TNA Impact Wrestling’s Mickie James continues to cement her legacy as one of the most accomplished female competitors in history.
Holding gold in every major company she has been involved in the consummate performer has her sights set on winning back the knockout’s championship. The title is currently held by Velvet Sky, who has been a tag team partner and opponent of hers.
“I love Velvet,” James said. “She is a sweetheart. She is fun, and the company is really behind her now. They have really started to make her the face of the knockouts. I always try to do my best when I work with anyone and make sure the match as a whole is as wonderful and spectacular and tells that story as much as it can. She is awesome.”
After seven years, James re-signed with TNA coming off a memorable run in WWE because the Nashville-based company had become a hotspot for ladies wrestling. Compared to her former employer, it’s no secret TNA gives its female talent significantly more time to develop storylines and show their skills in matches. Frequently Knockouts action is prominently featured on the card, which rarely is seen in WWE.
“For me, and granted I don’t watch as much WWE programming as I used to when I was part of the company, but I think that has a lot to do with how much trust they have with those people in those matches and telling those stories,” James said. “Trish [Stratus] said it in her [WWE Hall of Fame] speech that this golden era of women who were some of the best women’s wrestlers in the world, and they aren’t there anymore. This is all over. This isn’t just within that organization.
“With the exception of Nattie [Neidhart] and Alicia Fox and ones like that, they haven’t been maybe wrestling long enough, but I’m not going to bury anybody. I don’t like doing it…But I learned so much valuable, little things, on the independent circuit coming up the hard way that you can’t learn in just starting to learn how to wrestle in developmental.
“You can’t. It’s impossible, but there were tons of stuff I learned in developmental. Granted, it was different when I was coming up just because when the business changes everything kind of changes. There were lessons that I learned and all things that made me a superstar. This is what molded me and made me kind of form that I was in the ring.”
The veteran doesn’t take anything for granted. She has learned from every stop on her journey through pro wrestling, whether it was performing in front of five people in a used car lot in 104-degree weather or before 70,000 people at WrestleMania. For James, everything she has encountered prepared her for the opportunities that have come her way.
“It was those experiences who made me who I was and kept me humble because I came up getting my ass kicked and driving hundreds of miles for $25 and a handshake and living on a can of tuna fish and peanuts,” James said.
“All that stuff kept me humble and motivated to go after my career and passion. You have to really want it because not everyone at the end of the day is willing to go, ‘Okay, I may not be able to put food on my table this week, but I love what I do.’ It’s all about sacrifices. I can’t say it’s true for the male side, but this is where your character is truly born and polished because it gives you that edge. You know how badly you fought for it and how badly you wanted it.”