Mickie James Reflects On Title Win And The Last Rodeo

Mickie James is the new Impact Knockouts World Champion after she put her career on the line in a title bout against Jordynne Grace at Hard to Kill on January 13. The pay-per-view main event was the culmination of James' self-proclaimed "Last Rodeo," where if she lost any matches on her way to a championship opportunity, she would retire. The new champ recently spoke to "SEScoops" about the process of reclaiming the gold.

"It's not often that I'll look back at a match and I go, 'Okay, I was happy with that.' It was a battle," James said. "I felt like I just started to feel normal a few days ago, and then we obviously just had tapings again. But I walked in there, I was like 'I just started feeling normal yesterday' because we went to war." James knew that her first encounter with Grace had high expectations, which made it an even more emotional night for everyone involved.

"The Last Rodeo is over, so technically I can lose a match, but obviously if I lose a match, hopefully it's not for my championship," James stated. "I want to hold onto this for as long as I can. It was a journey. I thought it was an amazing way to tell my story, but also to test myself and have matches that you may never see again." Since September, "Hardcore Country" has outlasted new and former opponents including Gisele Shaw, Mia Yim, Chelsea Green, Taylor Wilde, and Deonna Purrazzo. Now that she is champion again, James' goal is to represent her prestigious title by defending it all over the world. Her first defense will take place on February 24 at No Surrender in Las Vegas against Masha Slamovich.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "SEScoops" with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.