TNA Knockout Mickie James joined Busted Open with Dave Lagreca and Doug Mortman. You can hear Busted Open on Sirius 92, XM 208 and on the app on Sports Zone. Here are some highlights:
If she could be a heel: "I think could do it. Of course I could do it. Even that heel-ish character then [with Trish Stratus] was not that out to kill or murder anybody; not vicious. It was a fun, crazy type of heel-ish character. It was kind of fun to play with. It wasn't like the typical, 'I hate you guys.'
"I think I should just be me, and then if people love me, great, if they hate me, that's fine too."
Being a star in her profession: "I think the thing, even with the wrestling is, I'm a huge fan of serious professional wrestling, the art of it, and that storytelling, but also being that the characters that I've played, I think there's a fine balance to be a star. To be a true star you need to find that balance in between shinning the light on the professional wrestling aspect, of being the absolute best in the ring, but also being the best character and finding that balance in between them. That's if you look at the superstars who have really taken over in the business; it is those people, those larger than life characters who could also get it done in the ring."
Being mentioned by Trish Stratus at the WWE Hall of Fame: "I was honored that she did that and she's far too kind and generous and the fact that she would even think to put other people in her HOF speech says a lot about her as a person. That's just the type of person she is. I'm really grateful that she would even recognize me and females that were a lot like Lita and Molly and Jacquelyn. She's just a great person. I think that she totally deserved to be the youngest person, to be a female, what a representation for the women in the industry."
Being a part of the Golden Age for women's wrestling: "It was incredible. To be at WrestleMania and to have that type of reaction. The fans were completely split. I thought I was going to get booed out of the building and then when it was mixed, I mean Chicago was a crazy crowd anyway, it was insane. To be able to work beside some of these people that as I was coming in and breaking into the business, these people I was like, 'I don't want to be just like them, I want to be the Mickie James version of that type of stardom and make my mark in the industry right alongside them.' To be able to do that with some of those people was amazing and it was definitely an honor. Lita, I worked with her for her final match. She was one of those people, like I was working the indie's in front of 150 people, she'd be standing backstage in North Carolina, she was cool like that. She would just show up sometimes and she would pull me aside afterwards and be like, 'this was cool; this was great; please don't ever do this again.' So then being able to go out there and work beside her and along with her and wrestle in final match, that was awesome."
The state of women's wrestling: "I think it's ever changing. Just like this business it's ever changing. And it goes through fluctuations of 'we want more model-y types' then they realize that wrestling fans love wrestling and they want the girls that can go in there and go just as hard as the guys. So it'll go back and the wrestling part will become a main focus. It's a constant roller coaster and right now I feel like it is that fine balance. I feel like, for me, as a wrestling fan myself, you have to have those characters, male and female, that are more personality, that are the eye candy, that are the mouthpieces and then you need to have those people that get it done in the ring and that are the serious competitors and athletes and then you have to have that balance of people that are meshed in between. That's what fills out the show and makes it entertainment."
Mentoring people with different backgrounds: "I don't really look at myself as a mentor. I guess because I'm still in it so heavily. That's kind of a high accolade, to be a mentor to somebody. It's weird, because sometimes I'll work the smaller shows and I'll work with these girls and it's probably like their 20th match and I remember being exactly like them and having that fire in their eyes, just so hungry and want to make it and still learning and they're like, 'I used to watch you and I love you so much,' and I'm like, 'my god, I feel so old.' It's awesome and it is an honor, but I feel like there's still so much that I want to do and I have my sights set on it. There's so many things that I still want in this business."
If there's any concern getting in the ring with the young talent: "Of course you worry about it, but I'm pretty clumsy. I won't hurt myself jumping off the cage, I'll hurt myself walking. I could get hurt working with the best person in the world out there, you just never know. I always try to trust myself and my instincts and I'll work with that person a little bit to kind of see where they're at and what level they're at and if I have to take my stuff down a few notches to kind of get it to where it's still going to tell an amazing story but everybody's going to be comfortable and work at the same kind of level. You're only as good as your partner is. You have to sometimes take your stuff down another level to make that magic happen."
Managing her dual music and wrestling schedule: "I like the 250 days a year. I do. I love being on the road. I sit at home too long and I start to go a bit stir crazy. I love being home, I see my family, I ride my horses, I do all that stuff, but more than 4 days at home and my foot starts shaking. I'm like, 'Ok, I need to be doing something, I need to get on the road, I need to be busy, I need to do something.'
"It kind of worked out perfectly because they've [TNA] been very supportive and helping along with the album. They're actually going to release the album as well and Hardcore Country is a bonus track on the album. So Dixie and TNA have been absolutely awesome as far as working with me and the music. Because of the lighter schedule, it has given me that ample time to really take those days I would have off and fully focus on my music, where I didn't necessarily have that before."
On TNA doing likewise with Jeff Hardy: "His album came out and it doing really well, right? It's more of a different style I don't know. Jeff is an amazing individual. His art, he's just so talented on so many levels and I feel like there's not a whole lot of people that have that connection that is just being super loved no matter what. I could never see Jeff Hardy as a bad guy, because I just want to hug him. He's an awesome person and super multi-talented."
The second show of the back-to-back's and leaving Orlando: "I think it is tough. It's tough because they are exhausted. They have seen a full show with one heck of a main event, whether it's a cage match or Sting and Hogan and all this stuff, they've already seen a solid 2 hour show filled with stars and promos and now they're going to have to sit through another 2 hour show, which I'm sure that they love, but your energy through 4 hours of solid show time is exhausting and so it's a little more difficult sometimes to get them in the second show but they come back. Being on the road and having an audience like that is so much better. I love Universal, we had a great time there in Orlando and it was a fun city to go to, but the crowd, even on television, you can see it. The rumble when Velvet and I were in the ring, I was like, 'is somebody running naked? What is happening? Did somebody start the wave? What is going on?' But then I was like, 'oh, this is for us, this is awesome.' We would never get that in Orlando. It's just because they are so comfortable; we were there every week, they're a part of the show and they're great and I love them and I'm sure we'll go back and do a show there and hopefully by that time it'll be fresh again and it'll be special again. It's a lot of the same fans that come out, and we're grateful that they come out with their signs and everything else and it's awesome, but at the same time they get exhausted seeing the same people wrestle week after week as well. So when somebody new comes in they get excited but they don't always react to the things that for the show it needs to happen that way."
Her fans: "It's cool and obviously it comes with the territory. But like when I'm having dinner with my family or special moments I'm just like, 'umm, can we wait till I'm done?' You'd be surprised though, I kind of go underneath the radar a lot more often than you'd think, or at least I think I'm underneath the radar. Maybe they're just like, 'oh my god, she looks busted open,' because I'm leaving the gym, I'm in my sweatpants and I'm chomping on my bubble gum totally oblivious to anything that going on. But it's always in the most random places you'll get recognized. Whether it's coming out of the tanning salon or sneaking through Wal-Mart at 3 o'clock looking at all the Wal-Martians and kind of trying to get your last minute to go necessities. It's just random places."
Brooke Hogan: "I think she's done a fabulous job. As far as telling the story and the story with Bully and her dad, pretty awesome, right? I think that a lot of people when she first stepped in were like, just because I know wrestling fans and people behind the scenes, people are cynical, they were like, 'oh, she's here, dad's here, wah, wah,' but she's owned it. She's totally owned it and she's powerful, strong and I know she's working on her album as well right now and she's doing a lot of recording in Nashville so I'm excited to hear what her new stuff is going to sound like. I think she's done a fabulous job coming in with the Knockouts and taking over that stuff and then doing the storyline with Bully and then her dad."