “I’m a big advocate for that, and I think when Impact brings someone in, it’s always with a purpose. And they do it right from the get. So absolutely I think to have an entourage or just people by my side, watching my back will help me reign even longer as the Knockouts champion.”
It turns out she actually pitched a team previously, but they never chose to really go down that road. That said, they had a great name, and Purrazzo thinks Rehwoldt is a great start to seeing that happen one day. “I also pitched a while back when I was with Kimber and Susan, but then we never really went the tag team route with them as I wanted to be the High Renaissance, which refers to the Italian Renaissance and a group of painters and things like that. And their artwork is referred to as the High Renaissance. And I wanted to bring that to life at Impact with two other people. And I think Matthew Rehwoldt is the perfect person to do that with. Maybe it’s just the two of us or a third person, I don’t know. But definitely I have so many ideas for something like that one day.”
Purrazzo will soon take on Melina at NWA Empowerrr, the first of its kind all-women’s event, and Purrazzo is excited to be a part of such a historic occasion. “I think when Mickie told me a few weeks ago, the gravity of this, right? It’s an all-women’s, pay-per-view, the first of its kind, run by all women. Gail Kim will be there. Mickie obviously is producing the entire show. Medusa will be there. Jazz will be there. This is every generation of women’s wrestling coming together to do something the first of its kind. And why wouldn’t I want to be a part of that from a personal level, as a woman who grew up wanting to be a woman’s wrestler and see women’s wrestling get to the point that we’re at.”
“And then just as the Virtuosa, why wouldn’t I want the prestige to be on that card? Why wouldn’t I want my name associated with people like that? It does a lot personally and professionally for me. So I don’t think there was ever a doubt in my mind I wanted to be a part of it, it was just whether I maybe wanted to deal with Mickie James or not,” Purrazzo said.
As for Melina, she’s never faced her in the ring, and it’s a bucket list style scenario for the Champion. “I think what excites me most is that legacy again, that she has. Melina has been around women’s wrestling for so long, and especially when women’s wrestling wasn’t really the cool thing to do. Women weren’t really getting time on TV or those storylines, and she was ahead of that time,” Purrazzo said. “So I think it’s really exciting that she’s in the mix and she’s re-establishing herself, reinventing herself in a time where maybe she wishes she was a part of back then that this could have been back then.”
“That’s exciting because it’s a match I never thought would happen. So it is a dream match. It’s a first-ever. We’ve never worked together in any capacity, even on an indie show together up until the last few weeks. It’s exciting. It’s a different dynamic. On a professional level, as the Virtuosa I’ve kind of staked claim on ending careers at Impact Wrestling. First and foremost, with Jazz, we did a career vs title match and Jazz hasn’t wrestled on Impact since. ODB, when I defeated her earlier this year at Sacrifice, we haven’t seen her since. So if this is kind of going to be my legacy at Impact to defeat all of the legends, then I’m on board for that, because that will do wonders for my resume.”
She mentioned being a career killer, which should definitely be on a shirt at some point. “Career killer. It’s not on a shirt yet, but maybe after NWA we can get it on a shirt,” Purrazzo said.
This is the first ever NWA Empowerrr, but if it goes well (which it no doubt should), then would it be something that could be done every year?
“I think so. I think that there’s a plethora of talent that you can definitely do something like this annually or every six months, and it’ll be completely different. I think, especially with women, we tend to grow, develop a lot faster in terms of character development and things like that when we’re given the opportunity,” Purrazzo said. “So I definitely think, especially for me, the Virtuosa, the Deonna Purrazzo I was presenting six months ago is not the same I’m presenting now. And there can constantly be new talent on the show, whether it be people just starting out and kind of vying for an opportunity to carve out a name for themselves and a path for themselves, or people like Mickie James and Melina and myself, or someone like Chelsea Green, who just got invited to Empowerrr, who already have a name for themselves but are looking to do more. I definitely think the opportunity is there and the success rate will be there.”
Purrazzo’s character has grown and evolved since she came to Impact, and as she mentioned, the person you see on-screen now is nothing like the person fans saw when she joined the company, and that constant evolution is immensely important when you are representing the company on the highest level as a Champion.
“I think specifically for me, I’ve always been confident in my wrestling. I’ve always been confident in, put me in the ring with anyone and that’s my happy place, I’m in control, I know exactly who I am and what I’m doing,” Purrazzo said. “But for me, the backstage promos and the inner ring segments weren’t my strong suit, and I definitely had some holes in my game, but I think Impact has been able to build up my confidence and patch up those holes and give me the time to develop on-screen speaking as a character who is confident in herself and knows what to say and is condescending and rude. But I definitely think that’s something that we’ve been able to see, over the last, not even just six months, but year, year and a half that I’ve been with Impact that I’ve grown tremendously at.”
“But then in terms of the Virtuosa character, I think because I’ve been Champion for so long, which is great, but you have to constantly have that evolution and that progression. And I think right now what I’m trying to get across is like, this evil queen, this mad queen, she’s obsessed, she’s like a dictator. She’s ruling over the division. So it’s been that progress of yeah, I’m the best, and now it’s like, I’m going to be best forever and I’ll do anything to hold it in my grasp.”
“And I’m just trying to play with different ways of like, okay, what else would the Virtuosa do now? Or, what are different phrases I would use? So that’s why I have been using social media so much, long may she reign and forever, and I’m not just the greatest technical women’s wrestler in the world. Now, I’m the absolute greatest period. I think over time you have to get way more confident and cocky and show that evolution we’re talking about. So some things click and some things don’t, but I just think it’s, especially social media being our biggest tool right now, we get that immediate reaction of, okay, I like this, or I don’t, so it’s not just up to me, it’s kind of what the fans grasp onto too.”
You can catch Purrazzo every week on Impact! at 8 PM EST on AXS TV, and you can watch her match at AAA TripleMania XXIX against Faby Apache tonight. You can watch her match against Melina at NWA Empowerrr on FITE TV on August 28th at 7 PM CST.
What do you want to see next for Deonna Purrazzo? Let us know in the comments and as always you cant talk all things wrestling and Impact with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!