Jordynne Grace on WWE-TNA Partnership: ‘My Pie-in-the-Sky Dream is to Have a Worlds Collide Pay-Per-View’

“The new President of TNA spoke with me about a month ago and told me WWE wanted to have me back,” said Grace. “I was like, ‘What is happening?’”

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Jordynne Grace on Roxanne Perez: “I’d wrestler her 10 more times if I could”

Jordynne Grace has made TNA part of the wrestling discourse.

In a realm dominated by WWE, AEW, and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, that is no small feat. The attention stems from Grace’s arrival in NXT, which has been spectacular. It looks like an audition–one Grace is crushing–for when she hits free agency, as the power brokers in WWE have clearly recognized her immense talent.

After defeating Stevie Turner in an enhancement match last week on NXT television, Grace challenged Roxanne Perez for the NXT women’s championship this past Sunday at Battleground. While she was not victorious, Grace made an extremely strong impression, starring on a show that also included Sexyy Red.

“That was a TNA Knockouts match,” said Grace. “There is a certain way TNA Knockouts wrestle, and it’s gritty, competitive, and passionate–and the WWE audience got to witness that.”

Jordynne Grace at NXT Battleground
Jordynne Grace at NXT Battleground / WWE

While it was a unique decision to have Grace lose to Perez in her first major NXT match, the decision was not a surprise. WWE is building Perez as a centerpiece of the women’s division, and the global entity holds the leverage in their partnership with TNA. Despite some interference at the end of the match from Ash by Elegance (who worked in WWE as Dana Brooke) and Tatum Paxley, it stood as a performance where Grace proved–once again–she is a star.

The reigning TNA Knockouts champion, Grace made her WWE debut this past January as a surprise entrant in the women’s Royal Rumble match. She learned about her return to the promotion from TNA President Anthony Cicione, who informed her she would be wrestling for the NXT title.

“The new President of TNA spoke with me about a month ago and told me WWE wanted to have me back,” said Grace. “I was like, ‘What is happening?’ We spoke specifically about Battleground, and honestly, I thought I was going to be in the [North American title] ladder match. When I found out it was a singles match, and for the title, I was mind-blown.

“Going back, it’s been a great experience. It’s impressive how much of a well-oiled machine they are in WWE. There is someone with an answer to everything. And they have a barber on-site. That surprised me.”

Grace remains the TNA Knockouts champion. She will seek redemption this Friday at TNA’s Against All Odds show at Cicero Stadium in Chicago when she issues an open challenge, where a mystery opponent looms.

And if Grace has her way, this is only the beginning of the WWE-TNA relationship.

“My pie-in-the-sky dream is to have a Worlds Collide pay-per-view,” said Grace. “That’s something everybody–wrestlers and fans–would want to see.”

As for the opponent on Friday, NXT’s Tatum Paxley would make sense. An appearance from Natalya Neidhart would also make sense, especially if it sets up a feud that extends into Slammiversary this July–a show that takes place in Montreal. And Grace will be patiently awaiting a rematch with Perez, which will happen eventually.

“I’d wrestle her 10 more times if I could,” said Grace. “I have a bone to pick with Tatum, too, and she can definitely come to this open challenge on Friday. Whether it’s WWE or AAA or Stardom or MLW, anybody is welcome in TNA.”

Grace may have lost at Battleground, but she took a major step forward for TNA. Moving forward, she hopes her work will create more room for additional crossovers with WWE.

“This is opening up doors and it’s leading to more opportunities for more people,” said Grace. “I think it’s going to lead to something special.”


The (Online) Week in Wrestling

  • Jon Moxley wrestled a highly entertaining bout at Dominion, defeating Evil in a lumberjack match to retain the IWGP world heavyweight championship. Moxley now has four successful title defenses, tied for the most in the three-year history of the title.
  • After Moxley’s victory, Tetsuya Naito answered Moxley’s challenge, setting up a rematch for the belt later this month at Forbidden Door.
  • Cody Rhodes added even more excitement to NXT last night, announcing that NXT champion Trick Williams’ next opponent will be determined by a 25-man battle royal with wrestlers from “different locker rooms”–and even sharing a moment on-screen with three of his former AEW colleagues.
  • To no one’s surprise, Bret Hart didn’t mince words when it came to WCW.
  • In a video AEW should show on television, this is an excellent introduction of Mina Shirakawa–an extremely accomplished pro wrestler and five-time STARDOM champion.

Table is set for Drew McIntyre

When Drew McIntyre won the WWE title at WrestleMania 36, he did so in an empty building as the pandemic started to surge.

Four years later, when McIntyre won the world heavyweight championship at WrestleMania 40, he lost the belt almost immediately after when CM Punk attacked him, and Damian Priest cashed in his Money in the Bank contract.

Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 40
Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 40 / WWE

But this Saturday could be an entirely different story.

In a match where Judgment Day is banned from ringside, McIntyre challenges Priest for the belt in Glasgow, Scotland at Clash at the Castle. A possibility still exists that Punk costs McIntyre the match, but it makes more sense for McIntyre to dethrone Priest and get a long-awaited moment–one that went awry when McIntyre lost to Roman Reigns in the main event of Clash at the Castle two years ago in Cardiff, Wales.

Unlike last time at the Clash, McIntyre won’t be singing Don McLean’s American Pie with Tyson Fury after a disappointing loss. Instead, he should leave the ring as the new world heavyweight champion.

Punk can still cost McIntyre his title by interfering at SummerSlam to help start Gunther’s first world title reign. That will further enhance the McIntyre-Punk feud, while still allowing the newly extended McIntyre to enjoy a stretch with the belt.


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Justin Barrasso

JUSTIN BARRASSO

Justin Barrasso has been writing for Sports Illustrated since 2014. While his primary focus is pro wrestling and MMA, he has also covered MLB, NBA, and the NFL. He can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.