Mickie James is ready to make history at the WWE Royal Rumble.
Fans were shocked on the January 7 episode of WWE SmackDown when it was revealed that Mickie James would be part of the women's Royal Rumble. James was released by WWE in April 2021 and was infamously sent a trash bag as part of her release.
Pat McAfee acknowledged Mickie as the IMPACT Knockouts Champion during the broadcast and she was mentioned as the champion on social media.
"It was something I asked for," Mickie told Sam Roberts on the NotSam Wrestling podcast when asked if she knew she would be announced as the Knockouts Champion. "You never know. It's one of those things. I was hoping it would get a good reaction because I felt it was something unique and different and pretty powerful and it blew up a little bit. I'm grateful for that. You always hope for that type of reaction, it kind of solidifies your career or that people care and are invested."
Along with Mickie James, Fightful Select reported that WWE also reached out to The IInspiration (Cassie Lee & Jessica McKay, formerly The IIconics in WWE) to appear in the Royal Rumble. Lee & McKay are the reigning IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Champions, but turned down the appearance.
You can learn more about WWE reaching out and The IInspiration declining by clicking here.
James told Roberts that she doesn't believe WWE came to her because she's the Knockouts Champion, but instead because she's Mickie James.
"I'm sure that they certainly didn't seek out the IMPACT Knockouts Champion. They called me because it's me. Given everything, I'm grateful for that opportunity and for an opportunity to do something that's never been done before," she said. "Not just to do it for the women, but for all of wrestling, it really opens the doors for so many potential things. The idea of dream matches and champions vs. champions and things you would have never thought possible before. I'm really excited and I really want to represent IMPACT and I want to represent myself. Don't get me wrong, I was always open to and I always want to move behind the scenes and I'm still constantly learning and evolving. I also wanted to do something awesome and I'm having the chance to do it now. To be asked to even come back for the Rumble is a really unique thing and I wasn't going to say no because I felt like a lot of people, especially in the last year, because when I left and that whole incident, I felt that took precedent over my whole career and put this asterisk beside my name. Here's all this magic with Trish (Stratus), Lita, Melina, and Beth (Phoenix) that I had done and it was almost overshadowed by this little dark cloud. I didn't want that to be the final thing. As powerful as it was and the change that it made, awesome, at the same that really stunk because it was the first thing people would bring up. 'Oh, sorry they did this,' Yeah, I'm sorry too and they are sorry, but I was trying to move past it and it felt like this little lingering thing. Now, this could be the last thing or the thing."
Mickie successfully defended the IMPACT Knockouts Championship against Deonna Purrazzo at IMPACT Hard to Kill.
You can check out the current lineup for WWE Royal Rumble by clicking here.
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