Mickie James recently appeared as a guest on the Wrestling Epicenter show for an in-depth interview covering all things pro wrestling.
During her appearance on the show, she spoke about the upcoming NWA EmPowerrr pay-per-view, her recent IMPACT Wrestling return, the possibility of appearing in AEW, Deonna Purrazzo and more.
Featured below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On how it feels to be an Executive Producer for the NWA EmPowerrr PPV: ‘Pretty incredible. I mean, it is hard work, it is stressful, and it means looking at everything with a whole new set of glasses. But, it is cool to get the opportunity to present women’s wrestling in a whole new place – The NWA! To celebrate it, to have so much going on and to have so many companies involved… It is coming together very well for me and I’m very excited about that. I hope it delivers and I think every woman that is involved with it is so, so excited! It is going to be a good night and it is going to be a good night for women’s wrestling. We’re going to kick ass!”
On how much she kept up with the NWA while working for WW given Nick Aldis being NWA Champion: “Wrestling is our livelihood. It is our life! Wrestling is our everything. Even conversations about what was going on with me at work or with him at work, we always discussed it and talked about it. But, I think it is a bit different because we’re both in the same place now. He’s been amazing! He’s so supportive through all of it. I think I’ve been able to quietly support them… Sometimes not so quietly! I would tell them what a great job they were doing all the time. I’ve been able to see that over the past couple of years and now, to be able to be on the other side and to help them elevate the women and to help them build the women’s division and the brand within the NWA, it is a cool It is a cool place for me to be. I always want to help women’s wrestling because it has put food on my table for two decades at this point. I love it so much and I’m so passionate about it. I’ve always, even from the beginning, wanted to be seen as equal to the men and not just “Good for a woman” but just a good wrestler. Just to break down all of that… This just feels natural and it feels good!”
On who she has helping as NWA EmPowerrr Executive Vice President: “To do it with such a great team with Madusa, Gail Kim, and Jazz who are like my best friends and who I respect so much. They’ve done all those things in their own right and know what it is like to be a woman in the business and to make it and to make it at serious levels… I think the fact that we are so different and come from different backgrounds helps us understand our talent better and to know what they’re thinking and feeling. We’ve been in those shoes and we know how it feels It is really freaking cool!”
On “EmPowerrr” being the perfect name: “Well, the NWA has Powerrr, with 3 R’s, as their weekly TV show so it is a way to lean into that. But, it also speaks volumes about empowering the women of our roster, empowering the youth – the girls who want to be professional wrestlers and for them to see what is possible for them… It is about empowering everyone across the board to celebrate and look up to women. It is kind of like the perfect name. It is like, wow! Because, that’s what it is about!”
On returning to Impact Wrestling after 5 years away: “Oh, it is amazing! They have been so awesome and have welcomed me with open arms. They’ve done everything for it (NWA EmPowerrr) and they get it, they know me! I think about Impact and I have such fond memories. The wrestling bubble is so small so we’ve kind of crossed paths with a lot of the same people in our careers in different organizations around the world. Hopefully I’ve kept a good relationship with all of my friends everywhere But, to be able to walk in there (The Impact Zone) and hear Hardcore Country again, which is something I was able to redefine myself with, and to have a crowd reaction… It is good to be back in front of people again. Of course, we all want to be back on the road with larger crowds and get back to that. Because, the last matches I’ve had, they were all in the Thunderdome – No people there. So, there was energy all around (at Impact). And, I think too, it spoke volumes for the love and respect that they have for me. To be able to come in and talk about my pay per view and to be able to showcase that on Impact was pretty cool as well. I’ve got a lot of love for them. And, I’ve got a lot of history there.”
On if her Impact Wrestling run was better than her WWE run: “I go back and forth on that because I had such an amazing run and experience in WWE – Especially in my first run. My first run was pretty remarkable. But, to be able to go away from there (WWE) which is legitimately the largest platform for wrestling and then to be able to come back to Impact, because I had been there before (as Alexis Laree). I felt I had to evolve away from that character that resonated with people (in WWE), that kind of crazy character and especially coming away from that “Piggie James” thing, I just wanted to be myself and stand in my own shoes. I got to do my own entrance music and I was working so hard with my music, I still am. But, to be able to produce that (song)and have that resonate so well. Fans, to this day, still love that song! It (Impact) was just great! I got to do so many really, really cool things from hardcore matches, the cage match and main eventing Impact – It was amazing!”
On Impact’s Knockouts division being ahead of its time: “Impact was doing more for the women long before it became more mainstream and the #GiveDivasaChance and all of these things. I think they really helped. The women were already getting two segments on the show and were getting all of these opportunities that they weren’t getting elsewhere. ”
On why we never saw her “Hardcore Country” persona in WWE when she returned: “I said this recently in an interview. They asked, “If you had to do something different…” I said I would have come back as “Hardcore Country” Mickie James. That was on me as much as anyone else. I didn’t really think because they weren’t at a place at that time where they would really allow anything from Impact. The door wasn’t really open for that yet. I had pitched it, several times, to transition into the Hardcore Country character and they really just didn’t get it or maybe it was because it was so close to my success at Impact that they really didn’t want to lean into that. But, yeah, I did pitch it as a transition or a heel turn and they just never did it. I don’t really know why. I think it could have been presented in a WWE way. But, it never happened and that’s OK. But, I do think it was a missed opportunity because there was a lot of cool stuff that we could have done with “hardcore Country.”
On the evolution of her character: “I felt I had evolved out of that soppy, girl next door, happy to be there character with the bell bottoms and the fluff or maybe the skirts who was crazy or maybe not crazy. It (Hardcore Country) was more me and if you liked what I said, that’s cool. If you didn’t, that’s cool too. I just felt like I didn’t need to think as much.”
On transitioning back to the WWE style with her character: “I worked so hard on that crazy character. I wanted to keep elements of her in my character and see what a babyface Mickie James would look like. That was an odd transition. Because, that crazy character is what people connected with and was cool and made me… But, you know, everything has to evolve. You have to go through the chapters. So, good stuff!”
On some fans suggesting she’s “bitter” after recently comparing Nick Khan to “Big Pussy” from the Sopranos: “(laughs) First off, it was funny! And, if you don’t think that was funny, we probably can’t be friends because it did pop me. He does favor that guy! It was funny! (laughs) I need to think sometimes before I tweet because sarcasm and humor doesn’t always translate. It, honestly, with mental health issues, some people get moved by things that are said on social media. I, honestly, block ’em all! (laughs) Well, not all of them. But, if it is just offensive or shooting from a place where they just don’t know what they’re talking about, that is the beautiful thing about social media. You have the mute button, you have the block button… You can choose what you see! So, a lot of times, people ask, “What do you think about that?” I say, “I don’t think I saw it, actually!” (laughs) It was an interesting interview to watch. So, I light heartedly, or maybe not so light heartedly, poked fun at it. I thought it was funny!”
On if she’d want to appear for AEW to promote NWA: “Hey! I’m always open for business. I always said that from the beginning. Kamille showed up on AEW. That match, Kamille defending against Layla Hursch, is happening at EmPowerrr and I’m very grateful for that.”
On if she has any interest in going after the NWA Women’s Title: “Obviously, my main focus has been the NWA EmPowerrr pay-per-view. But, I am having my first match back at NWA 73 against Kylie Rae and I’m really excited about that match. Just because I’m heading up this division and this event doesn’t mean that I will ever not want gold!”
On returning to the legendary venue Wrestling at the Chase: “There is so much history there in that building and in that city. St. Louis is buzzing! We’re excited, the hotel is excited. And, I knew there were talks about trying to return to The Chase. I know that several companies over the past 30 plus years have tried to go and present wrestling at The Chase. But, once we knew we had it, and I had spoken to Billy Corgan about this. Once, we knew we had The Chase, it was like, “Lets do it. Lets have the (EmPowerrr) pay per view.””
On the NWA: “It is the oldest wrestling company in America if not the whole World. And, as it has had this resurgence over the past 4 or 5 years, so many people say “I grew up with this” or “I used to watch this with my family” or “I can still watch this with my grandpa because it is wrestling the way he knew it.” I think it is beautiful.”
On if she’d want to face Deonna Purrazzo in Impact, NWA, or anywhere else for the Knockouts Title: “Well, you know, I’ve been very vocal about my feelings towards Deonna. But, I’ve also been very vocal that I’m rooting for my friend Melina. Melina is my oldest rival and one of my best friends. To have Melina have her appearance on Impact Wrestling and have a match was a really cool moment. I know that this match (Deonna and Melina) is going to be special and to have that on the pay-per-view is even more special.”
Check out the complete interview below.
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