Now into her second title reign as Impact Wrestling Knockouts champion, having won the Queen of the Mountain match at Slammiversary, Jordynne Grace can say wholeheartedly that this run with the belt will be different than her first one.
That first-go round, in case you were distracted by other things in early 2020, went from January 18, 2020, when Grace beat Taya Valkyrie, to July 18, 2020, when she lost to Deonna Purrazzo.
“It definitely feels different. I feel like I’m a completely different person,” Grace told SlamWrestling.net, noting that it was about a lot more than just the title run. “The pandemic felt like 10 years so that’s how long it feels like it’s been mentally. I feel like I’ve gone through a complete reinvention of myself both mentally and physically since that time, so it definitely feels like it’s going to be completely different than my first run.”
For anyone who watches Impact Wrestling, it is evident that the character of Grace is different too.
“I feel like I’m way more confident now about my skill and my look and everything else than I was back then,” she said, well, confidently. “I was alright back then but now I feel like I really do feel like I’m one of the best wrestlers in the world right now. And I feel like I can portray that and represent the Knockouts division well.”
Women’s wrestling is definitely in the spotlight these days, whether it’s WWE, AEW, Impact, Stardom, WOW, or on the indies.
Bring ’em all on, said Grace. “Competition makes everything better. We’re talking about wrestling promotions, but I also feel like it makes us as performers better because now that all those women got released from WWE, I feel like it’s really forcing everybody — not just the women — to work way harder than we ever have because there’s limited spots and there’s so many wrestlers now.”
But even in her own company there are new-ish names to face, like Masha Slamovich,
“I actually think I’ve wrestled her just one other time and it was when I first got to Impact and almost just like me, she’s a completely different person now than she was back then,” Grace noted on Slamovich. “When I wrestle her again, it’s going to be basically like wrestling a completely different wrestler, because she has undergone such a ridiculous transformation. But she’s definitely one of the top people on my radar.”
And there has been a lot of talk of Forbidden Doors, but Grace is not necessarily a fan.
“The Forbidden Door has been very disappointing to me in the way that I don’t think it got utilized as much as it could have because there’s too much politics between the companies. It’s a good idea in theory, right?” she noted. “But it’s always harder when companies have to work and figure out who’s gonna win, and who’s going to lose. And so I don’t think that anybody’s really taken full advantage of it.”
Impact’s Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore has been the conduit for all the Forbidden Door moments with Impact talent, and Grace thinks highly of D’Amore. “He has had one of the biggest hands in helping me get to where I’m at. He’s an incredible boss. I can’t imagine working for anybody other than Scott right now, just because of how great of a boss he is. He’s so easy to talk to. I think that anybody at any time can go up and talk to him and it’s not uncomfortable. So he’s definitely the best.”
In July 2021, Grace won a powerlifting competition in Georgia. She has put it behind her for the moment.
“I actually have not been focusing on it at all. In the beginning of the year when I was doing both at the same time, it really started to affect my body. I was just hurting constantly. And so the past few months, I’ve actually taken time off from both powerlifting and independent wrestling and I’ve just been focusing on more kind of bodybuilding style workouts, not super heavyweight and recovery, because I was tired of waking up every morning with my back and neck just killing me,” she said.
Grace has been trying to listen to her body.
“Who do I talk to that wrestles that also does powerlifting so they can tell me what they did when both things started to hurt their bodies? So the only thing I could really do was just listen to my own body. And I knew, especially after that Ultimate X match [at January’s Hard to Kill], that I had to just take a break and give my body time to rest because I’ve been doing this for 12 years and it’s never gotten easier. But I’d never woken up in pain the way I was when I was going from a wrestling show to the next day to doing a powerlifting competition.”
Believe it or not, Grace is a big believer in not going hard all day, every day.
“I take days off all time, at least once a week,” she said. “I get massages, I go to the chiropractor, I do a lot of just recovery style stuff and just get my body prepared to go back and do another week, basically, get back on the grind.”
One of Grace’s featured runs, prior to regaining the Knockouts title, was feuding with Matt Cardona over Impact’s Digital Media championship. Asked about whether it’s tough to compete against men, Grace tried to explain but ended up putting Cardona (currently off injured) over.
“I would say it depends on who the man is,” she said with a laugh. “Men are definitely, they can be a little bit harder to call matches with because you never know if men are going to be willing to work with your character. My character is obviously like super strong, and that I can pretty much pick up anybody or anything, and you never know if a guy’s going to want you to pick him up or slam him a certain way. And luckily, with Matt Cardona specifically, he is f—ing awesome. And we had incredible chemistry, like, I can’t think of another person, another male wrestler, that I’ve had three great matches within a row like we did. So yeah, I think I definitely take a different approach to wrestling women than I do men.”
Grace’s opponent for Against All Odds will be former Knockouts champion Tasha Steelz. The show is in Atlanta, at the Center Stage venue, where World Championship Wrestling did its TV tapings back in the day.
“I live in Atlanta currently with my husband, my husband’s from here,” Grace noted, referencing the current Ring of Honor World champion Jonathan Gresham. “I wrestled for the first time at Center Stage at an GCW show a few months ago, and it was immediately one of my favorite places to wrestle — if not the favorite place I’ve ever wrestled just because it’s so different than every other venue. It’s set up, basically like … like the old score gladiator style, where everybody sits like around the ring in those elevated bleachers. And the ring is in the center of the entire room.
There’s a different chemistry at Center Stage, she said. “It’s great for fans, because usually they’re sitting in chairs, one behind the other. But in the bleachers, you can really see every single thing because you’re not having to look over anybody’s head.”
And the local tie-in makes it special.
“I think my husband’s mom is going to come and I think a few family members are going to come. So that’s definitely going to be really awesome. And also my powerlifting coach, too.”
Jordynne Grace is asked to look down the road.
“I will be having my first title defense Against All Odds so I’m super excited about that. I didn’t get to defend the title a lot during my first reign because the pandemic and when I did defend it, I really didn’t get the full experience because there was no fans there,” she concluded. “So I’m super excited to have my first title defense at one of the best wrestling venues in the entire world at Center Stage. And so you guys have that to look forward to. And I’m looking forward to just representing the Knockouts division the best way I can and bring more eyes to it. showing everybody how many amazing wrestlers there are at Impact.”
TOP PHOTO: Jordynne Grace heads to the ring for the Queen of the Mountain match at Slammiversary. Impact photo.
- June 22, 2022: Slammiversary left an impact on Jordynne Grace
- July 24, 2021: Jordynne Grace wins powerlifting competition
- Feb. 13, 2020: Hail Jordynne, champion Grace
- Jan. 18, 2017: Kozina’s Road Diaries: More shows and a wedding!
JORDYNNE GRACE LINKS