Current IMPACT Knockouts Champion and AAA Reina de Reinas Champion Deonna Purrazzo was a guest on Renee Paquette's Oral Sessions podcast, where she discussed her time in NXT.
“At the time, I was in a bit of a weird space because I didn’t really know what options I had or did I even want to wrestle anymore. I was personally in a really weird space. Madison Rayne is one of my best friends. She’s kind of made her entire career at Impact. She was agenting at Impact at the time. The whole time I was in NXT and not happy, she knew. She said, ‘I will help you do whatever you want to do when and if you decide to leave.’ Then when I was released, she was the first person who said, ‘Here is Scott D’Amore, who is the head of everything at Impact, here’s his contact number. He’s going to call you in the next few days.’ I didn’t have a choice. She said, ‘You’re coming.’ Once he and I got to talking, it seemed like this was the place that I could explore myself because I was in that weird space. I was trying ideas in NXT and no one was understanding. I was frustrated. When I sent them (Impact) everything I already pitched elsewhere, they were like, ‘We love this. This is what we want to do. If you are ready to do it, we can have you right after your 30 days are up.’ It was the perfect storm that the timing was right. Everything I wanted to try, and explore, and see if it really worked, they were willing to let me do. I knew so many people there, and I was welcomed right away. Right off the bat, it was like, ok, this feels like a really great home.”
“I was emotionally drained from wrestling. That environment and that system really didn’t work for me as a person. I was like, this is such bullsh*t. This is not what I love about wrestling. This is not even wrestling. I come to work and no one has valued me for any of my literal life accomplishments before I got here. What is this worth? What have I done with my life? Was it even worth it up until this point? When I was fired, I had contemplated going back to school. I immediately sent in applications to different schools that were online and I was like, maybe I will just be a normal person again. I was in school before wrestling became full-time for exercise science. That was really hard because I didn’t have the time to dedicate the time to studying and I was teaching full time. History has always been my first love. It comes naturally, it’s fun for me, and that’s who I am. I’m a huge history buff. When I was released in May, I was like, ok, I’m going to go to school and I’m going to be a history teacher maybe. Now I’m about a year out from my bachelor’s, but it was like, how do I want to identify myself outside of wrestling? Are there things I can love outside of this as much as I love wrestling because I don’t know that I love it anymore. It wasn’t even just wrestling, it was, I don’t even know that I love me anymore. Like, who am I?”
But this negative outlook spun around, and now Purrazzo has rediscovered her love of wrestling.
“I think it was Slammiversary 2020. I wrestled Jordynne Grace for the Knockouts Championship. That match is probably my favorite match of my career up until this point because I went out and said, ‘F*ck NXT. I hate that place. They didn’t use me. I had so much potential.’ Now it was up to me to live up to that. I put such a huge target on my back and I feel like Slammiversary solidified for me what I thought I could do, who I thought I was, and I was that person that night. Obviously, it wasn’t just me, it was Jordynne helping me be that person. I feel like we have such great chemistry. We are such great friends, and we were really able to make the most of me winning that night. That is what helped make me a star.”
The official Tweet promoting Purrazzo's appearance can be found here:
The Virtuosa @DeonnaPurrazzo is on Oral Sessions @TheVolumeSports !! We talk the killer year she’s been having, a chip on her shoulder, creatively being able to spread her wings, when is asking too, much too much? Awesome chat- listen here: https://t.co/v7hw8Tw9U5— Renee Paquette (@ReneePaquette) September 9, 2021
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