The second ever Mae Young Classic is fast approaching. One of the favorites in this year’s field is new NXT signee, Deonna Purazzo. The Virtuosa made her official NXT debut on the August 22nd episode. But before we get too far into Deonna’s future, let’s look back at what’s got her this far.
Deonna was born on June 10, 1994 in Livingston, NJ. She has always been competitive, competing in cheerleading and dance growing up, as well as with her twin brother. Her brother is also how she discovered professional wrestling. Seeing women like Trish Stratus, Lita, Jacqueline, Jazz and Victoria inspired her to become a wrestler. Other favorites of hers are the Hardy Boys, Shannon Moore and John Cena. She was always a WWE fan and began training at age 18. It was then that she discovered independent wrestling.
Deonna was trained by Rip Rogers and Damian Adams. Her first match took place on December 6, 2013. Deonna described her opponent in a Diva Diaries interview as a bitter veteran. In this match, Deonna ended up with a broken jaw. She never crossed paths with this woman again, as she retired soon after the incident. In her eighth ever professional match, on May 10, 2014, she competed for TNA at Knockouts Knockdown II. She took on Brooke Tessmacher in a losing effort. Shortly after this, she began working as an extra for WWE. Her first appearance was as one of Adam Rose’s Rosebuds on the June 30, 2014 episode of RAW.
In addition to the “Big Two”, Deonna has competed in many promotions across North America, the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Australia and Japan. These include but are not limited to: D2W (where she made her debut), Excellence Pro Wrestling, Ohio Valley Wrestling, Ring of Honor, New York Wrestling Connection, Queens of Combat, Beyond Wrestling, Women’s Wrestling Revolution, RISE, SHIMMER, Alternative Wrestling Syndicate, Revolution Pro Wrestling and Wonder Ring Stardom. Clearly, ever since the Virtuosa got started, she hasn’t stopped.
Deonna is credited in helping spark the revitalization of the Women of Honor division of ROH. She also competed in the tournament to crown the first ever Women of Honor Champion earlier this year. At last year’s Mae Young Classic, she was selected as an alternate. Now, she’s set to compete in the tournament proper. Her first-round opponent is Priscilla Kelly.
Now that we have talked about where she has been, let’s discuss her in-ring style. Deonna herself describes her style as methodical. Like greats of yesteryear such as Ric Flair, Bret Hart and Kurt Angle, she tends to work on the arm of her opponent early on to set up her finish, the Fujiwara Armbar. Not many women in wrestling employ this move regularly, and the only other one in WWE is Ronda Rousey. Hopefully the women of NXT are ready for the Virtuosa, Deonna Purazzo. She is young, talented and hungry to achieve her dreams. How far will Deonna go? As far as she wants to.
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