Tessa Blanchard will become the first woman to challenge for the IMPACT World Championship when she takes on Sami Callihan for a third time at Hard to Kill.
IMPACT/Game Changer Wrestling referee, Kris Levin, wants to be a part of this momentous occasion.
“So, first of all, it’s always an honor to work in the main event of a pay-per-view for the IMPACT World Championship but it’s especially an honor to work with Tessa, who is… she’s just such a natural talent, and being in the ring with her is always a pleasure. It’s always a fun artistic challenge just like working with someone you jive with and Sami Callihan — one of my mentors. So it’s always so special to be in the ring [with him], let alone when you think about the historical significance of a match like this because make no mistakes about it, this isn’t just a pro wrestling thing, this is… and I think some people might roll their eyes when I say this but I don’t care: It’s a civil rights thing, because there’s still places in the United States today where they’ll look at that and say, ‘That match is legally not allowed to happen’, based solely off of the gender of someone and I think that’s disgusting, and I applaud IMPACT so much for having such a forward-thinking mindset of, ‘It’s not male wrestlers and female wrestlers.
Some promotions and fans still see intergender wrestling as a taboo. Levin thinks it has its place in the industry and Blanchard vs. Callihan will help to normalize it.
It’s just wrestlers’, and it’s okay if you don’t subscribe to that mindset but it’s okay if you do and I think a lot of people look down upon intergender wrestling and say, ‘Oh, it’s not believable. It’s not this or that’ but like, since when has anything in pro wrestling been predominantly concerned about believability since the 70s you know? Since the early 80s, and don’t get me wrong, there’s characters who follow the old Johnny Valentine rule of, ‘You might not believe pro wrestling is real but you’ll believe I am’ but, I feel like it’s a strongman argument to have anything negative to say about it. If it’s not your cup of tea, that’s fine but live and let live and anything that goes towards equality, I think is awesome and that’s exactly what that match is doing.
It’s normalizing alternative ways of producing professional wrestling and the more alternatives there are to something, as long as it’s safe and the fans are enjoying it, that’s ultimately all that matters and fan support is democratic. If they like it, they’re gonna tune in. They’re going to legally pay in order to watch pay-per-view, buy tickets, attend live, and if they don’t like it, they won’t be there and [if] people like it, it’ll keep happening so if you like it, make sure you support it because if you don’t, it’s an opportunity that might be lost and who knows when, if ever it’ll be regained.”