Mickie James Comments On Impact 1000 Return, Reveals How Long She's Been Cleared

Last Thursday, Impact Wrestling began airing its two-part 1000th episode special. For this milestone celebration, many alumni returned to Impact to appear and compete. During a lengthy in-ring segment with the Knockouts of the past and present, five-time Knockouts World Champion Mickie James made her surprise return, revealing herself as the fifth teammate of Trinity, Jordynne Grace, Gail Kim, and Awesome Kong for this week's 10-woman tag team match.

In a new interview with Steve Fall of "WrestlingNewsCo," James said she had been cleared to return to action for "a while," but wanted to allow current Knockouts Champion Trinity some moments to shine before heading back to Impact. 

"I've been able to sit back during all of this and watch my friend come in and shine, and take over the division. It's been beautiful to watch," James said. "So, I feel like I've been cleared for a while, but I was enjoying the moment, and I wanted her to have that moment, but then here comes Impact 1000. I just felt like it could not miss a dose of 'Hardcore Country.'"

Before James' reemergence in Impact, she had gradually eased herself back into action after sustaining a fractured rib in late February. First in Association Biterroise de Catch in early July, and then later making her debut in RevPro, challenging RevPro Undisputed British Women's Champion Alex Windsor in a three-way match that also included Hyan.

Considering her history in Impact Wrestling, James felt her appearance at Impact 1000 brought her full circle. 

"I was there from the very beginning, the very first TNA show," James said. "All the way to the very first TNA pay-per-view. All the way to the birth of 'Hardcore Country' in 2010 ... I want to be there in New York for this incredible celebration because I knew it was going to be a night to celebrate the past, the present, and the future."

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