Mickie James recently spoke with the WWE website to promote her match against WWE NXT Women's Champion Asuka at Takeover: Toronto on November 19th. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:
JAMES: I was sitting in the airport in Orlando, Florida, on my way to the UK, where I've been for almost a month now. I got the call from WWE and they asked me if I was interested. I know who Asuka is, I've seen her work in Japan and NXT. She is incredibly talented. It's cool to see someone come up and make an impact. I think for her, it's even harder, because there's the language barrier. But she's this mystical kind of person.
For them to even consider me to come back and face her and, hopefully, tear the house down, is pretty awesome. It made me feel like a million bucks. I want to go in there and take it to the next level and give the people everything that they want and more.
Having seen what Asuka is capable of, are you nervous about facing her?
JAMES: Absolutely not! I'm a little crazy as it is, but I've been in the ring with some of the greatest Women's Champions of all time — Trish Stratus, Lita, Beth Phoenix — they were amazing. I know that she hits hard, kicks hard and has killer submissions moves, but I can hit and kick hard and know some submissions. I haven't been in this business for 17 years and not learned a thing or two.
How do you get ready for a match like this?
JAMES: I've been training differently than I ever have before. I've been doing a lot of high endurance workouts, to get my wind and strength up, to get that immediate, quick and intense movement going. I feel like I need to be fast on my feet because she's pretty quick. I've also been sharpening my mat skills and submissions, so I can have a few different ways to get out of her holds.
I know she has that mental game going on. That doesn't scare me — I'm the queen of mental games.