Tessa Blanchard is one of the hottest free agents in wrestling, and it seems she even makes an appearance in WWE 2K Battlegrounds.
The former IMPACT Wrestling World Champion – who made history back in January when she became the first woman to hold the title – isn’t a playable character in the cartoony, arcade-style game by any stretch, but an image bearing her resemblance can certainly be spotted.
Twitter user newLEGACYinc had an early copy of the game (which drops today) and noticed an arty strip explaining the basic rules of a Royal Rumble match.
In the final panel, a drawing of a woman who looks uncannily like Tessa can be seen holding her hands out in a pose that appears to match an iconic photo of her right down to her ring gear and hair placement.
Interestingly – or perhaps coincidentally, who knows? – when you Google search ‘woman wrestler winning’, the apparent reference snap is the first one to come up in the image results.
Another Twitter user shared the discovery alongside the original picture, which caught the attention of the original photographer.
Basil Mahmud wrote: ‘Hey @WWEgames you wanna tell me why you took my photo without my permission to use it in your game?’
Although some social media users tried to suggest the image was ‘fair game’ because it had been posted on social media by IMPACT, Basil was unimpressed.
They added: ‘Wrong, fair use act is if you use the picture for explanation purposes. Not for art in a game that your make money off of.’
Tessa left IMPACT Wrestling over the summer, and it’s unclear if she’ll be making a jump to another top level promotion.
She has worked for WWE in the past, including the Mae Young Classic in 2017, which came after a few NXT matches the previous year.
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