Deonna was shocked to learn Mickie James was in the Royal Rumble in 2022.
Mickie James being announced for the 2022 Royal Rumble shocked the wrestling world. As the current IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts Champion, nobody would have ever guessed that WWE would be inviting her to participate in the Royal Rumble less than 12 months after they released her from the company, returning her belongings in a trash bag in what would become very big talking point following the mass cuts after WrestleMania 37.
Now, just 24 hours before she was in a Texas Death Match with Deonna Purrazzo, Mickie James had the whole wrestling world talking about her. Deonna, says she was just as surprised as the rest of the world and found out exactly when we did.
Speaking with Instinct Culture by Denise Salcedo, Purrazzo talked about her rivalry with Mickie James and finding out the news that she would be entering the Royal Rumble this year.
"I was equally surprised as I think the entire wrestling world was, I didn't know that was gonna happen. I had just gotten to my hotel room and Steve put on SmackDown and there was that announcement. I was like 'oh, interesting, okay.' Because I think WWE has kind of a closed-door policy with playing with others, and to hear that was, I think, the first time in history that they really acknowledged other companies like that. Especially IMPACT. So, I feel we don't get all the credit we deserve and people kinda let things that happened in the past reflect their opinions on what we are doing now. It was kinda like a really big thing for us. I was a bit concerned that-- I had found out that we were gonna be the main event on Monday and now it's Friday and this is being announced and we're not announcing it, are people going to think we are getting to be the main event because of this? That was kind of my first initial thoughts was like, 'I really hope that whoever is tuning in, not as an IMPACT fan, does some research and sees the story we've been telling and sees why we're in a Texas Death Match and what we've evolved to, to get to this point that we're warranted the main event, that we deserve the main event, not just because we're women but because the story we've been telling warranted that spot. Overall I think that it put a ton more eyes on Hard To Kill, a ton more eyes on Mickie's and I's match and I mean that's all you can ask for, right?"
Speaking about her rivalry with Mickie James, Deonna Purrazzo stated that her rivalry with Mickie James has provided a learning curve for her because this is her first time being involved with such a long-running rivalry. She credits Mickie James for being a great teacher because of her experience and showing her the importance of storytelling and the small details in storytelling.
"It's a learning curve for sure because everything that Mickie and I have done, this is my first time doing something like that. Mickie who has been doing this for 20 years, has been in all of these amazing storylines dating back to what I watched as a kid with Trish Stratus. She's been there and she's done 99.9% of the things her and I have gotten to do so to really just sit back and listen to how she sees all of the little details, what's important to her, and what she thinks is key in storytelling and things like that have been such a learning curve for me."
She added, "To get to work and be in the ring with someone like Mickie, who exudes the energy that she does, it's such a contrast to who I am in the ring. So it's been a fun dynamic and it's been really fun to see how the fans react to both of us. Then to do something like the Knockouts first main event, besides maybe Chelsea and Britt there is no one that would have been a better fit for me and somebody I wanted to be across the ring with. I think an underlying part of the story of the Virtuosa that hasn't been talked about is this legend killer type thing. I got to wrestle Jazz and retire her from IMPACT Wrestling, I got a chance to wrestle ODB, I talked crap to Gail Kim about all of the knockouts of the past and how I am the greatest knockout champ ever. So I think the underlying story to this is like, the evil queen was finally defeated and then there was a lot of symbolism in her putting the table on me at the end of our match on Saturday. Throwing the chairs on me, and standing on me and really conquering this person who has had such a hold on the Knockouts Division for so long. "
With the Texas Death Match behind them, Deonna now looks to get back on track by capturing the Ring of Honor World Women's Championship on tonight's IMPACT. Fightful has live coverage of IMPACT on AXS TV beginning Thursday at 8 p.m. eastern.