After weeks of speculation as to where multi-time champion, Taya Valkyrie would appear next, the news was announced that the former Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling star will be competing for All Elite Wrestling.
So with the last of Impact’s recent Las Vegas tapings set to air this week and will most certainly explain Taya’s departure from the company, I got the idea in my head to write and rank some of Taya’s most career-defining moments in her first and second run with Impact.
So without any further ado, here is my list of the Top 10 Taya Valkyrie Moments in Impact Wrestling…
#10. Her Debut
So we kick things off rather appropriately by focusing on the very first appearance of Mrs Taya Valkyrie in the Impact Zone all the way back in 2017.
Now it goes without saying that 2017 was not a good year for the company for reasons too numerous to mention, but one of the highlights would have to be Taya’s debut. After weeks of video packages hyping her arrival, Taya made her debut on the September 7th 2017 edition of Impact which saw a brawl break out between Taryn Terrell, Sienna (Allysin Kay) and Rosemary.
At one point in the melee, Taryn and Sienna were looking to double team on Rosemary when the lights started to go down and some unknown music began to play only for the screen to show off the name Taya Valkyrie.
Now the Taya that came out here was very different from the one most of us know today. Valkyrie came out with a spikey crown and a long blue robe which was a holdover from her days as ‘Lucha Royalty’ from Lucha Underground.
By the time Taya came to the ring, it at first looked like she would come out to help Rosemary only for Valkyrie to blast Rosemary in the face before dropping the Demon Assassin with her finishing manoeuvre now as ‘Road To Vallhala’.
This entire moment not only introduced Taya as a bad guy…or bad girl if you will, but it also set the stage a for the feud between Valkyrie and Rosemary, but more on that a bit later.
#9. Taya Lays Out A Challenge at the HTK Press Conference
When you think of the greatest rivals within the Impact’s Knockouts Division many tend to look at examples like Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong, Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne, Fire N’ Flava vs. Neveah and Havok. Another great example would have to be Taya Valkyrie vs. Tessa Blanchard.
Around the same time, some damaging allegations were levelled at the third-generation wrestler less than 24 hours before the Hard To Kill pay per view, Tessa Blanchard was set to take on her rival Sami Callihan in the main event. This would go on to see Tessa become the first woman in the company’s history to be a world champion and the first woman since Chyna in 1999 to win a male’s championship in a major wrestling promotion.
Now I bring this up as a backdrop for the entry on this list as Taya (who was the Knockouts Champion at the time) successfully retained her title against ODB and Jordynne Grace. Before the PPV could wrap up, many of the Impact roster sat down in front of a number of wrestling journalists to answer questions.
When asked about the Tessa allegations and whether she should fight for the title, Taya basically ignored the questions. She did call out Tessa, making it very clear that if she won the world title on the PPV, Valkyrie would want to challenge for the world championship.
Fast forward a few months and that challenge by Taya would be accepted with both ladies fighting for the Impact World Championship on the March 3rd 2020 edition of Impact.
#8. Valkyrie Wins her Third Reina de Reinas Championship
So it’s not just in Impact where Tessa and Taya have made history inside the squared circle. They’ve also fought each other as part of Mexican Wrestling Promotion, Lucha Libre AAA and while yes, the moment in question doesn’t take place in Impact it does involve two of its biggest female stars at the time so I’m including it here.
Taking place at the ‘Lucha Invades NY’ event, AAA’s first-ever show inside Madison Square Garden, we saw the then Reina de Reinas Women’s Champion, Tessa Blanchard defend her title against former two-time champion Taya.
What makes this match especially intriguing is the fact that Tessa was booked as the heel whereas Taya was booked as the babyface which was in stark contrast to how both ladies were presented in Impact around this time.
In the end, Taya defeated her rival to become a three-time Reina de Reinas AAA Women’s Champion inside the famous MSG building. Another interesting fact to mention is that Taya was the Knockout Champion in Impact at the time which meant that Valkyrie was the first woman to have held both AAA’s and Impact’s women’s titles at the same time…quite historic.
#7. Taya and Rosemary Reunite
Several years after their feud came to an end, both Taya and Rosemary became friends and eventually allies in 2019 which ultimately led to the pair forming a makeshift tag team determined to win the Knockouts World Tag Team Titles.
On the June 9th 2022 edition of Impact, Rosemary took on and defeated one-half of the Knockouts Tag Champions Tenille Dashwood, which lead to the former Emma in WWE and her tag partner, Madison Rayne to get the jump on Rosemary after the match.
This soon led to Taya coming to the aid of her old tag partner and the two were able to put away Madison and Tenille quite handily before staring down each other only for Rosemary to be hesitant about reforming the tag team once again…Of course, this wouldn’t last for too long.
#6. Taya’s Return at Multiverse of Matches
So Taya’s second run in Impact was a bit different from her first. Many, myself included, expected her to return to the company with the goal of getting revenge on the woman who defeated her before exiting from the promotion and to regain her knockouts world championship…and while the latter part didn’t end up happening, the former certainly did and it all got started at the Multiverse of Matches.
After defeating Faby Apache to retain her Reina de Reinas Women’s Championship, Deonna Purrazzo took to the mic to air out her grievances with Mercedes Martinez being crowned the interim ROH Women’s Champion, despite the fact that Deonna was still the reigning and defending champion. However, before she could finish her rant she would be interrupted by the unexpected return of her old rival, Taya Valkyrie who was coming off a rather underwhelming run in the WWE.
Valkyrie would lay the challenge to Deonna for a shot at the Reina de Reinas Championship at the upcoming Rebellion pay-per-view which wasn’t as good as their first encounter at Hard To Kill 2021 but ended much differently than their previous battle with Taya winning the gold and getting her payback.
#5. Winning the Knockouts Tag Titles
Earlier I mentioned how Taya Valkyrie saved Rosemary from The Influence which looked like the fans would get to see the former friends and besties reform their old tag team and win the gold, but the Demon Assassin wasn’t having any of it…At first.
Flash forward to Slammiversary 2022 and the duo of Taya & Rosemary defeated The Influence to become the new Knockouts World Tag Team Champions. Unfortunately, that reign didn’t last long as another pair of wrestling besties: Deonna Purrazzo and Chelsea Green aka VXT would defeat Taya and Rosemary for the tag titles on the Emergence preshow.
Around this time, Havok (who was Rosemary’s former tag team partner) was transformed into Jessicka and after much begging by Taya to keep Jessicka around Rosemary relented. Soon the trio, now called ‘Death Dollz’, would defeat VXT to back the Knockouts Tag Titles at that year’s Bound For Glory.
As part of the Death Dollz, the trio had new merchandise, new music and in Taya’s case a brand new look as her outfits coming to the ring made her look like one of the protagonists from The Matrix franchise.
The trio would go on to have a solid reign with the tag titles before losing them to the team of Taylor Wilde and Kilynn King, but regardless the group’s time together was undoubtedly a high point of Taya’s second run in Impact.
#4. Shooting John E. Bravo
There are many things Impact Wrestling is known for with some of them being good and some being bad. One thing you can say for certain is that the former TNA is never afraid to go over the top when comes to their matches, the gimmicks or how they write off wrestlers out of the promotion which leads me to this entry.
On the October 27th 2020 edition of Impact, Rosemary was set to marry former Impact referee turn valet, John E. Bravo in a main event wedding segment. Now considering most wrestling weddings end up with things falling apart, it should come as no surprise to hear the same thing happened here albeit with a more soap opera-like twist at the end.
Before Bravo and Rosemary could kiss, the lights went out before a quick flash coupled with the sound of a gunshot rang out through the building. Upon the lights coming back on Bravo was laid out having been shot on his wedding day by an unknown assailant.
Following months of a whodunnit storyline involving much of the company’s mid-carders and Knockouts. It was soon revealed that it was Taya Valkyrie who shot Bravo as she found her former valet to be a monster and that she was trying to save Rosemary from marrying someone like that.
This soon led to Taya being escorted out of the building by security but not before encountering Rosemary and explaining the whole thing to her before going in a warm embrace. She was then dragged away for a disappointing run in the WWE or as ECW legend Tommy Dreamer described it: she’ll be serving time in the Stanford Maximum Penitentiary.
#3. Turning Heel with her Husband
Upon returning to Impact in late 2018, Taya Valkyrie became a babyface just as her real-life husband and former WWE superstar, John Morrison aka Johnny Impact aka John Hennigan became the new Impact World Champion.
The pair did well for themselves as the good guys but they did especially better as heels which came about on the March 15th 2019 edition of Impact where a neckbrace-wearing Johnny Impact was carried to the ring on the shoulders of Killer Kross.
Despite Taya’s best efforts to save her husband, it would be the intervention of Brian Cage that saved Impact from a worsening injury at the hands of Kross. However, things were not all as they seemed because mere moments after a teary-eyed Taya hugged Cage for saving her and her husband, she got down to one knee and low blowed Cage before Impact leapt back up to his feet and removed his neckbrace to reveal that he was perfectly fine and that Brian Cage was caught in their trap.
Although Johnny Impact would be gone from the promotion a few months after this heel turn and losing the world title to Cage, the moment of seeing Impact and Taya surprise everyone and turn to the dark side was great.
#2. Taya Valkyrie vs. Rosemary: Demon’s Dance
So after Taya Valkyrie made her debut by dropping Rosemary right on her face with the Road to Valleha, a feud between both ladies emerged which saw Taya finding numerous ways to outsmart Rosemary before culminating with another Road to Valleha.
This all lead up to a match between the two knockouts at that year’s Bound For Glory event. Sadly that match wouldn’t take place at Bound For Glory as visa issues prevented Taya from entering Canada and thus the match was cancelled.
Taya would return following the visa problems to rekindle her unfinished feud with Rosemary which saw both ladies having matches and backstage brawls with each other but nothing was really resolved by the end of it.
That all changed on the April 12th 2018 edition of Impact, when two would settle their issues once and for all in a Demon’s Dance match…In other words, a weapons-sanctioned match with a strange name aka classic Impact.
The rivalry finally came to a close after Rosemary put Taya through a table with a piledriver from the second rope which secured her the three count and the win; both ladies would face off with each other here and there before becoming friends and later tag champions. The feud ultimately came to a close with this match and helped to show off the chemistry that would make both ladies so compelling.
#1. Winning The Knockouts Championship
Sure, Taya Valkyrie may have won the Knockouts Tag Titles and the Reina de Reinas Championship, but aside from her on-and-off relationship with Rosemary, there is nothing that compares to becoming the Knockouts Championship for the very first time.
After failing to beat Tessa Blanchard for the Knockouts Championship at Bound For Glory 2018, Taya would get another shot at the Knockouts title at the Homecoming pay-per-view in early 2019. Thanks to the intervention of special guest referee Gail Kim, Taya Valkyrie with tears in her eyes became the Knockouts Champion and thus began a new chapter not just within the Knockouts Division, but her career as a whole.
Taya would go on the warpath defending and crushing every female that stood in her way from Tessa to Havok to Su Yung to Rosemary to Tenille Dashwood to Jordynne Grace and ODB with a reign that lasted for a grand total of 377 days. This made her the longest reigning champion in the company’s long history second only to Josh Alexander’s and Deonna Purrazzo’s second reigns with the world title and Knockouts title respectively.
Taya Valkyrie would go on to lose her belt to Jordynne Grace during a match in Mexico on the February 11th 2020 edition of Impact. Even though she would never win the title back, Valkyrie’s legacy as one of the all-time greatest female wrestlers was established with this title reign and for that this easily stands as the best Taya Valkyrie moment in Impact Wrestling History.
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