Mickie James is on her last rodeo in Impact with a goal of working her way back up to a title shot. One loss along the journey, and that will be the end of James’ wrestling career. James dealt with her toughest test to date in bitter rival Deonna Purrazzo for the main event of Thursday night’s Impact Wrestling.
James and Purrazzo have battled twice before in singles action. James won the Knockouts Championship from Purrazzo for round one and retained the title in a Texas Deathmatch for round two. Almost eleven months later, it was time for round three.
James and Purrazzo were given over 20 minutes, including commercial breaks, to work in the ring. It was a methodical affair to maximize strategic efficiency. Purrazzo controlled momentum for much of the bout to grind down her opponent. James rallied by dropkicking Purrazzo off the apron. James followed for a flying Thesz press down to the floor. Upon reentry to the ring, Hardcore Country connected on a flying dropkick. The Mickster fired up for a neckbreaker. As she set up a jumping DDT finisher, Purrazzo escaped. The Virtuosa smashed a pump kick to send James reeling. Purrazzo aimed to finish on a Gotch piledriver, however, James escaped for a Mick Kick. Purrazzo still had fight left in her.
Purrazzo countered the jumping DDT into an armbar. James dramatically reached for the rope, so Purrazzo snatched the limb for a double armbar. James was able to place her foot on the rope for the break.
The two competitors tussled to counter positional control. Purrazzo grabbed a waist lock bouncing of the ropes to create motion for a roll-up. Purrazzo grabbed the tights. During the count, James was able to roll the pin over for a roll-up of her own. James grabbed the tights to secure victory.
Mickie James lives to fight another day. Even though she cheated, it was more of a just desserts move rather than a desperation heel turn. James may need to keep that trick on hand for her next bout, because business picked up in a big way after her victory.
Enter Jordynne Grace with the Knockouts Championship around her waist. There’s no disputing James has proven herself working from the bottom up during the last rodeo. The champ declared that it is time for a showdown. Grace versus James in title versus career at Hard to Kill on January 13. James accepted with a handshake, but Grace did not let go. The champ made a point with intense trash-talking before separation.
Impact has handled James’ last rodeo well to build up a truly epic clash. Grace has been a badass champion in her own right to create a truly unpredictable matchup. At Hard to Kill, a fairy tale ending for James is equally as possible as her retirement. I’ve got goosebumps of anticipation.
BREAKING: @JordynneGrace vs @MickieJames goes down at #HardToKill on Friday, January 13th at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA!— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 2, 2022
TITLE VS CAREER!
Hard To Kill: https://t.co/RUIWRibrfE
Two Day Combo: https://t.co/9WlXd38RM1 pic.twitter.com/iAEZ2HYWvt
Will you be rooting for Mickie James or Jordynne Grace at Hard to Kill?