The Last Rodeo is over for Mickie James, but her career is not. Hardcore Country overcame Jordynne Grace in Career versus Title to win the Knockouts Championship at Hard to Kill.
James was nervous earlier in the evening with the realization that her career could be over if she loses. Tara (aka Victoria in WWE) and Raven lent support.
.@REALLiSAMARiE gave @MickieJames some words of encouragement ahead of her MAIN EVENT match later tonight with @JordynneGrace for the Knockouts World Championship!#HardToKill pic.twitter.com/yUJ9qs4pWf— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 14, 2023
James channeled her Native American heritage as she was surrounded by the Mattaponi Drum & Dancers during her special entrance.
David Penzer handled introductions for the big-fight feel. Ring the bell.
Handshake of respect to start. Grace muscled James around the ring. Tension picked up with James dishing out slaps. Grace responded with one power slap knocking James down to the mat.
Power versus heart was the story of the match. Grace put a pounding on James, but Hardcore Country kept coming back for more. Whenever James scored offensive rallies, Grace would smash her hoss style. The action was slick as well with several counters out of signature moves in pivotal moments. Overall, it was a very good wrestling match with the extra drama of James’ career on the line.
Enjoy this example of Grace’s handiwork. Thicc Mama Pump executed a stalling superplex then followed for a transition into a jackhammer suplex.
James almost earned victory by escaping the Grace Driver to counter for a Mick Kick and a jumping DDT finisher. Grace kicked out, but the crowd thought it should have been a clean three-count.
The match was not without controversy. Grace has a sleeper hold locked tight on the mat. James clearly tapped out before flipping over the top for a pinning predicament to escape the hold. The reality of the situation appeared to be James tapping as a signal to loosen the choke. Grace did adjust her arm. But, that won’t fly in the story realm of professional wrestling. James was caught on tape tapping out.
For the finishing sequence, Grace lifted James into a fireman’s carry and rammed her into the turnbuckles. James slithered free, so Grace charged into the corner. James dipped low, and Grace collided into the ring post. James pounced for a tornado DDT for the 1, 2, 3.
James is now a five-time Knockouts champion. Hardcore Country celebrated with her family and friends in the ring to close the show.
How will you celebrate Mickie James winning the Knockouts Championship?