Impact Knockouts champion Mickie James was a guest on The Ariel Helwani Show today to discuss her surprise inclusion in the Royal Rumble.
Asked point blank how she felt about getting the call, James said, “Shocked, very shocked.” She noted that the company never went out of their way to do something like this, especially when it comes to women’s wrestling.
James said that she still maintained a good relationship with everyone at WWE and they had apologized over and over again regarding the trash bag incident. She said that it’s super cool to be able to do this and hopefully it opens to future possibilities.
“It’s weird place to be sitting in. It’s amazing what can happen in a year,” she quipped.
She said that originally it was John Laurinaitis who called Scott D’Amore to pitch the idea and then D’Amore called her to see what she thought about it. Originally, her appearance at the Rumble was going to be kept as a surprise but they wanted the big announcement and she didn’t know they were going to do it on Friday Night Smackdown on the eve of Hard To Kill.
James said the announcement worked out better at the end of the day because a lot of people thought that she was going to lose the title to Deonna Purrazzo at Hard To Kill the next day but now she gets to show up in St Louis still as the champion.
She said she was grateful that WWE acknowledged her as the Impact Knockouts champion on Smackdown, noting that it’s very rare that they would do something like that.
“It felt amazing. It shows a level of respect and gratitude. It was a cool move from their part and it’s cool to be able to represent Impact,” James told Helwani.
Asked if this is a one-time deal, James skirted the question and instead asked Helwani what if she wins? Then she gets to go to WrestleMania. She hopes that she will be carrying the title coming down the aisle at the Rumble and fans will get to see the “Hardcore Country” Mickie James and not the WWE version of herself.
James also discussed at length the trash bag incident and said that Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, John Laurinaitis, and Vince McMahon all called to personally apologize for what happened.