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Deonna Purrazzo Extends Her Title Reign at Impact Wrestling’s Slammiversary

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 7/18/2021 Justin Barrasso
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Purrazzo, a rising star in the wrestling world, beat surprise opponent Thunder Rosa on Saturday in a compelling showdown.

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Deonna Purrazzo extended her run as Knockouts champion at Impact Wrestling’s Slammiversary pay-per-view on Saturday, defeating surprise opponent Thunder Rosa. In the process, Purrazzo again showed the wrestling world that there is no else with her brand of technical brilliance.

​Purrazzo’s run as champ now continues, only a week away from reaching 250 days. Her match against Rosa was hard-hitting and intense throughout its 10-and-a-half-minute duration. Their precision was highlighted through their execution and series of reversals, as well as some high spots that included Rosa’s coup de grace and Purrazzo’s Queen’s Gambit, which she hit for the win.

“Thunder Rosa has exploded in the past couple years, so to finally step in the ring with her was interesting,” said Purrazzo. “She’s so good, someone you can gauge yourself against, and that’s what I need to show I deserve to be among the greatest Knockouts champion of all-time.”

In addition to a very compelling match, the encounter was unique because Rosa wrestles for All Elite Wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance, so she was a unique surprise in Impact as a mystery opponent. Further value would have been added to this match had it been announced in advance of the show, even if that had happened on social media, as this was a high-profile matchup between two world-class wrestlers. Given the opportunity, Purrazzo is open to a program against Rosa.

​“Rosa is the first person stepping through the ‘Forbidden Door’ for a Knockouts title match,” said Purrazzo. “If that door is going to stay open, I’m totally open to a rematch. She brought the best out of me, and vice-versa.”

​Following the match, former three-time Knockouts champion Mickie James returned to Impact. She offered Purrazzo a spot on the upcoming NWA EmPowerrr, the all-women’s pay-per-view on August 28. That offer was met with frustration from Purrazzo, who felt that James interrupted her championship celebration, and she responded by telling James to “grab her trash bag” and leave. A fight ensued, with James knocking out Purrazzo and forcefully reinserting herself into a prominent role in the Knockouts division.

​“I haven’t been in the ring with Mickie since I was 20, and we’re both completely different wrestlers at this point,” said Purrazzo. “Especially with the history she has with the Knockouts division, this is an amazing opportunity.”

​Only 27, Purrazzo is a rising star in the midst of the most important stretch of her career. In addition to representing the title in a significant manner at Slammiversary, she travels to Mexico City in August to wrestle for AAA’s Reina de Reinas championship, and she will also be a centerpiece next month for the NWA’s pay-per-view.

​“Opportunities like this are humbling,” said Purrazzo. “I’m being put at the forefront of the Knockouts division and the entire company. It’s not only a chance to do good work, it’s also a chance to give back to Impact by putting them on the biggest platform possible.”

Justin Barrasso can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.

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