Mickie James was a guest on Ariel Helwani’s podcast yesterday (Jan. 14). Last week’s surprising news she would return to WWE and take part in the 2022 Royal Rumble as Impact Knockouts champion was, of course, their main topic of discussion.
While talking more about how her historic “forbidden door” moment came to be, James also addressed the end of her last WWE run — and the controversy that came when she tweeted how after her release she was sent her belongings in a trash bag:
“It was a few weeks ago, and [Impact executive] Scott [D’Amore] had called me first... just to kind of see where I was at, and if I was interested. I think immediately I was excited, because I think about — historically this has never happened before, for WWE to do this or to have anyone participate in the Rumble, especially to acknowledge the championship. It’s really — it’s cool. And it just shows a different amount of respect. I feel really great about it.
“Plus, I think, in my mind, the last thing most people bring up, or talk about was on the other end of the spectrum with — and so it’s just cool not to have that be the thing, or the last thing, or whatever that is. So I’m so excited, honestly.”
James says that WWE apologized for the trashbag-gate, including with a phone call she got from Vince McMahon himself.
“All things considered, everyone from that camp, we’ve talked and there has been apologies. I still maintain a good relationship with everyone in that sense.”
The announcement of her Rumble appearance sounds like typically chaotic WWE. After John Laurinaitis called D’Amore, and D’Amore called her, Mickie thought she’d be a surprise entrant on Jan. 29 in St. Louis. But... surprise!
“I was headed to Impact because we obviously had the championship on the line [at Hard To Kill] and it 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 we were talked about it being a surprise, like more of like, just one of the surprise entrances. But then I think Johnny [Laurinaitis] and the [WWE] camp really wanted to kind of get it out there because they were doing that big announcement in the reveal that night, and they wanted to put it as part of that.”
While it’s doesn’t sound official yet (and is probably subject to more negotiations), James says her intent is to wear the Knockouts title for her Rumble entrance — and to come in to her “Hardcore Country” theme.
So get excited for that, and check out her entire talk with Helwani here.