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Mickie James’ busy night includes being choked by Bully Ray and Knockouts title match

Mickie James had a busy night on Impact Wrestling (Mar. 9, 2023). She was choked by Bully Ray, she competed in the main event defending the Knockouts Championship, and she might have even made a new friend along the way.

James first appeared on screen as part of the opening segment. Bully Ray hit a low blow on Bhupinder Gujjar during their match. Since the result was a disqualification, Bully didn’t hold back hitting Gujjar with a steel chain. That led to Tommy Dreamer rushing the ring for the save. Masha Slamovich evened the odds to hit a low blow on Dreamer. When Bully set up a piledriver for Dreamer, James ran in to hit Bully with a kendo stick. Unfortunately, Bully felt no pain. James ducked a big boot from Bully to tackle Slamovich for grounded punches. That’s when Bully choked James with the chain. Dreamer grabbed a chair, and the heels scattered.

Bully’s actions on James seemed like more a message of what he could do rather than inflicting serious harm at that moment, so James was good to go for her previously scheduled Knockouts Championship match against Gisele Shaw.

Shaw was flanked by Jai Vidal and Savannah Evans, while James strode alone. The champion hit the first high-impact move with a neckbreaker on the floor. Shaw controlled the pace often with Mickie digging deep for spurts of intensity. James had momentum with plans for a flying seated senton, but Shaw rolled out of the ring. James pivoted for a flying tackle onto Vidal and Evans. James made the mistake of taking her eyes off Shaw, and she paid the price in the form of a big boot.

James and Shaw threw blows in the ring. Mickie was quicker and slicker. She gained the upper hand to land the flying seated senton. Kick out by Shaw. The Quintessential Diva ducked a Mick Kick to unload a superkick of her own. James dodged Shaw’s running knee finisher to counter for a jumping DDT. Before James could pull the trigger, calamity ensued.

Vidal and Evans hopped onto the apron on opposite sides. The plan was for Vidal to distract the referee, so Evans could attack. Those plans were foiled by an unlikely ally for James. Deonna Purrazzo was ringside on commentary. She stepped in to pull Vidal down. That allowed the referee and James to catch Evans in the act of creeping. As the ref tried to usher Evans out of the ring, Shaw scored a roll-up on James. Purrazzo entered the ring for a helping hand to roll them over with James in top position. 1, 2, 3 and still Knockouts champion.

It was unclear if that was a full babyface turn for Purrazzo. She is currently feuding with Shaw and is the de facto fan favorite in that situation. Purrazzo and James were bitter rivals, but Purrazzo is in need of a fresh coat of paint. Perhaps, the Virtuosa will end up palling around with Hardcore Country.

With a scumbag like Bully Ray roaming the Impact Zone, Mickie James could use all the friends she can get.

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