That’s quite a statement. We are coming up on the six year anniversary of the WWE Women’s Revolution and that means things have changed in a big way. At the same time though, there is still a long way to go. There are some milestones that have yet to be reached and one of them is pretty important. A recently released WWE wrestler was told some rather sad statement.
Recently released WWE wrestler Mickie James spoke about her release on her Grown Ass Women podcast. During the interview, James mentioned various issues she had with WWE during her time in the company. This included suggesting that WWE run an all women’s brand and being told that women’s wrestling does not draw money. She also mentioned the trash bag incident, which she said she can laugh about the situation, though it was reminiscent of how she felt she had been treated over the last few years.
Here are some highlights, with transcription courtesy of Fightful.com:
On leaving WWE:
“Over the last two years with getting switched to SmackDown and not getting used. I never debuted on TV, I tore my ACL. I kept feeling these things of ‘we want you to retire. We want you to be an agent.’ It was what they wanted for me. It wasn’t that I wasn’t grateful for those opportunities, but at the same time, I see the agents and what they have to go through. They don’t get any of the praise or thanks that they deserve. They deal with a lot of crap. I don’t know if I could personally handle that. I’m too much of a creative person. Ideas that I had, they fell on deaf ears. If I fight for something, it’s what I genuinely believe. I have tons of ideas, not all of them are great, but if I think it’s great, I’ll promote it.”
On having an all women’s show:
“Anything I’ve pitched, they weren’t into it. I wanted to find a balance in between. There was this moment where I said, ‘What if we do an all-female brand?’ If I could help lead up that and have an awesome team of women….we have the talent, tools, and facilities. It would really help all the girls who are not getting television time. This one person says to me, ‘They’re never going to do it. Ever. Women’s wrestling doesn’t make money. WWE Evolution was the lowest-rated PPV ever in WWE. I get what you’re trying to do, but I don’t understand why you’re fighting so hard for it. You should play the cards you’re dealt and see if there’s a way to incorporate that within a show rather than fight for it to be its own show.’ I just realized that every decision they do, a lot of it is business and how it falls in line with business. I’m just disappointed as a whole with being made to feel old with Depends and a walker and the whole ageism thing. I think we missed out on a lot of moments, whether it was me tying Trish’s record and Charlotte tied that and beat me or the Chelsea Green angle (working on Twitter). I originally pitched (that angle) for Liv (Morgan in 2019) because I love Liv. There have been several moments we could have done and should’ve done that we missed the boat on.”
On her belongings being returned in a trash bag:
“All I can do is laugh about it. It’s not even about the trash bag. I was astonished at how it took off. I almost deleted the post because I felt like it came off as too nasty or bitter. I was being sarcastic and laugh at myself and the situation. I got my stuff the exact same way ten years ago. The difference is, at that point, I honestly believed it and took it to heart and thought ‘this is what the company thinks about me.’ I know I made bad decisions, but at the same time, it didn’t spark there. Between the Piggy James stuff and even in the last run, it’s just how I felt positioned in the last three years. It’s okay. I’m good now because I’m in a good space and can express myself in a real fashion. I was like ‘Wow, they still do this. This is bullshit.’ It’s also kind of comical because it’s literally how I felt that they thought about me for the last three years whenever I’d pitch anything or talk about anything.”
And on being released:
“I know it wasn’t a direct thing. I empathize with Mark and feel bad he’s taking the full brunt, it sucks, but I guarantee his pension package is more than what I got paid in my last run. So, I don’t feel that bad. He was not happy in that situation. I’m pissed and don’t want to come across as angry, but it is a direct reflection of everything I’ve experienced in coming back. I was happy to take a backseat and take a trainer role. All I asked for was a curtsy out the door. It was never ‘I want one last run’ or ‘I want to wrestle for the next five years.’ All I wanted was a little respect so it wouldn’t feel like unfinished business. I felt because I was asking for this one thing, it was going to come with a price. I’m not saying that’s from Vince because he’s always been respectful to me. He called me on the phone to apologize for this incident and to let me know that this isn’t what he thought of me. I tagged Vince because he needs to know. There’s a lot of stuff that happens under his nose that he is oblivious to because he’s running a multi-billion dollar company. The small-minded mentality sometimes leads to thoughtless behavior. Especially for me, to constantly be presented as old, when I’m 41 years old and every single male champion has always been my same age or older and has been glorified for those reasons. As they should be, they’re amazing. Why is it different for women or for me? Ageism is a real thing and it’s bullshit. I’m grateful for the strides we’ve made to be seen as equal, but it’s not true for every person and it’s unfortunate. I don’t know why I was made to feel like I didn’t deserve it. I did everything in my power to be a company girl.”
It is quite the interview. Check out the full discussion:
Opinion: This is about as good of a response as you could have. I can’t say I blame James for having issues with leaving as she had a fairly inconsequential second run with WWE and apparently did not get very far with her ideas. James had some interesting ideas but for some reason WWE did not seem to go for some of them. Above all else, letting James go is letting go one of the few legends in all of women’s wrestling and that is quite the risky move in a lot of ways.
What is next for James? Do you agree with what she said? Let us know in the comments below.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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