Recently wrestling legend Mickie James sat down with Chris Van Vliet to discuss the upcoming all-women’s pay-per-view NWA EMPOWERRR. During the interview James, who recently signed with the NWA, opened up about her position with the company and her experiences with Billy Corgan thus far.
“It’s a really cool space,” shared James. “Obviously, it means I am in charge and a co-promoter or whatever you want to call it with Billy [Corgan]. The fact that Billy believes in me enough to give me the NWA umbrella to kind of build this thing, which was something I kind of wanted to do for a long time. I think we have the potential to do some really cool stuff there and I’m just grateful to be able to shine a light on women’s wrestling, it’s something I’ve wanted to do. I think we do a lot of that, but we have so many shows out there that it’s really cool. I know I am not a pioneer there has been a ton of women’s wrestling shows. But for television women’s wrestling it’s a different space. So, I’m excited.”
While discussing the upcoming pay-per-view James was asked if she plans to wrestle on the show herself. James quickly said that she wouldn’t be wrestling on the show and elaborated on why that is.
“I’m not a mark,” answered James. “I’m not going to sit there and book myself on top of my own show. Who does that? Everybody does that, don’t they? That is how wrestling works. I don’t have any intention of working on the show. I’ll probably come out and say hello, because I really want to focus on the show. I want this show to be a success, and I’m going to be in Gorilla on the headset, running and talking, and doing all these things. I can’t perform that job to the best of my abilities and be out there wrestling at the same time. I just feel like it blurs the lines.”
Mickie James was also asked about the treatment of women in the wrestling industry and how age is a significant factor when evaluating female talents, a standard that doesn’t seem to be applied to her male counterparts. James opened up on the double standard within the industry and how she deals with those issues.
“It isn’t fair, but I think it has always been a culture,” admitted James. “I remember when I first came on, it was when you are 35, women are done in this business and women had much shorter careers. Maybe it has something to do with the fact I have been relevant on TV for the last 15 years in some capacity. I am all about building [towards] the future, but you can’t sh*t on your former champions and the history that was made [during that process].
“Maybe it’s because I am a wrestler and I look at wrestling from a wrestler and a wrestling fan’s perspective. I am up [to date] on what is relevant today, in 2021. [Jennifer Lopez] is one of the sexiest women and she is 50-something, Jennifer Anniston is the same. We don’t look at age like that anymore, but wrestling, as it always has been, has been late to the party. I could never wrap my head around and find it funny that I’m given a walker [on RAW in 2017]. It’s bullsh*t and it’s not funny. I was offended and I said that I was offended. But I am a professional, and as a pro you go, ‘Fine and let’s see what happens.’ 9 times out of 10 I was right, but it’s already happened. I had to do it just to prove a point. I feel like you should trust me enough, at this point, to know I am not an idiot. I am looking at it through the lens of our audience and where they’re at now.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.