deonna purrazzo

Deonna Purrazzo Has A New Record In Her Sights, Reflects On ‘Bittersweet’ Title Win

In the wake of Mickie James’ relinquishment of the Knockouts Championship, a new champion was crowned at IMPACT Rebellion. Jordynne Grace and Deonna Purrazzo stepped up to compete, but in the end, only one woman could win… and long may she reign.

Now in her third run with the title, Purrazzo has some specific goals in mind. But before she looks toward the future, “The Virtuosa” took a moment to reflect with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard.

When asked if she did anything special to commemorate her victory, Purrazzo admitted that she didn’t do much, largely due to the soreness she experienced after her battle with Grace. “Jordynne Grace is a beast. I’ve said it time and time again, she’s my toughest opponent. So, I was beat up and very sore after the match, Purrazzo said. “IMPACT had a little after party for all of us just to get together and have some food and drinks. [Steve Maclin and I] had a couple drinks and we Ubered back to the hotel and ate a Big Mac. And that was my celebration.”

As mentioned, Purrazzo’s victory partially comes at the expense of Mickie James, who could not defend her title due to injury. In all of their previous encounters, James has emerged victorious. Heading into Rebellion, Purrazzo hoped to reverse her fate, but unfortunately, she never even received the chance to. Purrazzo noted that her subsequent title win was a little “bittersweet” in that aspect.

“I think we can say that [it was bittersweet], because I think going into this match, the three-way dynamic was really interesting. Because again, I’ve never beaten Mickie James, but Jordynne Grace had never beaten me. So, it was kind of like if Jordynne comes out victorious or I come out victorious, this is like kind of history-making and game-changing in that type of way. And then on top of that, Mickie James won the Knockouts World Championship with this huge stipulation that if she lost, she retired. So, you have to think like what her mindset would be when she loses again. And does that mean we’re getting closer to the end? And are you the person that knocks Mickie James off and sends her into retirement still? Who knows?” Purrazzo asked herself.

“So, I think that with that possibility, there was a lot of interesting ways that the Knockouts division changes from that point on. So, it was bittersweet because I want to defeat and then hopefully retire Mickie James and get that thorn out of my side finally. But I think either way, when you’re contending for the Knockouts World Championship, it’s going to be special.”

“Jordynne Grace and I were the main event of Rebellion. It had been three years since Jordynne and I had a singles match and one-on-one against each other. So, there was that element to the last time we did this, it was really special. It was history-making and there’s a bit of expectation and pressure there. So, I think any way we could have flipped it, it was going to be good. And then, of course when you win the Knockouts World Championship in the main event, it’s like, what more does a wrestler want? That’s the pinnacle, right? So, I’m happy with the outcome either way.”

Whenever James returns from her rib injury, Deonna Purrazzo adamantly wants face her again, and possibly retire her. “I have been the champion before, so I know what it feels like to lose your championship. I can’t imagine what it feels like to lose it when you didn’t actually lose it. So, I know that the target on my back is huge, particularly for Mickie James. I know she’s not going to let it go. She’s going to come back guns blazing. She wants her championship back and I’m going to be ready for it. I’m going to finally defeat Mickie James.”

Purrazzo’s second reign as Knockouts Champion ran for an incredible 343 days, just 35 days shy of surpassing the record currently held by Taya Valkyrie. Purrazzo believes she could beat the record, but she wants to accomplish something even bigger than that.

“I definitely think that it’s in the back of my mind of like, ‘okay, I did it before. I can definitely do it again,’ but I think more so for me, the number that sticks in my mind is I believe it’s 711. That is the number of days combined that Gail Kim held the Knockouts World Championship over seven reigns. She’s number one in combined days as a champion. So that, I think, is the next number for me where it’s like if I’m at four hundred plus now, can I beat 711?”

As of this week, Deonna Purrazzo passed Mickie James for combined days in title reigns, putting her second place behind Gail Kim. For that, Purrazzo is extremely proud. “I will take pride in any little bit thing bigger than that I could do compared to Mickie James,” she said. “I think she’s, what, five-time Knockouts champion? That’s an incredible feat.”

“And I think our division is better for having Mickie James in it. Although she’s my, like I said, biggest thorn in my side, my biggest rival, the person I cannot beat. I beat pretty much everyone in this division at some point over the last three years, but Mickie James. So, just to have that little bit of edge over her, I can play a little bit of mind games with that. If ‘The Virtuosa’ can come up with some way to make that a part of my strategy, then that’s what I’m going to do. That’s what I do best.”

Deonna Purrazzo and IMPACT Wrestling return to Chicago for Spring Slugfest on April 28 and 29. Watch our full interview with Deonna Purrazzo below:

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