New Impact Knockout’s Champion Mickie James joined Busted Open Radio to talk about her title victory over Deonna Purrazzo at Bound for Glory this past Saturday night. It’s James’ first title victory in eight years and she couldn’t hide the fact that she’s on cloud nine.
“It feels so good,” James said. “Honestly, I didn’t think it would matter as much to me as it did in that sense, because I have been a champion several times and I’ve had such a tenured career. We’re always, we go ‘oh I don’t need the championship. I’ve done so much.’ There was nothing sweeter than winning the championship. I haven’t won a championship in eight years. My last championship as actually, the championship at Impact that I lost against ODB. So when I think about that, I’m going ‘wow, it’s kind of a long time.’ I’ve done a lot, but not really for me, you know what I mean? It was a great moment, it was a really, really great moment. It was powerful, and it felt good. It felt good.”
James called the victory a special one, and also praised Purrazzo as one of the best workers she’s ever competed against. She said many, including herself, questioned whether she could hang with Purrazzo in a match like this and she proved that she could.
“It was so special. It really, really was so special,” James said. “That’s kind of what I meant. In those last eight years and all the things that I have done, and I’ve done some really cool stuff. But for the most part, it was for everybody else. I didn’t really do anything for myself. That was a choice, and I was so happy to be back where I was. There’s just so much more layers to it now. How I left and all the things, but then I did EmPowerrr. I was able to head up EmPowerrr and that was really cool. And then to come back and have a chance at having a championship again and I go ‘actually, this is a real chance to actually have a shot at the championship again.’ Then Saturday was beautiful. The people were behind me and to have that real love behind me, for them to be on fire and with it all night. To have a ‘this is awesome!’ chant.
“And there’s no doubt that Deonna is probably one of the best wrestlers I’ve ever been in the ring with. Not just today, but legit that I’ve ever been in the ring with. She is incredible. She is incredible out there. I knew I was going to be up for a fight, and I think that has been the major question from the audience, from whoever. ‘Mickie is amazing and a legend, but can she really hang with someone like Deonna?’ The answer is yes, I can hang with someone like Deonna, because there wouldn’t be a Deonna without Mickie James. That’s the reality. And not just me, and I don’t just put myself. But I can still go. I never stopped going. What happened was I just became less selfish and started doing more for other people than for myself. And this one wasn’t a selfish move, but it felt good. It felt good to win again and to remind myself that I can win and it’s okay to be awesome. And I don’t have to apologize for it.”
James was asked if she felt like she had to go back to Impact to get the proper credit she feels she deserved. She confirmed that to a degree, but also pointed out the great work she had done for NWA recently, especially when it came to putting together the EmPowerrr event in August.
“Yes and no,” James said. “I mean obviously I’m doing some really great stuff at NWA as well. Someone sent something to me where it was 19 years ago when I was first at Impact, and you see me with the hands in the air. It’s very much Mickie James’ face, but it’s the stuff with Raven and The Flock at the time. But obviously I went to WWE and that was my dream to go there. And I was able to have an illustrious career that first run and do some really good things. My first run was awesome. Even the second run (was), but I feel like this last run was not what I guess I expected or hoped for. Maybe it’s because I didn’t fight enough for it, but I hoped that I did enough for everybody else I’d at least get that love. And I didn’t, and that’s okay because kudos to Impact. It was cool they would welcome me back, it was cool that I was given the platform to put together EmPowerrr at NWA.
“Here I thought ‘I’m going to have this amazing run. I’m so excited to go back to WWE. I’m going to have this amazing run, work with these awesome new girls, get in front of this new audience, and probably retire back home.’ That’s what I felt. ‘I’m going to retire there in a very cool way.’ And it did not happen that way, because for whatever reason it just didn’t happen that way. And I left and it was so disheartening and I was broken hearted. So then to be able to leave and do so much more powerful stuff, that actually is stronger work. It’s more powerful work, because it’s laying that foundation behind the scenes of setting up for the future and different levels for the women.”
In the end, James was thrilled to go back to Impact, win the Knockouts Championship and feel like she was worthy of doing so. She talked about being humbled for so long that she forgot how good she was, until this last run reminded her.
“To then be able to go back to Impact and get the love from the fans and to hear ‘Hardcore Country again’, which I really wanted to do,” James said. “The fans, they love that song. They love that song. I was going to do Grown Ass Woman. I was like ‘maybe I’ll do ‘Grown Ass Woman’ or maybe do a new song.’ I’m like ‘no, they love ‘Hardcore Country.’ And it’s cool.’ And then to have a shot at the championship and be treated like ‘you deserve to be champion and you deserve to be because you’re a bad ass.’
“We forget because we’re so humbled. We’re told to be humbled for so long that we’re humbled. So we don’t always see it. We don’t always see what other people see, because we’re still trying to prove something. We’re always trying to prove ourselves or comparing ourselves or whatever the case may be. And we forget sometimes, and it’s nice to be gently reminded again. And they (Impact) have done a lot of that for me, and NWA’s done a lot of that for me. So I’m really grateful sitting on the other side now. When it first happened I was very upset. But now, sitting here in this seat with the shiny new championship, it’s a whole new version of the Impact Knockout’s World Championship? It wasn’t something I had in mind, but I’m not going to turn down a chance to do that again. Plus I can round it up and I finally made double digits (title reigns)!”
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