By Goose Mahler, Columnist
The wrestling world doesn’t revolve around one promotion. If you’ve been paying attention to Impact Wrestling, they are putting together a solid Knockout division and a damn entertaining one at that. Alisha Edwards, Jessicka Havok, Jordynne Grace, Kiera Hogan, Madison Rayne, Rosemary, Su Yang, Taya Valkyrie, and Tessa Blanchard are so damn good this is a stacked roster in some cases a dream team of female talent.
Well, Impact management just added another amazing lady in Tenille Dashwood, as she signed a contract with them on July 29, 2019. To me, this is a complete game changer for her and for Impact wrestling. The former Storm Wrestling Academy Grad was heading to the promotiom to face some of the best female talent the industry has to offer.
For those that have never seen Tenille, she wrestled in another promotion that changed her name to Emma. A good worker, a solid in ring technician and great entertainer that was, saddled with a goofy assed gimmick. But Tenille didn’t let that bother her and she had some very good matches in FCW and NXT with Summer Rae, Bayley, Audrey Marie, Paige, Sasha, and Charlotte. Every time it looked like she was getting that chance at the brass ring something happened.
Whether it was redirection feuds or injuries, it seemed like Emma was going to either be break or bust, but it booking her seemed to be an issue. The issue was they didn’t know what or how to promote or use her correctly. Almost like the company didn’t know what to do with a talented wrestler. Go figure, this story seems to happen with women in different decades numerous times.
In one case she was put on the main roster and she picked up her feud with Summer Rae when they were in NXT together. This promotion felt too rushed and that the company brought her into the mix to promote the first Australian female wrestler and not Emma the talented wrestler. She was also was paired with a comic Santino Marella and feud with Rae and Fandango. She also got in some good matches with Alicia Fox and Cameron, but the move was not amounting to much for Emma and she headed back to NXT.
When Emma returned to NXT she had a new attitude, formed an alliance with Dana Brooke and proceeded to make her mark on NXT a second time. She was in multiple high profile matches with Bayley and Asuka. Emma’s new attitude was standing out to fans and her in ring was nothing to scuff at. It was better and Emma was headed right back to the main roster in a short amount of time.
When Emma came back to the main roster where she aligned herself with former foe Summer Rae and with Team B.A.D and the stable was dubbed B.A.D and Blonde but was short lived. Then she started to former another alliance with Dana Brooke. Unfortunately, Emma was struck with bad luck and an injury derailed her run and then the worst repackaging of all time took place.
Emma comes back and suddenly was in vignette’s being called Emmalina? These vignettes turned a solid lady wrestler into a God Damn Victoria Secret Model. Once again. the company was trying to take a solid in-ring female wrestler and turn her into something she wasn’t. A gimmick. In fact let’s call it what it should be called another failed Vince Gimmick.
Instead of tapping in on the bad ass wrestler that Emma could be and is they wanted her to be a Sable wannabe and it wasn’t going over with the fans and she didn’t look like she was having much fun having to be pranced around like a swimsuit model. In other word’s people started to think this was a case of “Creative’s Got Nothing for You.” Which was obviously the case.
Now here’s the catch. Emma in the ring was a solid heel with a great look and one of the better wrestlers. But she also had personality in and out of the ring. If you ever get the chance watch her Youtube,com Taste of Tenille which she shows off her cooking skills. This girl was showing she was multi-faceted. The powers to be in said company missed the boat. Very similar to a Hall of Fame Knockout named Gail Kim. A talented in ring performer that just felt held back. And that is coming from a fan that can see the company holding a strong female wrestler back.
The same thing the company did to Gail who people knew as a technical master in the ring they were doing to Tenille in my opinion. These two women are wrestlers not just pretty faces. And when a company can’t see that fans are paying attention to their in-ring skills they are not going to draw or succeed. Well, in the ring light and with the right people booking they can and will succeed and Gail is a testament to that.
When Emma returned from her injury, she was used to put over the up-and-coming Asuka. And she did a damn good job as they had some stellar matches. But very shortly after losing her last match, she was released and became a free agent. The company dropped the ball with Emma
She went to the indie scene and you can see she was a huge draw. The fans connected with her in NXT as bad ass heel Emma. She didn’t change that persona, but the fans flocked to her. So much you can see her meet and greets had long lines and her merch was selling nicely. She also had great matches with Rachel Ellering and Deonna Purrazzo (both NXT wrestlers). Wherever Tenille went fans flocked. Check out some of her matches online or check out her meet and greets if you weren’t in attendance on her Instagram page.
After another surgery Dashwood signed with Ring of Honor and began wrestling in the Women of Honor division. Mandy Leon, Kelly Klein, Purrazzo and cast of other great wrestlers. And these women were having good strong matches across the board. Dashwood also added a couple new moves to her arsenal and continued to draw fans in with her. There is no doubt Dashwood has a nice strong following and is outstanding in the ring to the point she tells a story and works great matches. Again, the injury bug bit Dashwood at a bad time and ended her run in ROH.
Impact signing Tenille might be a risk, but in my honest she is amazing in the ring. You can’t deny a talent that connects with the fans. She is a DRAW, she demands the fans attention and no one can deny that. The fact that Impact signed Tenille is good for them and good for wrestling fans. I personally can’t wait to see her in the ring with the likes of Rosemary, Kiera Hogan and the rest of the Knockouts because there is no doubt these women are about to take their games to the next level.
If Impact let’s Tenille be Tenille like they let Gail be Gail, this is going to be a very fun ride for wrestling fans all over the world. Get ready for a fun ride with Tenille Dashwood on Impact Wrestling!