TNA Knockouts Champion Mickie James on the downsizing of the Knockouts Division, whether she would leave pro wrestling to become a full-time musician, the Knockout she would like to see return, future goals
Wrestle Shark interview with Mickie James
Host: Simon Cassidy and David Thomson
Interview available at Facebook.com/BigWrestlesharkShow.
On the downsizing of the Knockouts Division: "Aside from it being awesome because I’m the champion? Yeah it has gone through a little bit, but the company as a whole is going through a bit of a change right now. It’s always very sad to see your friends and colleagues go, it’s kind of bitter sweet because you know you’re going to run into each other somewhere down the road. Just because they were such a staple of the locker-room for so long and to still be so over, with so much left to offer so to see them go…I just hope…although you always know it means there’s going to be a bit of change and some new faces will perhaps start coming in, I just hope those fresh faces can hold a candle to the girls they are replacing. Those are some rather large shoes to fill."
Anyone she would like to see return: "I’m open to whoever wants to come back. It would be really cool to have Kharma back in TNA; I think it would be cool to see Gail vs Kharma round two but with the roles reversed. Also I’ve never had a chance to work with Kharma and I would love to, so I think that would be really cool. There is so much talent out there that deserves to get a shot, that deserves to be seen. Most of the girls that are there, I’ll say most not all, came from humble beginnings and trained and worked their way up the indy’s to make a name for themselves, a respected name and finally caught an amazing break. There are so many girls out there that are just like that, so hopefully this is an opportunity for them to step up."
What does she still want to accomplish? "I’m constantly raising the bar for myself: I wanna go down in history as one of the best of all time. I know there are tons of women out there who are probably as great, if not better than me. You know I have been very blessed, very fortunate to be able to do a lot and work with some amazing people. I mean, you don’t want to come off like this…character wise, performance wise on TV I’m the best in the world, I’m the best of the century. And I can confidently say that I’ve had some incredible storylines, to work with some of the best in the world to be able to leave the legacy that, I could, leave today, but there is so much more I want to accomplish. Just because you’re the best doesn’t mean you can’t get better."
Who would you still like to wrestle? "I always say Serena. She’s one of the girls who reminds me so much of myself, I had kind of taken her under my wing a long time ago and to just see how far she’s grown on her own, and I just feel that when she was in the public eye and really getting a mainstream push she never had a chance to show how great she was and better than pretty much everybody in the ring. She’s one of the best I’ve ever stepped in the ring with, she’s technically solid, it’s ridiculous, I’ve seen her outwrestle some of the guys! So to see that level of talent go un-noticed is a sad thing. Hopefully I’d like to see her be able to shine. It’s hard to find someone who has it all…like myself."
On the release of her second article: "It’s been pretty amazing. The response from the fans and from my colleagues, my friends, from legit music reviewers across the board is so positive and so uplifting."
Comparisons between the life of a musician and the life of a wrestler: "They run very parallel I think. I’m used to being on the road. It’s very hard work, you go from radio station to radio station trying to get them to play your music, it’s a lot like when I would go from show to show all up and down the East Coast trying to work, hoping to have a match, hoping to get that shot. But we’re starting to get more tour dates under the books, so we’re going to be out performing more. I’m excited, it’s like a new journey. I mean…it’s like I’ve done everything I kinda wanna do in wrestling, obviously I want to keep raising the bar and there are still some things I want to accomplish, but music is like I’m starting from square one. I’m building it up the same way I built my wrestling career, hopefully the same kind of magic will happen."
On whether her wrestling fame has been an advantage: "It has definitely been an advantage at some points. It’s a catch 22, obviously you want to be taken seriously as an artist but being fortunate enough to have had the career I had in wrestling has paved the way for so much in terms of opening a lot of doors, and people I’ve met, and been fortunate enough to work with and write with. However, on the other hand you have the stigma of 'oh, it’s that girl who wrestles'. So obviously that’s where people know you from, but in the music world I want people to know me from my music and respect it over the wrestling in that aspect. My fans, I love them, they just seem to love me as a performer in both worlds and seem to accept that it is two separate worlds."
Would she ever walk away from the ring to be a full time musician? "I would love to be a full time musician, I don’t understand why I can’t be a full time both. I think wrestling will always be a special part of my life, I love it too much to just walk away. I mean I know I can’t physically get in the ring and wrestle and compete for the rest of my life, nor would I want to. I still want to be a part of this business…I guess that’s what will figure itself out along the way."
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