Mickie James Discusses Trash Bag Incident, IIconics’ releases, pitching ideas, more
Mickie James discussed her release from WWE, the now-infamous “trash bag” incident from last week and more on her Grown Ass Women podcast. The latest episode of James’ podcast with Lisa Marie Varon and SoCalVal is online and featured James weighing in on the end of her run with WWE as well as the incident last week where her belongings were returned to her in a garbage bag. She also talked about how she pitched ideas to WWE including an all-women’s brand, after which she was told that “women’s wrestling doesn’t make money.” You can check out the full video below, plus some highlights courtesy of Fightful:
On the end of her WWE run: “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 pitching a show for WWE Network: “Two or three years ago, I pitched a show similar to [GAW] with two or three girls on a panel and similar concept. ‘Who are you wearing? what are you drinking? what’s going on in pop culture?’ [I pitched it] for the Network and I might as well have been talking to [my dog]. [I pitched] a game show idea. I wasn’t even the star. If I’m going to be working behind the scenes, this is how my brain operates.”
On pitching the idea of an all-women brand in WWE: “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 the trash bag incident: “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.”
On the fallout in WWE over it: “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.”
On the IIconics’ releases: “For [Billie Kay & Peyton Royce], I could feel how they were probably feeling in that moment because I remember the first time when it happened to me, you do think there’s a chance to come back or one more run and you don’t want to burn that bridge and you need to be diplomatic and respectful so you don’t piss anybody off and it takes away that opportunity. For me, if they think that 41 is old, there’s no way I’m coming back for one more run now, and knowing what I know now, would I want to?