WWE star Mickie James recently spoke to TalkSport to discuss all things pro-wrestling, including how the former women’s champion had to fight to get her famous Royal Rumble moment with long-time rival Trish Stratus. That and more can be found below.
How she and Trish Stratus had to fight for their moment together at the Royal Rumble:
We weren’t originally supposed to be in the Royal Rumble at the same time. We just went to them and said ‘I think we’re missing out on a really key moment.’ Obviously there are current storylines that are happening now [to consider]. This is just perhaps how far women’s wrestling has come since then, but those key building moments with Beth [Phoenix], Layla, Michelle McCool with that whole piggy James thing, those emotional rollercoasters – those examples are just in my career – but there are women that have paved the way since then. We sometimes forget about some of that stuff just because it’s taken us so long to get here. And how special those moments were for us as a fans and the history in that sense. I’m so thankful that we fought for it. I’m so thankful we had that moment to go ‘Ok, it’s just the two of us.’ And the people reacted! The people reacted and it was like ‘ah! Oh, thank you, thank god!’ [laughs]. This is amazing. You could see the genuine smiles coming across our faces. We were just like ‘Yes! We were good! We are good!’
On being proud of her career prior to her return in 2016:
I think that after I had Donovan, I was kind of reset. I didn’t sign back with TNA real full-time and I kind of slowed down my bookings on the independents. I tried to go back to WWE prior to having Donovan, so I kind of gave up on that possibility happening for me at that point. So I was almost at that stage in my career before the call eventually came where it was like you know what, I should be very, very proud of my career. There’s always that competitive side of you that feels you have something to prove, but I felt I should be proud and I think I’ve done a lot more than I ever expected.
Getting the call to face Asuka at NXT Takeover Toronto:
It was Mark Carrano [WWE senior director of talent relations] and he was seeing if I was interested [in facing Asuka at NXT TakeOver]. Of course I was! I’d preyed about that moment and to get that one last chance to show yes, I still kick butt. I kicked it when I was there before and I still kick it now. So I was so grateful for that chance and Asuka was huge. She was pushed so big at the time. I wasn’t actually familiar with all of her work at the time, but I went back and got familiar with what she had done there, who she was and what she was doing so I was already super impressed. And it was a challenge to take on the new breed of wrestling fan and new breed of wrestlers that were coming up and show that I could still rock and roll with them.
Triple H offering her a full-time position on the main roster:
Hunter called me after [TakeOver] and he was like ‘Hey, we want to bring you back full-time if you’re interested, would you be interested? And I was like of course I would! Absolutely, thank you. That day I was out at the farm cleaning horse stalls when he called me.