Mickie James is a six-time WWE Women’s Champion that is now sharing the story about how the company recorded an entire segment for TV only to find out it would be pulled before it aired.
“We actually went out on television and recorded the whole thing. Then we got back there and it was all pulled from television – of the whole match and the beginning… It was a mess, that whole thing. There’s so much to that element of the story but I’m just… I don’t even have time and I just don’t want to focus my energy on that kind of stuff. But I just think that I pitched an idea for this for my wrap up thing because I thought it could really make a character on the way out, and I pitched it for someone else. They did something else.”
James talked about getting moved to the Smackdown brand and then suffering a devastating knee injury during a match at a live event.
“Then I got moved to SmackDown and kind of just sat there, and then I did a house show in Waco, Texas, and tore my ACL. I was out for what I thought was going to be a couple of months and it ended up being, like… The doc said, nine months but then I was still healthy sitting at home for another three months after that or whatever until I messaged Vince like, ‘Vince, I’m I’m healthy, I’m ready to come back whenever.’ I was at TV the next day and and then so I’d been pitching this idea for myself, for a return the whole time of, like, ‘Can we do something along this? Like I think it’s really cool. It’d be cool to come full circle, but we could do it in a different way because obviously I’ve been crazy before, so crazy recognises crazy and maybe but we could play with it but make it different so it’s unique and different and dynamic for today, but also add in those real elements.’”
“I thought like, ‘Well, God, there’s no-one… Chelsea, I’d already see what she’d done with the Hot Mess character and I felt like I understood where she was coming from because she had so many false starts and I equally, when I was in that same position, had five false starts before I finally debuted. So I was really empathetic for her and what she was going through at the time and it just seemed to make sense.”
Regarding the angle that never made it to TV, James talked about the process of pitching the idea and how WWE Chairman Vince McMahon didn’t even hear about or approve the idea.
“But to go out there and actually do it and then be waiting around until like one o’clock to realise that Vince never even heard the idea, apparently never heard the idea or approved it, then it all got pulled. I was just like, ‘How does this happen?” Because I know that this idea has… I pitched this idea, I don’t know, six months ago. Like, I pitched it well back before I was even traded, but then not for Chelsea, per se, but I know I’ve been pitching this. So how did it how did I go out there and wrestle and Vince never hear the idea? That doesn’t make sense to me. Something’s not adding up here.’”
When James returned to the ring in August 2020 (following knee surgery a year earlier), it was a short match against Natalya that had a completely different storyline going on at the same time.
“And then… They ended up pulling it and then I came back the next week and then we did the debut match with Nattie and Lana where it was, like, four minutes, but I wasn’t going to get an entrance. And then four minutes and then two minutes in, there was the whole skebuttle about Joe and Rey, and Rollins for their thing, so it just kind of cut over and even then I go like, ‘I don’t really think this is going to get the reaction that you guys are looking for. In fact, I think this is going to do more damage for everyone than it’s going to do good. Like, one, this is my first now, but this is my first match back on television so I should probably get an entrance, like, that’s probably a good idea. And four minutes for this segment and two minutes of my match, of my comeback match you guys are cutting, people are going to hate this, they’re going to hate it, and they’re going to see this as a blatant disrespect.’ And nobody listened to me.”
Like a true professional, James did what she was asked to do while noting that she expected a negative reaction to what happened.
“I’m just like, I can’t believe that nobody else here in this segment isn’t thinking what I’m thinking – or am I just crazy? I guess I’m just crazy! So you know what, we’ll go out there and we’ll do it. We’re going to do it and it’s great, and that’s fine, and we’ll see what happens. And then what I exactly said happened, the people sh** all over it because they were like, ‘This is blatant disrespect. I don’t even care what they’re arguing about on the outside because this is like really sh***y. Like, why would you do that? Like what is happening here?’ So the amount of times that I would say that of, like, ‘I don’t think this is going to get the reaction’ and then we did it anyway, because I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle, and then I was just proved right.”
James also added that she felt WWE could have found a way to make everyone “shine” in the segment and could have done without hurting anyone.
“There was a lot of times, a lot of times and I’m just like, ‘I wish you guys believe me and you realized that I actually do love this business and I know what the hell I’m talking about, and I’m not just it’s not about me, what’s best for Mickie James? It’s about what’s best overall, like optics for everyone and how everyone shines.’ There’s a way for everyone to shine. You don’t have to bury people.”