Mickie James Wants WWE To Keep The Forbidden Door Open To IMPACT Wrestling

The IMPACT Knockouts Champion doesn't want WWE Royal Rumble 2022 to be the end...

Mickie James
WWE/IMPACT Wrestling

Mickie James believes that her participation in the 2022 women's Royal Rumble could lead to WWE becoming more open to collaborating with other wrestling promotions in the future.

James entered the Rumble as IMPACT Wrestling's Knockouts Champion. Coming out to her IMPACT entrance theme, she was allowed to take her Knockouts strap to the ring before entering the bout, lasting close to 12 minutes before being thrown out by following WWE returnee Lita.

Interviewed by Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture, James said the following when asked if she thinks WWE will work with more promotions going forward (h/t Fightful):-

"I think yes. I don’t know that it will be immediately, I think this was an opportunity for WWE to test the water, to see if it was something, people talk and they say ‘this will be great and this will get a lot of ratings and this will be a big buzz’ but until it’s actually in front of them I think they can’t actually see it…. I feel that now that they see the potential and how much the fans responded to it, the idea of it happening with the men, or with the World Championships, or something like that, now, at least the idea of that possibility and that door is open."

Mickie's Rumble appearance was particularly notable as it came just nine months after she had been released by WWE, who infamously returned her belongings to her in a black trash bag. Speaking on her exit, James told Salcedo that she didn't want this to become her WWE legacy, unpacking her reasons for working the Rumble:-

"For me I felt that it was a very childish and egoic way to look at it, to go like ‘No I don’t want to do this because my feelings are hurt,’ I could have done that and that was an ego decision, I would have had to live with that decision. I would have had to take accountability for the fact that I just blew my chance to be the first person to do something in a very very long time and to open this gateway and all of these possibilities… This business is bigger than my ego, and my love for this business is bigger than my ego in the sense that this is groundbreaking for everyone to follow and I’ve always wanted to make a positive change in the business no matter what and this was an opportunity to do this and if nothing else, if this was my last thing on WWE television this would be the last thing they remembered not the latter. That was my reason and if people can’t understand that then we just don’t think alike and that’s okay. I prayed about having an opportunity to reclaim Mickie James and to put respect back on my name and here was an opportunity that was given to me on a silver platter. Why would I turn that down if it was something that I prayed for?’"

Now a four-time IMPACT Knockouts Champion, James' current run with the belt commenced with a 23 October 2021 win over Deonna Purrazzo.

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter, Presenter and Editor. Formerly Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @andyhmurray.