As always, Pat McAfee was on point with his Smackdown commentary last night. When the graphic came up showing who’s in the Rumble, McAfee exclaimed, “That’s Mickie James, the Impact Knockouts champion, she’s going to have an axe to grind with the garbage that happened in the past!”
Days after getting fired in April of last year, James received a special delivery at home: her belongings from WWE…in a black trash bag. In a tweet directed at Vince McMahon, she told him she received her “care package” along with the photo and a sarcastic thank you.
Stephanie McMahon and Triple both publicly addressed the controversy and apologized to James on behalf of the company, noting that the person involved is no longer employed. In fact, WWE fired two individuals: long-time employee and Senior VP of Talent Relations Mark Carrano as well as Nicole Zeoli, the Director of Talent Relations.
James, following the news of the firings, said she was sorry that a thoughtless and tone deaf act would cost someone their job but she was not sorry that she had the courage to ensure it would not happen ever again to someone who gets released.
And while AEW smashed open the forbidden door, it looks like WWE opened that forbidden door just slightly to offer an olive branch to James to appear at this year’s Royal Rumble, an offer which was accepted.
“Y’all talk about doors like you’re doing big things…Bitch I raise the BAR and kick out the ceiling. Because that’s what legends do,” James wrote on Instagram. She added that after tonight’s Hard To Kill, she’s taking herself, her boots, and her Impact Knockouts title all the way to the Royal Rumble with the final destination being WrestleMania.
Impact EVP Scott D’Amore said that Mickie has the company’s blessing to carry the Knockouts title into the Royal Rumble as long as she beats Deonna Purrazzo tonight. “And, as you saw, @WWE respects her as a World Champion,” D’Amore tweeted.
“WWE wanted it, Mickie wanted it and Impact Wrestling’s philosophy is always to work with other major promotions to create buzz for the fans. Everything is signed and agreed with WWE and Impact Wrestling – the only question is whether or not Mickie will enter one of WWE’s most historic annual matches as the reigning Knockouts World Champion,” D’Amore added.
Meanwhile, Nick Aldis, Mickie’s husband and former NWA champion, said that he wants to say how proud he is of his wife for once again just hitting the ground running and proving that you can’t stop true top level talent if they’re all business like her. He also gave props to NWA, Impact Wrestling, and WWE for making this happen.