Mickie James appeared on Ariel Helwani’s show today to talk about entering the WWE Royal Rumble, closing the deal, and possibly further co-promotion with WWE.
James said she was approached a few weeks ago about the Rumble a few weeks ago:
“It was a few weeks ago, and Scott called me first…just to see where I was and if I was interested,” James said. “I think I was immediately excited, because I think this has never happened before, for WWE to do this or for someone to be in the Rumble, especially to recognize the championship. It’s really, it’s cool. And it just shows a different respect – I feel really good about it. Also, I think, in my mind, the last thing most people bring up or talk about was the other end of the spectrum and so it’s just cool that it’s not the thing, or the last thing, or whatever. So I’m so excited, honestly.
James said it was John Laurinaitis who originally contacted Scott D’Amore:
Johnny reached out to Scott to talk to him professionally first because… it’s never really been done before by them. So definitely they talked first to see if it was going to be something that they had worked together, Impact worked with WWE in the past for other things, you know, when Flair got into the Hall of Fame and Christian Cage and all that, so it was not unexpected that this could happen. But yeah, so I think that’s why Scott contacted me first to see what my interest was. And then, obviously, we all managed to make it happen in one way or another. And I think it was going to be a surprise, we talked about having it as a surprise. But you know, the ad [and] the ad response kinda blew me away. I think that’s pretty amazing. You know, it’s different, and it’s kind of historical, and then being the person they did it with, it’s really cool.
James said an apology was issued and she was on good terms with WWE after the trash bag incident when she was released last year. James was asked what his reaction was when he was told that WWE contacted Impact Wrestling.
She said, “Uh, I was shocked. I think I was very shocked because I know it’s never really been done, especially for women and so and I think all things considered, but I also feel like everyone From this camp honestly we talked and there were apologies and all the stuff and I still have a good relationship with everyone in that sense. And professionally, I just think it’s just something to be able to do and hopefully open the door to future possibilities of that as well. You know, so yeah, I think my knee-jerk reaction was that I was kind of shocked, you know, because that’s just unheard of. And mostly for me, I was like oh really okay, uh and so yeah, I don’t know. It’s weird, isn’t it? It’s a weird place to sit.
James said she didn’t know her name would be announced on SmackDown until it happened. She said, “Not until Friday?” I was heading to Impact because obviously we had the championship on the line and that was going to be the main event. And that was already a thing. So I was actually driving around looking for a guitar when it aired on SmackDown in Dallas. So I don’t know, I think like we said, we were told it was a surprise, like more or less, just one of the surprise starters. But then I think Johnny, really in camp, really wanted to let it be known because they were doing this big announcement in the reveal that night, and they wanted that to be part of that.
If you use any part of the quotes from this article, please credit Ariel Helwani with ah/t to TBEN.co for the transcript