Mickie James Talks Having Full Control Over NWA Empowerrr

Mickie James stopped by Busted Open Radio to talk about the NWA 73 Anniversary Show next month and NWA Empowerrr, an all women's wrestling show that James is producing. Both shows will take place at the famous Chase's Khorassan Ballroom in St. Louis, Missouri, something James is really pumped about.


"I am so excited, so excited," James said. "We went down there for the press conference, and the whole city is excited about it. And the hotel, they were so gracious. Everyone from the hotel bigwig manager to the bell guy, they're just beyond excited. I could just feel the buzz and it just had such good energy around it, all around. I feel like it's going to be an incredible weekend for us. Tickets have already gone on sale, FITE TV's doing the package, the combo package for both PPV's. But yeah, it's been amazing. I've been on the phone. I've been working, on the phone, talking to people, and this is something where I've never really actually booked a show before. Especially a PPV television product, like in the sense of the times, where everything goes and the talent and their deals and all the things.


"It's just a lot. It's fun because I'm excited to have these conversations with these women to ask them and have them come be a part of it. But there's so much. And the state of Missouri is a crazy state anyway. It's not just the state athletic commission but the women, I don't know if you remember this, but the women have to get pregnancy tests within 24 hours of their bouts or something. It was some deal where some MMA fighter or some boxer was pregnant when she got into a fight or something. I can't remember when it was. It was like years and years ago, because that's when the implemented that rule. So yeah, all the fun things. Those are the funs things where I'm like 'what? What is happening?"'

The Chase was most famous for being the home of Wrestling at the Chase from 1959-1983 for the St. Louis Wrestling Club, a long time member of the NWA during the territory days. James revealed that NWA promoter Billy Corgan, upon booking the Chase, made the call to do Empowerrr the same weekend as the Anniversary show due to the history and significance of the building.

"I'll be honest; I didn't realize how significant that was to go back to the Chase," James said. "I had to research it and go 'holy crap, this is a big freakin deal.' And apparently a lot of wrestling has attempted to go into the Chase, and they've always just turned it down. They just weren't interested. I don't know if it was this pandemic, I don't know if it was this show, but the cards and the stars just seemed to align right to be able to present it. I think had Wrestling at the Chase not come to fruition, that we wouldn't be doing Empowerrr prior to the Anniversary show. Because I think it was that final thing, where Billy was like 'I think we should do the PPV now. I think we should do it now.'


"I was thinking 'let's build it. Let's do some, you know those Ten Pounds of Gold series, but for the ladies and like really try to build up our roster and get people. And then hopefully do a PPV down the line.' He's like 'nah I think we need to come out of the gate hot.' It's a big test and it's a lot, as you know, but so far, so good. It's been great, it really has been great. And I think every other sports industry has carved out and done something special with the women, from MMA to basketball to softball, all these other things. I just think wrestling, it's about time we step up on a television scale. I know we've done it in like PPV's or like little PPV's or like little things, but in a real television kind of thing, outside of the bubble. I'm excited about it. I know I'm going to succeed to some level, I just hope it's a huge success for all the ladies. That's the goal."

While James is putting together Empowerrr, she will not be wrestling on the show. Instead she will be competing at the 73 Anniversary show the next day against an opponent of Billy Corgan's choosing.

"I don't know," James said when asked who her opponent was. "I told Billy that I would leave that in his hands since he's allowing me to do Empowerrr on the first night. I'll obviously be on the show, come out and do the waves and thank everyone for being there. But I'm trying to set it up strictly for the women and save my match for the next night. I feel like, and maybe I'm wrong, but I just felt like my energy would be split. I'm so focused, I really want this show to come off well, I want the women to look amazing and kind of just the whole thing to be applauded at the end of the day. And I didn't want to split my heart and my energy in the sense of 'I'm worried about my match and the show.' You know what I mean? So I told Billy that I would wrestle on NWA 73 and I told him whoever he wanted. I'm excited, it's going to be amazing. I don't know who it's going to be, but there's a plethora of incredibly talented women out there."


James confirmed that Corgan has basically given her free reign to put Empowerrr together, though she has enlisted the help of women's wrestling legends Gail Kim, LuFisto and Madusa. She finds it very cool that Corgan has put so much trust in her and thus feels like this show has to be a success given all that's behind it.

"I didn't realize, and obviously I should and I have because I've known him for so long, but he is very passionate about wrestling," James said. "I think the beautiful thing is that I'm not trying to write Powerrr or NWA 73 creative, and he's legitimately giving me the whole space to do it myself. Like he's not really chimed in at all for Empowerrr. Like he said 'you just book it.' And obviously there's going to be stuff. We're crowning the first ever NWA, well not first ever, we're bringing back, re-crowning, the NWA Tag Team Champions, which haven't been represented since 1983. And then the Cup. We have this Cup. We're introducing the first ever NWA Women's Invitational, and the winner of that Cup goes on to face the champion the next night, whoever the champion is after Empowerrr.

"So those were two big things that we're kind of introducing. It was my idea to do the Cup, and then we had talked about doing the tag championships, and so he's having those made. Very excited about that. But yeah, he's really allowing me to build it in a way, and I've never had that. You say 'oh here's a thing you can do. But then I'm going to micromanage all the little pieces of it', instead of just going 'no I'm trusting you. I'm putting my faith in you. Now do it.' That's been pretty cool. Billy's amazing and he's been really good to me. I've sat back and watched what he's done, what Nick's done, what they've done with the NWA as I've been back on the road this whole time. It's just been incredible to watch. But now to be put in this other driver's seat for the women, especially when that's what I've put a lot of my fight into, I feel like I have a lot to prove. And this has to be successful. It has to be good. And I cannot accept anything less than perfection."


If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open Radio and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription