Miss Tessmacher traded in her pageant tiara and Hooters shirt for wrestling boots full time in TNA Impact Wrestling.
The proud Texan’s dedication to honing her skills was rewarded in June when the model turned butt-kicker captured the TNA Knockouts title, beating Gail Kim during TNA’s Slammiversary in Arlington, Texas.
“Before the match I was so excited,” remembered Tessmacher during a recent conference call to promote the TNA Hardcore Justice pay-per-view 8 p.m. EST Sunday, Aug. 12.
“It was all these emotions into one. I remember sitting back there before I went out thinking that this was it. This was my one chance right now. If any other match, I had to be on my game…
“I couldn’t breathe. The crowd was so loud, and it just kind of took over me. I had been waiting for that moment for so long. I was so scared and freaked out. As soon as I entered the ring I just knew I wanted that championship more than anything. After, when I did win, the crowd was unbelievable. To win in your home state for the first time is indescribable. Everything just kind of went silent. The crowd was so loud. It was almost like when you are running and thinking and everything kind of goes out.
“That is kind of what happened. My moment just kind of sunk in. It took a little bit. My tears just went, as soon as I was backstage, uncontrollably. I was just so happy. I was thinking, ‘I did it. I can’t believe I did it.’ I proved the whole wrestling world wrong because I knew nobody thought I could do it. [They thought] I was a model and inexperienced. To be in the ring with someone as talented and a tremendous athlete like Gail is a great feeling.”
Since that triumphant moment, Tessmacher proved herself worthy of holding the gold against some of the toughest and most accomplished women in the business. Her next test will be against former champ Madison Rayne during the TNA Hardcore Justice pay-per-view at Universal Studios Orlando.
“It has been a long road,” said Tessmacher. “I’ve been giving it everything that I have the last couple of months. When I first came to TNA and Impact, I was playing Miss Tessmacher, the secretary. It really wasn’t fulfilling. It wasn’t utilizing my talents and what I wanted to do. So I knew that in order to make an impact I had to go and really quit everything else I was doing.
“I gave up the Hooters pageant to start training. I gave up another pageant and other ones because wrestling ended up being my life and the most important thing to me. With this being the most difficult sport I’ve ever been involved in and the biggest challenge, I did have to give away a lot of things for that.”
She attributes winning the TNA Knockouts tag team titles with Tara as a turning point when wrestling had become her chosen profession.
“That is when it became very real to me,” Tessmacher said. “I don’t want to say that [Tara] completely carried us, but she carried us a lot. I wasn’t experienced enough and didn’t bring as much as I could have. In that moment I realized, ‘I have to get better. I want to go out there and defend us as much as she is defending me. I want to be able to stand on my own and hold the Knockouts championship. To get that Knockouts tag team championship got me hungry for getting the actual Knockouts championship. I knew I had to go home and train to get a lot better to do that as a wrestler and a performer.”