Mickie James Explains Why Dana Brooke Shouldn't Be In WWE NXT

Recent weeks have seen WWE star Dana Brooke make a return to the NXT brand, with Brooke competing as recently as last night's episode. Fan reactions to Brooke's NXT return, both live and online, have been largely negative. Speaking on "Busted Open Radio," co-host Mickie James explained that she feels the company is doing a disservice to Brooke's talents with her current role on the show.


"I felt like Dana Brooke was the wrong choice to send to NXT in the first place," James said. "It's one thing when you send a Seth Rollins or you send [Natalya] back, because they have the respect and they're workhorses, you know what I mean? Dana was taught [the] WWE style system, and now there's this whole new generation of that same kind of system, but more elaborate." James pointed out that Brooke came from a gymnastics and fitness background, and had to learn wrestling in the style that WWE was teaching at the time she came in.

"That audience never really truly respected Dana when she was down there before, and then that's one of the reasons why they moved her up to the main roster," James continued. "I love Dana. I've worked with Dana. I think she's a fabulous person. I think she really has tried really, really hard, in the last couple of years especially, to be more respected for her in-ring work and for her ability."


A Lack of Emotional Connection

Both James and fellow "Busted Open" co-host Tommy Dreamer had some qualms with Brooke's presentation, over the last several weeks as well as throughout her WWE career as a whole. In particular, Dreamer noted that Brooke's current entrance gives off a villainous vibe.


"You walk out there and you flex? You're conceited," Dreamer said. "You're full of yourself. And I'm not saying that she is. She looks amazing. But if you're going to be there as a babyface, you have to maybe change that, because you're different." James then suggested it was possible Brooke didn't have anyone around her to teach her that kind of thinking when it comes to her character's presentation.

"A lot of these stories, they don't really tap into the emotion — it's just about the matches," James said. "I think in NXT, too — they are very in line with that type of audience, that loves those style matches, those five-star whatever matches. A lot of times, the emotional stuff isn't there. ... For Dana, I don't think she has had a lot of storylines that people have sunk their teeth into and cared about."


Later on in the show, James pointed out that she gets frustrated over the fact that the opinions of strangers on the internet can have such a big effect on a performer's career. The former WWE star has found that many of these viewers are watching the show looking to pick it apart, rather than allowing themselves to become emotionally invested.