Highspots All-Access with Mickie James

This was filmed in January 2014

The interview is conducted by Michael Bochicchio

It runs at three hours and nine minutes long. This is part of a two-disc set, with the second disc filled with bonus features but only the interview itself is recapped here.

 

The host talks about trying to get an interview with Mickie ever since she left the WWE. Mickie said she was always hesitant to do this type of interview and always wanted to reflect positively on her career and not be bitter an angry. She talks about being lost and confused when she left the WWE but has moved forward and gained from that experience.

 

Mickie talks about growing up on a horse farm in Virginia and how she competed in horse shows as a child and still has horses today. She calls herself a “nerd” who also played the violin in high school then they both talk about owning dogs.

 

She then tells us she was engaged at age 18 to someone she was working with at a bar but it did not work out as they were at two different places in their lives.

 

Her dad introduced her to wrestling. Mickie’s parents were divorced and she saw him every other weekend and that was how they bonded. She loved the heels, even as a kid as young as six years old. Her favorites were Ric Flair, Randy Savage, and Ricky Steamboat. She did not see wrestling live until wrestling in her first event. Mickie always watched wrestling too during the “Attitude Era” and got the name of a wrestling show from the bar manager.

 

Mickie went to wrestling school in November 1998. At first, they wanted her to be a valet but she was insistent on being an actual wrestler. It was a small school then after that she went to Maryland Championship Wrestling after meeting Joey Matthews. She drove almost four hours to get there twice a week. The MCW cards were always stacked and drew as much as 1,500 people and working here got her more bookings all over the East Coast.

 

She met Joey Matthews at a show in Virginia and became friends then he got signed by the WWE for a Developmental Deal and assigned to Memphis with his tag partner Chrsitian York. After they got released, Joey moved back and she was with him for about four years and is happy for him as a trainer in FCW.

 

Mickie talks about almost getting into ECW as Beulah’s little sister and recalls training with Mikey Whipwreck and taking about 200 DDTs but ECW could not pay anyone else and very shortly after that went out of business. She talks about being really green at the time but values the experience and wonders what would have happened if she got that role.

 

She worked for other Independent promotions like WEW that were a bit sleazy and wrestled in bars that would follow oil or mud wrestling at times. She did say the promoter would take care of them and give the money upfront.

 

On working the Lingerie Battle Royal on the 2nd TNA Weekly PPV, Alexis said that she never heard back from them after that then went to work for Ring of Honor. She puts over the RoH locker room and how it was a great time. Mickie said that RoH was a place people wanted to work for at that time as they brought in high profile talent and put on good matches. She also said it satisfied the fans, who wanted something unique, and got something they would not see anywhere else.

 

Mickie is asked about some of the other talent in RoH at the time. She puts over Allison Danger as a great person who she had fun with. She also liked the Amazing Red and AJ Styles when managing them.

 

On her early memories of CM Punk, Mickie said that his feud with Raven is what got her back in TNA. Mickie says Punk loves the business but demands respect. She puts him over as being an incredibly hard worker and is one of the top guys in the industry today and how a lot of people never saw that in him when he started.  Mickie said she worked several other weekly PPV’s before being signed by the WWE. She said TNA was signing people to short-term deals that ran for about three months.

 

She talks about getting a WWE Developmental Deal. They first talk about the current process being much different but back then, Mickie would call Tom Prichard every two weeks. Prichard was in charge of booking extras and tryouts at this time. Mickie did a tryout dark match at a Smackdown taping against Dawn Marie. However, Vince Russo was pissed at her for wrestling somewhere else and losing (even knowing that it was a dark match) but at the time, Mickie was between contracts in TNA. Mickie also said she had a one-year deal with TNA on the table and an offer to work three months in Japan. She talked about something in her mind telling her not to go to Japan then she got a call from John Laurinaitis, who called back again with a better offer and gave her a date to finish up her other bookings then would move to Louisville and train at OVW for six months but stayed there for about 2.5 years.

 

She is asked about what the Developmental Deal entails as she says it technically lasts for three years but they can cut you before them. They trained 5-6 days a week from 9am-3pm and said she was in the best shape of her life. Mickie said it also helped her mold a character and how to work.

 

On her trainers in OVW, Mickie said that Danny Davis and Jim Cornette really helped them out and would break down tape. She says that Lance Storm fine-tuned everyone to the TV style of wrestling which is very helpful as its much different than wrestling at house shows. Al Snow helped them on character development too. Mickie said she loves Bill DeMott, even though they butted heads in the training, as he took everyone back to stuff they did in wrestling school like taking multiple clotheslines in a row, but on the main roster you sometimes have to squeeze a lot of stuff into a four minute match.

 

Mickie said she was supposed to debut about five times before making her official debut. She mentions one time working a Sunday Night Heat match as Punk’s valet where they went backstage and Triple H put them over individually but not together as an act so that got scrapped, which Mickie said was a blessing in disguise.

 

On her debut, Mickie said she wrote down about 18 weeks of TV for the Mickie James character where she was a superfan of Lita, who came to some of her Independent shows and gave advice. Mickie first pitched the idea to Lita and Michael Hayes told her that Vince liked it a lot and suggested she pull Vince aside and say she wrote it herself. Mickie spoke to Vince, who said she had “balls” and waited for six months until they called her up to TV and she was told the character would be obsessed with Trish Stratus and tweaked her character with Trish, Stephanie McMahon, Brian Gewirtz, and other writers.

 

Mickie is asked when her contract was shifted from a Developmental Deal to a main roster contract after being promoted and said it took about three months.

 

She talk about bonding with Trish Stratus as they were working on their angle. Mickie said she was overwhelmed finding out she would be wrestling for the Women’s Title in her very first WrestleMania. When asked if Vince McMahon flipped out after Mickie grabbed Trish and made a sexual gesture during the match, Mickie said she did get some negative feedback and thought Vince would like it as he had done stuff like getting his ass kissed so she did not tell anyone and felt it would be an epic moment but the first thing she saw was Vince pissed off as he told her it would cost a lot of money and effort to edit that out, calling her gesture “crass” as Mickie kept apologizing. She then said while humbling, it did not take away from her moment.

 

On other women she worked with in the company, Mickie said she did not know Melina too well despite training together but did confirm her reputation as causing trouble at times. She loves Victoria and said she is funny and crazy at times, just like herself. Mickie said that Mae Young wore some red cherry lipstick that you would have to scrub off of your face. She also said that Kelly Kelly was really young and the company was trying to switch over to presenting the women as “Divas” at that time.

 

Regarding the “Diva Search,” Mickie said at the time she did not like it as someone who was driving all over for $100 payoffs and sleeping in her car at times then training them in OVW while making one-third of the salary but looking back she loves all of the people they got from that and does not regret how she broke into the business.

 

Mickie talks about the women’s locker room transition as Trish and Lita left then others like Candice Michelle, Maria, and Kelly Kelly came into the company. Mickie said Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall, Melina, and herself were the workhorses of the women.

 

She tells a story when she wrestled Ashley Massaro with Trish Stratus as the special referee at the 2006 Royal Rumble. Trish did not have an earpiece and they wrestled for nine minutes, when it should have been five, and Mickie had to apologize to the rest of the card for going over as she said the others were the ones selling tickets and they had a match that fell apart.

 

On her romantic angle with John Cena, Mickie said it only lasted a few weeks and had no idea where it was heading. When asked, Mickie said sometimes you are told about the storyline in-depth but other times you are not. Nothing else about Cena was mentioned in the interview.

 

She talked about being scared after getting sent over to Smackdown as she was comfortable on RAW and mentoring other females. Mickie found out that day she was moving and talks about having to change travel partners and everything else as she talks about “probably getting more upset than she should have” about the move.

 

Mickie said on Smackdown, she got up to 131 lbs and is only 5’2 and it became noticeable on TV and at that point she was really burned out as she would work on her album when not on the road and was stressed and tired. She talks about probably spending 20 days at home her last year in the WWE. Mickie said she suffered for not making fitness more of a priority. She felt the company did the angle with LayCool calling her “Piggy James” not just to get them over as heels but to also shine a light on bullying as the angle got her a lot of sympathy.

 

The interviewer asks Mickie about the rumors that she was let go from the WWE due to a poor attitude and being late for bus trips on a tour of Europe. Mickie said there is probably some truth about that but denies having a poor attitude about wrestling as she tears up a bit talking about her sacrifices and how much she loves business. She thinks it was due to a combination of moving to Smackdown, problems with her personal life, and just being exhausted trying to make her album then talks about getting drunk in England and missing a bus as another factor that hurt her stock in the company.

 

On her relationship with Kenny Dykstra, Mickie was hurt by him calling her out on social media as he was lying and she always made an effort not bashing others. Mickie said the real reason they broke up was that he was cheating on her while at home recovering from injury, even driving her truck to see the other girl.

 

She went to TNA and was still hurt about how she left the WWE. Mickie also was a bit scared of pissing off Vince by appearing on TNA television. Kurt Angle called her up at the request of Dixie Carter and after a few calls from him, Dixie called Mickie herself and also talked about the Country Music genre as she once managed Tanya Tucker.

 

Mickie did like working for TNA as it did not consume your life like the WWE did and she could spend life with her family.

 

On if wrestling takes away from her ability to be a musician, Mickie said she has bills to pay too and is plugging away with her music and is growing her fanbase. She talks about using just about all of her WWE savings into putting out two albums. Mickie also says that she has a retirement fund too and talks about investing in yourself and how you cannot get anyone to believe in you if you are not doing that.

 

She is asked about her work in TNA. Mickie liked working with Gail Kim as they had one previous match in the WWE that was awful because they switched it all around as their time got cut in half once they got to the Gorilla position. Mickie likes Brooke Tessmacher and says she is a funny person who also trained really hard to improve.

 

Mickie liked her heel turn in TNA and thought it was fun as it was something she begged the company to do for a long time.

 

On a lot of talent leaving TNA, Mickie said its sad to see people like AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett leave the company. She then talks about not being able to agree to a new deal with TNA and is going to move forward and they need to stop comparing themselves to the WWE and be their own entity as the WWE is always going to be #1.

 

When asked if Dixie Carter helped out her music career, Mickie said she did not but at the same time she was not ready to give up control of her music career.

 

Mickie is asked about being a guest coach at the Performance Center in November 2013 and getting an article on WWE.com. She hopes to be back in their good graces and if given the chance would go back as she did love her time in the company and would like her career to end there. The host then brings up a scenario of her joining “Total Divas” and having the show focus on her musical career as Mickie said that would be a dream scenario.

 

On the Performance Center, Mickie talks it up how great it is and the state of the art equipment they have. However, she hopes the trainees get to work with people better than them as now its like the blind leading the blind. She puts over Paige, Bayley, and Emma as the most impressive and was also impressed with Alexis (Alexa Bliss) who never wrestled before but is a great athlete and a trainee named Mercedes (Sasha Banks).

 

We now get fan questions. Nothing interesting besides someone asking her about people attaching her names to sex tapes and how that has hurt her in getting record deals.

 

Final Thoughts: Overall, I thought this was a very good interview. Mickie was open with her career and personal life and it made for an entertaining listen. The interviewer did not press her to answer questions on how she got fired from the WWE but you could pretty much connect the dots by what she said. I’m also glad she is back in the company today as she is still a good performer.

I recommend this interview for all fans of Mickie and even those curious of what it was like for her to break into the business.

You can download a digital copy of the interview for $14.99, purchase the DVD for $5, rent it for $4.99 or watch as part of your Highspots Network subscription by clicking on the link below:

http://www.highspots.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?

 

Also, congrats to poster sfu13 for winning the BoD March Madness Pool as he gets to select the next four interviews I recap and next week will be the Mr. Hughes interview.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several weeks:

Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 10/29/89

Sunday: Mid-South Wrestling 8/12/82

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling  11/4/89

Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 11/5/89

Tuesday: WWF Prime Time Wrestling 11/6/89

Wednesday: EVOLVE 80 3/30/17

Thursday: Highspots Shoot Interiew with Curtis Hughes