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 opened up about her time with the WWE and how she initially reacted to her release from the company.
“I think that surprised is a word that is thrown around,” noted James. “I don’t think I am ever surprised at anything. It’s hard to have expectations, because nothing ever goes according to your plan. But I thought I would wrap my career there [WWE]. I was so grateful to be able to go back and wrap up my story and bow out in a good graces kind of way. I felt like the first time I left was on such weird terms. And I did some amazing stuff when I came back. But it wasn’t shocking, because I was kind of in this space where I felt it kind of coming. I can’t explain why but I just did, and it felt disheartening. It was disappointing more than anything.”
During the podcast James also opened up about her infamous tweet following her WWE release where she shared that her belongings had been sent to her in a trash bag. James was asked if her items also arrived in a trash bag following her release from the WWE back in 2010.
“It did,” recalled James. This is the crazy thing; I posted that picture to kind of go yeah this still a thing. We have put up with so much crap in wrestling that we had become desensitized. We live in our own world and I forgot that [the trash bag] was offensive. There was more to that too. I rewound back to the 2010 Mickie James, where I was mentally when that happened the first time. It was like a stab in the heart to my already opened wound. That was a real low blow. I took it then as they think I am trash, they’re throwing me out with the garbage.
“I was with the company on television for 4-to-5 years, and they think I am trash. All these thoughts were running though my head. If you are already broken, they can be devastating. . .Then I am thinking about all of that and all the people who also got released beside me. I see my name on the bag and it defines which bag is going in which box. I’m thinking about the girls, and they must be heartbroken, and they’re not going to say anything, because you don’t want to mess up an opportunity for the future, because there’s always an opportunity to do something in the future. But this Mickie James don’t give a sh*t. I am super grateful for my career. . . and I couldn’t [have done it] without WWE.”
James was also asked if she considered not posting the tweet regarding the trash bag. James said that she considered it, but ultimately decided it was necessary.
“Yeah, there was [reluctance to post it],” admitted James. “I was getting ready for the photoshoot for my new song. Then the box arrives, I actually got two boxes that day. One box arrived after I had already gone to do the photoshoot. But I am getting ready and the box arrives, I open it and [go], ‘Really?’ And don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to come off as bitter because I’m not bitter. This is one of the reasons I avoided media for so long. Because I don’t want to be the trash bag lady. That can’t be a defining thing about Mickie James. But I am grateful that no one else will get that. This last set of releases are probably getting their stuff in Gucci [laughs].”
James also opened up about other frustrations she experienced during her time with the company. She revealed that she felt frustrated due to her ideas being ignored. James also said she just wanted one last moment to hang her cap on while with the company before she retired from wrestling.
“Yeah, I don’t think me getting my stuff in a trash bag was the point,” noted James. “I would say it was on par with everything I have tried in the last 2 years of my career. I tried everything in my space to pitch, I felt like I was cut off at every turn. There was a lot of weird things that happened in the last two years that really made me feel that I was being purposely humbled along the way. ‘No, you don’t deserve a retirement match.’ And it wasn’t that I was upset at being a producer, I love the idea of helping to develop talent. I don’t want to wrestle forever [either]. This run was going to be my last run.
“All I wanted was this one moment, I didn’t want to win the championship. But can I build someone on the way out? Can I put somebody over? Can I do something that means something so I can bow out gracefully? But I felt like there was zero interest. But then trying different thing like commentary or going to NXT and trying out the trainer role. It’s not that people don’t like women’s wrestling, it’s that it is too much for the company. . . There was an opportunity to capitalize on the movement, but instead it was kind of just, ‘Ehh.’”
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.