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Mickie James will give SmackDown’s women’s division a real boost

Monday’s Rude Awakening includes Mickie James coming to the blue brand, year-end lists, and Kenny Omega’s dream feud.

We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.

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Mickie James recently wrestled for WWE at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, and she’s reportedly signed a contract to do even more with the company, even joining SmackDown. The rumor is that she could officially debut on the redesigned blue brand as early as January, and this would be significant news for a number of reasons. For one, SmackDown hasn’t had the depth of RAW’s women’s division, at least in terms of sheer numbers: while SmackDown has fully utilized their women’s roster from top to bottom in a way Monday’s show has not, they also have been limited to just six women with Eva Marie off television first for a suspension and then to film movies.

Mickie James gives them another credible veteran threat to go along with Natalya and Nikki Bella, as someone who can, along with Becky Lynch and those two, help along the less experienced performers like Lynch just did with now women’s champion Alexa Bliss. Given RAW’s obsession with focusing almost exclusively on Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, and now Bayley, adding James while SmackDown presumably keeps their other women on-screen as they have should finally give the blue brand the real edge over the competition in this department.

SmackDown has always had the promise to deliver a fine product and create new stars, but it was also clear from the outset that new blood would be needed in order to keep the relatively tiny women’s division from getting stale. The eventual return of Eva Marie coupled with the Mickie James signing is one way to freshen up and expand the roster while NXT continues to develop the next wave of WWE women. Plus, you know she’ll at least sniff the SmackDown Women’s Title scene, and that should be exciting regardless of who her opponent would be or what her alignment is.

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