Every aspiring wrestler wants to be on TV. Winding up there too soon can do more harm than good, though, warns Mickie James.
“The fans now are brutal!” the veteran says, “They’re brutal!”
During an interview for The Wrestling Inc. Daily, the multiple-time Women’s champion spoke candidly about the dangers of placing young talent in front of mass audiences before they are ready. Opening prospects to the criticism of millions on television without preparing them first can derail “someone who is really trying to make it,” she said.
“If they’re really young and green in the business,” James explained, “It can set them back two years before the fans actually start to think they’re a viable opponent for anyone.”
Prior to her April release, James notes WWE suggested a behind-the-scenes role as a producer for the women’s division. There she could have helped rising talent hone their characters and on-screen presentations. It’s something she would have loved, James admits, and the company does well.
“[WWE has] cultivated and created places for younger talent to grow and get that experience on television and really define their characters and get comfortable in it. They’re ready to go rather than learning on television,” said James, whose education came “tucked away” in Ohio Valley Wrestling.
“That way when you bring them to television, they’re over prepared,” the star pointed out. “I always think that’s such a hard thing to do for any character, to learn on TV in front of millions of people.”
Now as Executive Producer of the National Wrestling Alliance’s EMPOWERRR all-women’s pay-per-view, James looks to do similar for a new class of young stars. Kicking off the promotion’s four-day return to the legendary St. Louis Chase Ballroom — which also includes anniversary show NWA 73 and two days of TV tapings — she is hand curating the PPV line-up.
James is “calling in favors” and reviewing hours of tapes from up-and-comers, promising a combination of legends and the hottest female wrestlers today. In addition to delivering the all-women’s product fans have been “demanding,” she has another objective too: “I want to make some stars!”
To do so, James is surrounding herself with “the Jazzes of the world, the Lisa Maries, the Lufistos, the Madusas — women like that” to help “cultivate these women.” The event can “fast track” performers “to really perfect and fine-tune their craft to then be friggin’ superstars,” she says.
“How quickly, how fast could they learn and really create this marketable, television character plus they can go!” she said of the opportunity EMPOWERRR offers.
“They can really go, you know?” James concluded, “What a statement that is for women over all, for the NWA women’s division.”
You Can Follow Mickie James on Twitter @MickieJames. Her full interview can be found via the embedded players below.
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