– Former TNA Knockout and WWE Diva Mickie James recently spoke with WrestleNewz.com in a two-part interview. Here are some highlights from part 1:

WNZ: Are you happy to be back on the indies?

MJ: Oh yeah, the indie shows are tons of fun. And for the fans, having that up close and personal experience is so different to watching wrestling on television at home. Something I love about it is, you just never know who you’re going to see at an indie show who may turn out to be a massive star someday. It’s also been cool to see the fans over the years and watch the kids grow up in the audience. There’s one fan in the Philly area, and he’s followed me since I was Alexis Laree, working little shows in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. So, he’s seen me from the very beginning, when I was so bad. Well, so semi-bad (laughs).

WNZ: Your match against Trish Stratus in New York City in 2006 is on the recently released Best of WWE at Madison Square Garden DVD and Blu-ray.

MJ: That was a pretty incredible night as that was her last match on RAW at that time, and I was so honored to be a part of that match, as I credit Trish a lot to the success of my career. Being able to come in and be involved in such a great storyline, then to have it on DVD now is just awesome. It also just says the world about her and her capabilities. And what a thrill is was for me to be able to perform in MSG. It’s not the biggest arena in the country, obviously, but you can really feel the nostalgia and the history when you perform there, and of course the New York crowd is incredible.

WNZ: How did you feel about the “Piggy James” angle you had in WWE, where Michelle McCool and Layla bullied you?

MJ: Looking back on it now, I think it shed some light on a big issue in our school system and on the internet now, with technology at your fingertips. It’s so easy for bullies to do it now, sitting behind a keyboard because there’s no face-to-face interaction. And that storyline, I think, was an attempt to address bullying and tell a story with it. Michelle and Layla had already been playing the role of the “mean girls,” but I don’t know where exactly that storyline came from.

And honestly, I feel like it was one of the most difficult storylines to take, as I found it difficult to take my personal feelings and emotions out of it. But I can see how it may have resonated, because at some point most of us have been bullied or picked on, so most of us can relate to it in some aspect. Because you’re going to have sympathy for the character and understand where she’s coming from, impacted from the perils of bullying.

Also in part 1 of the interview, Mickie talks about not being comfortable with her sexuality, wrestling in Mexico and more.