Former WWE star Tessa Blanchard becomes first woman to win men's world championship belt in professional wrestling after Sami Callihan win
Former WWE ace Tessa Blanchard has become the first woman to win a men's championship title in professional wrestling, after she was crowned Impact World Champion in Dallas, Texas.
The 24-year-old defeated Sami Callihan at the 'Hard to Kill' pay-per-view event. She secured her title with a pinfall victory in just over 20 minutes.
After her historic win she said: "I am now the standard-bearer of Impact Wrestling and man or woman, pound for pound, I am one of the best in the world. And I am now your World Champion."
The fight was not the first time the two had met after Blanchard lost to 32-year-old at the Slammiversary in July last year. The match marked the first male versus female fighters to headline a major televised event.
Prior to the match, Blanchard faced backlash from wrestlers including Allysin Kay and Chelsea Green after they accused her of racially abusing another fighter. Blanchard tweeted: "Hey women, try supporting one another. Cool things happen."
Kay responded: "Remember when you spat in a black woman’s face and called her the N-word in Japan? Was that you “supporting women“? The AUDACITY of this tweet."
Green also responded angrily: "You've consistently put down, bullied, and belittled countless female coworkers, including me. Is that support?"
Blanchard addressed the comments and continued: "Over the past eight months this has been my life. Sami and OVE have been a thorn in my side and tonight we did it.
"Nobody in this life is perfect. We’re all human. And it doesn’t matter what you say about me. It doesn’t matter what you call me.
"I’ve got one of the strongest minds that I’ve ever known. So whenever you come for me, you come for all these people!"