Before leaving WWE, Mickie James pressed officials regarding plans for a follow-up to the 2019 Evolution pay-per-view. In one of her “final conversations” with the company before her release, the superstar says representatives confirmed a second all-women’s event was unlikely.
“I thought we had made such a monumental stride by announcing Evolution,” said James during an exclusive The Wrestling Inc. Daily interview. “We all thought it was the start of something really, really cool.”
During her final days in WWE, James was a strong advocate for the event’s return. While “everyone hoped for a yearly event,” she knew prospects were bleak when she “got back the argument it was the lowest-rated pay-per-view of all-time.”
James was “mind-blown” by the statement, countering it isn’t even true, but admits “it really put a stamp” on her. She suggests WWE could have done more to ensure Evolution’s success.
“It was only really promoted for a month. The matches weren’t even announced but a week or two before. There was zero promotion or marketing,” James notes.
“It was almost set up to fail,” she continues. “If there was as much energy and focus put into it as perhaps some of the other events, and made and highlighted how monumental this actually is, perhaps that wouldn’t be true.”
James appreciated those in-the-know “being brutally honest…rather than beating around the bush.” Still, the WWE’s apparent decision was disheartening. Of Evolution 2, James said: “I think we all collectively wanted it, not just in the locker room but also the fans and even the women on the independents.”
The multiple-time Women’s champion stressed how important “getting those opportunities, like the Mae Young Classic or Evolution or now EMPOWERRR” is for giving females the chance to become breakout stars. As Executive producer of NWA’s upcoming all-women’s pay-per-view she assures, “it’s not going to be just a one-off.
“We hope it’s the first of many,” James says of EMPOWERRR, “I really want to make this something unique and special and a way to highlight the women in a different way you don’t necessarily see on modern television today. I think there’s a cool way to do that from a female perspective.”
Kicking off a full weekend of NWA events in St. Louis on August 28, EMPOWERRR is followed by the NWA 73 PPV and two days of TV tapings. James has a very hands-on approach to the event with a vision extending beyond the immediate show.
“By an all-women’s product,” said James, “There’s the potential to open even more spaces, maybe even perhaps more championships or more ways for the women to get shined up the same way the men do in an equal space.”
You Can Follow Mickie James on Twitter @MickieJames.
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