Mickie James

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Mickie James

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Mickie James
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James in February 2014
Birth name Mickie Laree James
Born (1979-08-31) August 31, 1979 (age 37)
Richmond, Virginia, United States
Spouse(s) Magnus (m. 2015)
Children 1
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Alexis Laree
La Luchadora[1]
Mickie James
Billed height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Billed weight 135 lb (61 kg)[2]
Billed from Richmond, Virginia[3]
Trained by Funking Conservatory[4]
KYDA Pro Training School[5]
Debut 1999[6]

Mickie Laree James-Aldis (born August 31, 1979)[7][8] is an American professional wrestler, actress, model and country singer signed to WWE, under the ring name Mickie James, where she performs on the SmackDown Live brand.

James began her wrestling career in 1999 as a valet on the independent circuit, where she was known under the name Alexis Laree.[9] She trained in several camps to improve her wrestling abilities before working for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (NWA:TNA) in June 2002, where she gained national attention.[9][10] After only a few appearances, she joined a stable called The Gathering and was written into storylines with the group. She is also the only woman to be involved in a Clockwork Orange House of Fun matches.[11]

James debuted at World Wrestling Entertainment (later renamed WWE) in October 2005 and was placed in a storyline with Trish Stratus, in which James’ gimmick was that of Stratus’s biggest fan turned obsessed stalker, an angle which ran over eight months.[12][9][13] She received a push, and she won her first WWE Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 22, a title she has held a total of five times. James also won her first Divas Championship at Night of Champions in 2009 to become the second of five Divas to hold both the Women’s and Divas titles.[14] She was released from the company on April 22, 2010, after which she returned to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).

In Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), James won the TNA Knockouts Championship three times and the 2013 TNA World Cup with Team USA. She left TNA in September 2013.[15][16] Between WWE and TNA, James is a nine-time champion, which is a national record[17][18] and is also the only female to hold the WWE Women’s, WWE Divas and TNA Knockouts Championships in wrestling history.[19] Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked James as the number one female wrestler in 2009, and she was also voted Woman of the Year twice, first in 2009 and again in 2011 by readers of PWI magazine.

Early life[edit]

James was born at Richmond Memorial Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, the daughter of Stuart James, a retired wastewater-treatment worker, landscaper, and VAIL League Division 3 Championship coach and Sandra Knuckles, a teacher and real-estate agent.[8] Her parents divorced while she was young. She has a sister, a half-sister, a half-brother, and three stepbrothers.[8] She grew up in Montpelier, Virginia and graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 1997.[8][20] While growing up, she spent a lot of time on her grandmother’s horse farm, and developed a keen interest in equestrian sports.[20] She played violin for five years.[21]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Independent circuit (1999–2003)[edit]

A fan of professional wrestling from an early age, James attended a professional wrestling school in the Washington, D.C. area at the suggestion of a friend.[20][22] She made her professional debut on the independent circuit in 1999, as a valet for KYDA Pro Wrestling under the ring name Alexis Laree, a name created as the result of a combination of her stage name from when she was a dancer and her middle name.[5][9][23] Laree went on to manage several male wrestlers, including managing Tommy Dreamer to win the KYDA Pro Heavyweight Championship.[11][24] In March, she wrestled in her first match, an intergender tag team match with Jake Damian against American Mike Brown and Candie.[11] She trained to improve her wrestling abilities by attending training camps such as the Funking Conservatory, a workshop run by Dory Funk Jr., and an Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) dojo. She also started competing for Maryland Championship Wrestling (MCW), where she trained at camps run by Ricky Morton and Bobby Eaton.[9][11] Beginning in 2002, she also made appearances for Ring of Honor.[6]

Due to the low salary of the independent shows, James supplemented her income by working as a waitress at a Olive Garden restaurant, and posing nude for the magazines Leg Show and Naughty Neighbors in the mid 2000s before gaining fame and being subsequently signed by World Wrestling Entertainment in 2003.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2002–2003)[edit]

Main article: The Gathering

While working in Ring of Honor for a year, James also debuted as Alexis Laree in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) on the company’s second ever weekly pay-per-view, as a participant in a lingerie battle royal.[10][25] She was not prominently featured until March 26, 2003, when she teamed with Amazing Red as part of his feud against the X Division Champion Kid Kash and Trinity. Laree competed in her first singles match with the promotion on April 2, 2003 in a losing effort against Trinity.[9][26] Weeks later, she became the first member of The Gathering, a stable led by Raven in his feud against NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett.[9] On April 16, Laree became the first (and thus far, only) woman to compete in a Clockwork Orange House of Fun match, after the Gathering challenged and defeated Jarrett.[11][27] She continued to wrestle with the stable while they feuded with The Disciples of the New Church, taking part in an angle with Father James Mitchell burning her with a fireball and wrestling in another Clockwork Orange House of Fun match before leaving the company.[28][29][30]

World Wrestling Entertainment[edit]

Ohio Valley Wrestling (2003–2005)[edit]

After two years of sending tapes and making phone calls, as well as wrestling a tryout dark match with Dawn Marie, James was signed to a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), who sent her to train at Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), their then-developmental territory, in August.[9][11][23] Still using the ring name Alexis Laree, she began making television appearances for OVW on January 29, 2004 and competed in several tag team matches throughout the year.[31][32] She also won a Halloween costume contest on October 30, and defeated Jillian Hall in a $1,000 match on November 12.[33]

On May 17, 2005, Laree was placed into a tournament for the OVW Television Championship. She defeated Mike Mondo in the first round, only to lose to Blaster Lashley in the next round.[31][34] She began a feud with Beth Phoenix on July 20 after Phoenix interrupted Laree during an interview, setting up a match on July 29, which Laree lost.[31][32] Their angle continued into September, with Shelly Martinez being added to the storyline to side with Phoenix against Laree. On October 12, she appeared in OVW under her real name, and finished the year on the losing end of matches against Martinez and Jillian Hall.[31]

Storyline with Trish Stratus (2005–2006)[edit]

James, under her real name, debuted in WWE on the October 10, 2005 episode of Raw as a face, under the gimmick of WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus‘s biggest fan.[12][35][36] The angle had the two Divas competing together in tag team matches, with James’ character becoming increasingly obsessed with Stratus.[37][38][39] The storyline included a Halloween costume contest, in which James was dressed like Stratus and helped Stratus retain the Women’s Championship in a Fulfill Your Fantasy battle royal at Taboo Tuesday by eliminating herself and Victoria at the same time.[40][41] James even began utilizing Stratus’s signature finishing moves as her own during matches. James later became the number one contender for the WWE Women’s Championship on December 12, by defeating Victoria in a match to determine who would face Stratus at New Year’s Revolution.[42] Subsequently, the storyline between James and Stratus developed into a lesbian angle, after James kissed Stratus under a sprig of mistletoe.[12][13][43] In the championship match at the pay-per-view, James lost to Stratus.

Despite the defeat, James continued to be enamored of Stratus, which made Stratus uncomfortable.[44] On March 6, 2006, the storyline had Stratus confronting James, telling her that they needed time apart from each other.[12][13][45] Through the early part of 2006, James would attack Ashley Massaro several times due to Massaro calling her “crazy”. At the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, James defeated Massaro with then-Women’s Champion, Trish Stratus, as the special guest referee. James would also confess her love for Stratus at the event.[46] Massaro got revenge one week later on Raw.[47]

James and Stratus teamed together at the March 18, 2006 episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event to defeat Candice Michelle and Victoria. After the match, James agreed to honor Stratus’s wishes and attempted to kiss her. After Stratus pushed her away, James attacked Stratus and vowed to destroy her, becoming a villain in the process for the first time in her WWE career.[12][13][48] The feud between James and Stratus culminated in a Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania 22, which James won, to earn her first Women’s Championship.[49] Her angle with Stratus continued into Backlash during a rematch, after Stratus legitimately dislocated her shoulder when James threw her out of the ring.[50][51] The feud would come to an end on the June 26 episode of Raw, when James defeated Stratus in a Women’s Championship match. The storyline is widely regarded as one of the best women’s feuds in WWE history.

Women’s Champion (2006–2008)[edit]

James dropped the WWE Women’s Championship on August 14 to Lita, after Lita hit James with the title belt.[52] After the Women’s Championship was vacated due to the retirement of Trish Stratus, James entered a tournament to determine the new champion.[53] She defeated Victoria and Melina en route to the finals at Cyber Sunday, where she lost to Lita. James transitioned into a face after she and Lita wrestled in a series of matches in which Lita chose stipulations to hinder James’ wrestling ability.[54] The feud between James and Lita ended at Survivor Series, where James defeated Lita, in the latter’s retirement match, to win her second Women’s Championship.[55]

James at the ring during a WWE house show in 2007

James then began an angle with Melina on January 29, 2007, when Melina became the number one contender for the Women’s Championship.[56][57] Following a successful title defense on February 5,[58] James teamed with Super Crazy in a mixed tag team match against Melina and Johnny Nitro. After Melina pinned James for the victory, she challenged her to a rematch for the title.[59] James would subsequently lose the Women’s Championship to Melina on February 19 and, in continuation of their storyline feud, failed to regain the title during the first women’s Falls Count Anywhere match in WWE history.[60][61] During the finish of the match, James fell from the top turnbuckle and landed on her neck, which resulted in a rushed finish. James, however, was not seriously injured in the incident.[62]

The scripted feud between James and Melina was rekindled on April 2, when James interrupted and attacked Melina during her photo op on Raw.[63] At a house show in Paris, France on April 24, James won her third Women’s Championship during a triple threat match that also involved Victoria. Since James pinned Victoria and not Melina, an immediate rematch was scheduled, in which James dropped the title back to Melina, giving her the shortest Women’s Championship reign in WWE history.[64] James later received a rematch for the title at Backlash, but was unsuccessful. After Backlash, James would only make sporadic appearances on television, wrestling occasionally in tag-matches and rarely in singles competition. On the November 26 episode of Raw, James defeated Melina in a number one contender’s match for Beth Phoenix‘s Women’s Championship,[65] setting up a title match between the two at Armageddon, in which Phoenix retained the title.

On the April 14, 2008 episode of Raw, held in London, England, James defeated Beth Phoenix to win her fourth Women’s Championship.[66] At Judgment Day, James successfully defended her title against Melina and Beth Phoenix in a triple-threat match. James re-entered the feud against Phoenix in mid-2008, where she and Kofi Kingston teamed up against Phoenix and Santino Marella at SummerSlam in a Winner Takes All tag team match for both the Women’s and Intercontinental Championships, in which James and Kingston lost their titles to Phoenix and Marella.[67] After James lost the championship, she had two rematches for the title, but was unsuccessful in regaining it.[68][69] At Survivor Series in November, James was part of the victorious Raw Diva team which defeated the SmackDown Divas in a five-on-five elimination match; she eliminated Michelle McCool, before being eliminated by Maryse.[70] The following month at Armageddon, James teamed with Maria, Michelle McCool and Kelly Kelly in a winning effort against Jillian Hall, Maryse, Victoria and Natalya.[71]

Divas Champion and feud with LayCool (2009–2010)[edit]

James in June 2009

Following an appearance in the 25-Diva battle royal at WrestleMania XXV,[72] James began feuding with the WWE Divas Champion Maryse heading into Night of Champions on July 26. At the event, James defeated Maryse to win her first Divas Championship, becoming only the second Diva in history to have held both the Women’s and Divas titles.[73] Throughout the Summer, James successfully defended the title against Gail Kim and Beth Phoenix on episodes of Raw,[74][75] and against Alicia Fox at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on October 4.[76] Two weeks later on Raw, James lost the title to Jillian Hall after an approximate three month title reign.[77] After the show, James was traded to the SmackDown brand for the first time in her career, due to a Diva trade made by Raw guest host Nancy O’Dell.[78]

James made her debut with the brand on the October 23 episode of SmackDown, defeating Layla.[79] On the October 30 episode of SmackDown, a controversial angle began that saw WWE Women’s Champion Michelle McCool and Layla, collectively known as LayCool, bully James. On the November 20 episode of SmackDown, after James defeated Layla, McCool gave James the nickname “Piggy James”, that sent James to tears, resulting in a five-on-five elimination tag team match at the November pay-per-view Survivor Series, where James’ team prevailed over McCool’s team, with James and Melina as the sole survivors.[80] On the December 4 episode of SmackDown, James became the number one contender for McCool’s Women’s Championship by defeating Beth Phoenix and Natalya in a triple threat match.[81] The following week, James challenged McCool for the championship at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, but was unsuccessful after interference from Layla.[82][83] The storyline feud continued into the Royal Rumble on January 31, 2010 where James finally defeated McCool, in 20 seconds, to become a five-time Women’s Champion. Over the following couple of weeks, SmackDown consultant Vickie Guerrero was introduced into the rivalry, choosing to side with LayCool over James. On the February 26 episode of SmackDown, McCool used her rematch clause to face James for the Women’s Championship, with Guerrero acting as special guest referee. After Guerrero slapped James, McCool pinned her to regain the title.[84]

On March, James was diagnosed with a staph infection on her right knee, putting her out of action for three weeks.[85] She returned on the March 22 episode of Raw, where alongside Kelly Kelly, she accompanied Eve Torres, Beth Phoenix, and Gail Kim in their losing effort against McCool, Maryse and Layla, who had Vickie Guerrero and Alicia Fox in their corner.[86] This set up a 10-Diva tag team match at WrestleMania XXVI, in which James made an unsuccessful in-ring return after Vickie pinned Kelly.[87] James made her last appearance on Raw during a rematch, where her team was victorious. James’ final match in WWE aired on the April 23 episode of SmackDown where she teamed with former long-time rival Beth Phoenix against LayCool in a losing effort when she was pinned by Layla.[88] James was released from WWE one day earlier on April 22, having pre-taped her SmackDown match.[89] According to James, WWE explained the decision as due to desiring to “move in a new direction with their women’s division”.[90]

In November 2013, James served as guest trainer at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida for a week, training WWE NXT‘s female wrestlers. James also attended that week’s NXT live event in Tampa, Florida.[91]

Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (2010–2011)[edit]

James (left) and Sexy Star (right) at the 2011 Verano de Escándalo event

On June 18, 2011, James made her debut for the Mexican promotion Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA) at Triplemanía XIX, where she teamed with Angelina Love, Sexy Star and Velvet Sky to defeat Cynthia Moreno, Faby Apache, Lolita and Mari Apache in an eight-woman tag team match.[92] James returned to AAA on July 9, teaming with Sexy Star to defeat the Apaches in a tag team match, after which she challenged Mari to a match for her AAA Reina de Reinas Championship.[93] On July 31 at Verano de Escándalo, James competed in an eight–way match for the Reina de Reinas Championship, becoming the last person eliminated by the new champion, Pimpinela Escarlata.[94]

Return to TNA[edit]

Feud with Madison Rayne (2010–2011)[edit]

On September 22, 2010, it was reported that James had signed a contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).[95] James returned to the promotion on October 7’s Before The Glory special episode of Impact!, when she was introduced as the special guest referee for the TNA Knockouts Championship match between Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne and Tara at Bound for Glory.[96] At the pay-per-view, James counted the pinfall which made Tara the new Knockouts Champion, prompting Rayne to shove James amidst an argument with Tara, and James replying with a punch.[97] On the following episode of Impact!, Tara lost the title to Rayne, while James made her intentions for the Knockouts title clear, after a confrontation with the new champion.[98] James wrestled her return match the following week, defeating Sarita, before being attacked by Rayne’s ally, Tara. James wrestled her first TNA pay-per-view match at Turning Point, where she battled Tara to a double disqualification.[99]

On the November 18 episode of Impact! James defeated Angelina Love to become the number one contender to the championship.[100] At Final Resolution, James was defeated by Tara in a Falls Count Anywhere match, following interference from Madison Rayne after she sprayed a fire extinguisher and hit James with the Knockouts title belt.[101] On the following episode of Impact!, James defeated Tara in a steel cage match.[102] On January 9, 2011 at Genesis, James lost her match against Rayne for the Knockouts Championship due to interference from Tara.[103] The following month at Against All Odds, James once again failed to win the Knockouts Championship, this time losing to Rayne in a Last Knockout Standing match, after another interference by Tara.[104] On the March 17 episode of Impact!, Rayne agreed to give James another title match at Lockdown, with the added stipulation that should James fail to win the title, she would have to shave her hair off.[105] On March 18, James legitimately separated her shoulder at a TNA house show in Jacksonville, Florida.[106] James’s injury was put into a storyline, where it was caused by Rayne and Tara running over her with Tara’s motorcycle.[107]

Knockouts Championship reigns (2011–2013)[edit]

On April 17, James defeated Madison Rayne in a steel cage match, which lasted less than a minute, to win the TNA Knockouts Championship for the first time.[108] With the win, James became the first woman in history to have held the WWE Women’s Championship, the WWE Divas Championship, and the TNA Knockouts Championship.[109] On the May 5 episode of Impact!, James made her first successful title defense against Ms. Tessmacher.[110] On May 15 at Sacrifice, James successfully defended her title against Madison Rayne and in the process helped Tara get a release from her alliance with Rayne.[111] The following month at Slammiversary IX, James successfully defended her title against Angelina Love, however after the match both Love and Winter attacked her.[112] On the June 23 episode of Impact Wrestling, James was defeated by Winter in a non-title Street Fight, following outside interference from Love.[113] This led to a match on August 7 at Hardcore Justice, where James lost the Knockouts Championship to Winter, following multiple interferences from Love and a red mist from Winter.[114] On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, James defeated Madison Rayne to earn a rematch for the title.[115] On the September 1 episode of Impact Wrestling, James defeated Winter to win her second TNA Knockouts Championship.[116][117] On September 11 at No Surrender, James dropped the title back to Winter.[118] On the September 22 episode of Impact Wrestling, James defeated Ms. Tessmacher to earn another shot at the championship at Bound for Glory, in a four-way match with defending champion Winter, Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky, which Sky would win.[119][120]

On the November 17 episode of Impact Wrestling, James defeated nine other Knockouts in a gauntlet match to earn a championship match with the new champion, Gail Kim.[121] On December 11 at Final Resolution, Gail defeated James to retain the championship, following a distraction from Madison Rayne.[122] In the main event of the December 29 episode of Impact Wrestling, James challenged Kim for the championship, but was defeated following interference from Rayne. On the January 5, 2012, episode of Impact Wrestling, James and Traci Brooks failed to capture the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship from Kim and Rayne.[123] Three days later at Genesis, James lost another championship match against Kim, after being disqualified for using the brass knuckles that were thrown into the ring by Rayne, who was locked in a cage suspended in the air during the match.[124] On the January 19 episode of Impact Wrestling, James defeated Rayne in a steel cage match.[125] On the January 26 episode of Impact Wrestling, James and Velvet Sky were defeated by Tara in a triple-threat number one contender’s match for the Knockouts Championship.[126] On the April 5 episode of Impact Wrestling, James was defeated by Sky in a six-way number one contenders match, also involving Angelina Love, Madison Rayne, Tara, and Winter.[127] On the June 7 episode of Impact Wrestling, James again failed to earn a shot at the Knockouts Championship when she was defeated by Ms. Tessmacher in a four-way match that also included Tara and Velvet Sky, while also showing signs of a heel turn due to jealousy of Sky.[128] On the June 21 episode of Impact Wrestling, James was chosen over Sky as the next challenger for the Knockouts Championship, but failed to recapture the title from Ms. Tessmacher.[129] James’ storyline with Sky ended abruptly the following month, when Sky was granted her release from TNA.[130] On the August 2 episode of Impact Wrestling, James unsuccessfully competed in a four-way number one contenders match involving Gail Kim, Tara and the eventual winner Madison Rayne.[131] After a three-month absence, James returned on the November 15 episode of Impact Wrestling, winning a Knockouts battle royal to become the number one contender to the Knockouts Championship.[132] On December 9 at Final Resolution, James was unsuccessful in winning the championship from Tara after a distraction from her boyfriend Jesse.[133] James received another shot at the championship on the December 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, but was again defeated by Tara.[134] On January 13, 2013, at the Genesis pay-per-view, James competed in a five-woman gauntlet match to determine the number one contender to the Knockout Championship, but was eliminated by Gail Kim.[135]

James (right) prior to face Taeler Hendrix during a TNA event in 2013

On the April 18 of Impact Wrestling, James defeated Ms. Tessmacher to become the number one contender to the Knockouts Championship.[136] James received her title match the following week, but was defeated by defending champion Velvet Sky.[137] On the May 23 episode of Impact Wrestling, James defeated Sky after attacking her injured knee to become a three-time Knockouts Champion.[138] The following week, James began portraying a villainous persona by calling out Velvet Sky, acting sarcastic and pompous towards her, and also did not help Sky when she was attacked by Gail Kim.[139] James turned into a villainess on the June 13 episode of Impact Wrestling, when she attacked Sky when the latter said that she was ready for a rematch.[140] James and Sky had their rematch on the June 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, where James retained her championship.[141] On the July 4 episode of Impact Wrestling, James justified her actions by claiming that getting to the top of the Knockouts division requires “clawing and scratching your way to the top”; James also claimed that “no woman would ever be as great as her” and she’ll “stand atop the division as the greatest Knockouts Champion of all time”.[142] On the July 25 episode of Impact Wrestling, James successfully defended the championship against Gail Kim.[143] At the September 6 airing of Knockout Knockdown, James defeated Serena Deeb to qualify for the gauntlet battle royal finals, in which James was lastly eliminated by Gail Kim.[144][145] James lost the Knockouts Championship on the September 19 episode of Impact Wrestling to ODB. Four days later, it was revealed that James had failed to come to terms on a contract renewal with TNA. James later stated in an interview that she technically wasn’t under contract with TNA, but she did not confirm that she was gone. On November 15, 2013, James appeared in an interview on WWE.com, discussing her history with WWE and the possibility of making a return to the company.[146] At the December 6 airing of World Cup of Wrestling, James was a member of Team USA, along with James Storm, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and Kenny King. James was defeated by Team Aces & EightsIvelisse Vélez following interference from the other members of Aces & Eights. Team USA would go on to defeat Team Aces & Eights in a 5-on-5 elimination tag team match, in which James gained a measure of retribution by eliminating Vélez during the match. James and Storm were presented with the trophy afterwards.[147][148]

Return to the independent circuit (2010–2016)[edit]

James made her return to the independent circuit in April 2010, as part of World Wrestling Council (WWC), teaming with Carlito to defeat the team of ODB and Christopher Daniels. James won the bout after pinning Daniels.[149] On July 11, as part of their Anniversary weekend, she defeated ODB in a singles match. On the last day of that month, James returned to one of her early promotions, Maryland Championship Wrestling (MCW), to wrestle Mia Yim in a winning effort.[150] The following month, she contested for the Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU) Championship against Mercedes Martinez, but she was unsuccessful.[151] She also returned to Dory Funk‘s promotion, recording a tag team match for !Bang! TV. James also accompanied Dory Funk Jr. during his match, and sung “The Star-Spangled Banner” during !Bang! TV’s tribute to the troops.[152] On September 18, James served as a special guest referee for a three-way match between ODB, Persephone and Kristin Flake for the SCWA Ladie’s Title during Southern California Wrestling Association’s (SCWA) ‘CAGED event in Wentworth, North Carolina, where all matches took place in a cage.[153][154]

In early 2011, James began appearing for Covey Promotions. At All or Nothing 5 on April 30, James defeated Hannah Blossom to become the first Covey Pro Women’s Champion.[155] During her time with TNA, James made several appearances for independent wrestling promotions such as Pro Championship Wrestling, Legends of the Ring, Northeast Wrestling and National Wrestling Superstars.[156] On November 11, 2011, James lost the Covey Pro Women’s Championship to the debuting Jessie Belle Smothers.[155]

James made her debut for Pro Wrestling Elite (PWE) in Ayr, South Ayrshire, Scotland on September 15, 2012 at History Is Born, where she fought Kay Lee Ray to a no contest.[157] After the match, James teamed up with Ray in a winning effort against Carmel and Nikki Storm. The following night, James competed against Carmel in a winning effort.[157] James returned to Pro Wrestling Elite at their two-year anniversary event Elite Bro on July 20, 2013, in a winning effort against Nikki Storm.[158] On September 21, James made an appearance at the Wrestling Spectacular 2 all-female event in Edison, New Jersey, alongside many former WWE and TNA female wrestlers, such as Angelina Love, Katarina Waters, Rosita and Brooke Adams. James and Love fought in the main event, with Candice Michelle as the special guest referee, where Love pinned James after an interference from Velvet Sky.[159][160] James made an appearance for Big Time Wrestling in August 2013, wrestling Reby Sky several times in different dates and locations, winning in all bouts against Sky.[161][162][163] On October 12, Mickie again appeared for the promotion, beating Quebec’s Midianne in Bristol, Connecticut.[164] On February 8, 2014, James returned to Maryland Championship Wrestling for the Anniversary 2014 event in Joppa, Maryland to face Angelina Love, promoted as “Battle of the Bombshells”. Although originally promoted as a singles match, interference by MCW’s Renee Michelles’ and Jessie Kayes’ rivalry occurred during the match, resulting in the match being turned into a tag team match with Mickie and Michelle facing Angelina and Kayes, which James and Michelle won.[165][166]

On April 25, 2014 at the Berkeley Springs High School theater in West Virginia, James headlined the Covey Promotion 3rd Annual Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony, as she was inducted into the Covey Pro Hall Of Hame Class of 2014.[167] The next day, during the All or Nothing 8! event which was aired on May 17 as the 154th episode of Covey Pro TV, James was interrupted during an interview by Amber Rodriguez, who mocked James on her legitimate pregnancy and gave her a pie as a tease, and in return, James shoved the pie in Amber’s face. Jessie Belle Smothers came to the rescue and battled Rodriguez as James was escorted out by security. Two months after giving birth to her child, James returned to in-ring competition at Queens Of Combat 3 on November 30, where she defeated Tessa Blanchard.[168] On May 16, James debuted for (1CW) First State Championship Wrestling unsuccessfully challenging Kacee Carlisle for the 1CW Women’s Championship after getting herself disqualified.

On June 19, 2015, at Maryland Championship Wrestling’s Ladies Night event, James defeated Amber Rodriguez (with Lisa Marie Varon as the special guest referee and Melina as the outside enforcer) to win the MCW Women’s Championship, despite James being attacked by the evil Melina during the match.[169] On November 13, Kimber Lee defeated James to win the MCW Women’s Championship after interference from Amber Rodriguez. The following night, James gained a measure of revenge by defeating Rodriguez in a Loser Leaves MCW match, causing Rodriguez to leave the company. On February 2, 2016, James made an appearance for Chikara in a losing effort against Grand Champion Princess Kimber Lee.[170] On April 1, 2016, James returned to Queens of Combat and defeated LuFisto at Queens of Combat 10.[171]

On September 2, 2016, James made her debut for Chikara, when she entered the 2016 King of Trios tournament as part of Team Original Divas Revolution, alongside Jazz and Victoria. They defeated Team Shimmer (Candice LeRae, Crazy Mary Dobson and Solo Darling) in their first round match.[172] The following day, Team Original Divas Revolution was eliminated from the tournament by The Warriors Three (Oleg the Usurper, Princess KimberLee and ThunderFrog).[173]

Second return to TNA (2015)[edit]

James made a surprise return to TNA as a fan favorite, after a year and a half absence from the company, on January 30, 2015, during the tapings of Impact Wrestling in Glasgow, Scotland.[174] James would then have several confrontations with Bram over his actions towards her real life fiancé, Magnus. On the April 24 episode of Impact Wrestling, James retired from wrestling to focus on becoming a full-time mother, but James Storm talked her into having one more match.[175] On the June 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, James declined an offer by Storm to join The Revolution, which resulted in him intentionally shoving her onto a train track in the storyline, which sparked controversy. This was done to write off James from television, as she had no more dates set with the company at the time.[176] James made her return on the July 1 episode of Impact Wrestling, confronting Storm and challenging him to a mixed tag team match.[177] On the July 29 episode of Impact Wrestling, James and Magnus defeated Storm and his partner Serena, when James pinned Serena.[178]

Global Force Wrestling (2015–2016)[edit]

On July 7, 2015, James signed with Global Force Wrestling (GFW). On July 24, at GFW’s inaugural tapings in Las Vegas, Nevada, James lost a three-way GFW Women’s Championship tournament qualifying match that also included Lei’D Tapa and the ultimate winner, Christina Von Eerie.[179] At the September 3 event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, James defeated ODB. On October 28, during the GFW UK Invasion Tour, James defeated Nikki Storm in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, and Toni Storm on October 30 in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. On January 22, Christina Von Eerie defeated James and Kimber Lee to retain the GFW Women’s Championship.[180]

Return to WWE (2016–present)[edit]

In early 2016, Mickie James spent a week at the WWE performance centre as a guest trainer. On October 13, 2016, it was announced that James would return to WWE’s developmental brand NXT at the NXT TakeOver: Toronto event on November 19, where she would compete on a match against the NXT Women’s Champion Asuka for the title.[181] On the October 26 episode of NXT, James cut a promo where she formally re-introduced herself and challenged Asuka for the championship.[182] At the event, James was defeated, afterwards, Asuka refused to shake her hand as a sign of disrespect.[183]

On December 8, it was announced that James had signed a multi-year contract with WWE.[184][185] On the January 17, 2017 episode of SmackDown Live, James made her return by helping Alexa Bliss retain her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Becky Lynch in a steel cage match, revealing herself as the woman under the La Luchadora mask and establishing herself as a heel in the process.[1]

Music career[edit]

Mickie James
Genres Country music
Years active 2010–present
Labels Entertainment One

James’ first country music album, Strangers & Angels, was released on May 18, 2010 on iTunes. The album was self-released with an independent team. On December 2, 2010, James released another single called, “Hardcore Country”, which was also used as her entrance music with TNA and on their independent circuit appearances. A music video for the single was first shown during James’s first appearance on TNA Spin Cycle. For her second album, James joined a Kickstarter campaign in order to partially fund the album. Fans who contributed donations received special items from the campaign. The online campaign was a success, with a total pledge of $16,500 out of a $5,000 goal. The funds helped to produce the first six songs from the album. The album, called “Somebody’s Gonna Pay” was released on May 7, 2013 under the label Entertainment One (eOne) Music, and debuted on the music charts at #15 on the Billboards Heatseekers charts.[186][187] James has also filmed a music video for the song “Somebody’s Gonna Pay”, from her second album of the same name. The video features former WWE Women’s Champion, Trish Stratus and her fiancé Magnus. TNA founder, Jeff Jarrett, was also on set of the video in Nashville, Tennessee. Jarrett did not appear in the video, but taught James how to swing a guitar.[188] While she worked for TNA, James also toured around the United States, holding small concerts at various venues.

James has opened shows for Montgomery Gentry, Randy Houser, Gretchen Wilson, and Rascal Flatts. James also performed at the 2011 CMA Music Festival. James again performed at CMA Fest in 2013, where Eric Young and James Storm also made appearances at the event. Other musical appearances James has made are the 2013 Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association (ECAA) benefit concert on August 24, 2013 [189] and World Chicken Festival in London, Kentucky on September 28, 2013.[190] In 2014, James collaborated with country artist Cowboy Troy and TNA wrestler James Storm on a song titled “Is Everybody Doing OK”, which is featured on Cowboy Troy’s album, King of Clubs.[191][192][193][194]

On November 19, 2016, James released a new song entitled Shooting Blanks.[195]

Studio albums[edit]

Strangers & Angels[edit]

Strangers & Angels
Studio album by Mickie James
Released May 18, 2010 (2010-05-18)
Genre Country
Length 40:40
Label Entertainment One
Producer Kent Wells
Mickie James chronology
Strangers & Angels Somebody’s Gonna Pay
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Are You With Me” Ben Hayslip, Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins 3:12
2. “Hollywood Movie Moment” Don Goodman, Mickie James, Brad Wolf 3:07
3. “I Call The Fight” Evie Nicole, Jackie Dipillo 3:44
4. “Freedom Song” Chris Tompkins, Mark Irwin, Josh Kear 3:16
5. “Strangers & Angels” Chris Tompkins, Jess Cates, Kara DioGuardi 4:15
6. “Make Me Feel Like A Woman” Connie Harrington, Maria Cannon-Goodman 3:55
7. “Fallin’ Over Again” Jennifer Zuffinetti, David Brainard 4:35
8. “When You Come Home Tonight” Robin Lee Bruce, Connie Harrington 4:04
9. “I’m No Good At Pretending” Don Goodman, Mickie James, Brad Wolf 3:06
10. “Don’t Apologize” Mickie James, Tommy Wood 4:14
11. “Dumb Bitch” (Bonus Track) Amanda Williams, Stacy Donahue 3:12
Total length: 40:40

Somebody’s Gonna Pay[edit]

Somebody’s Gonna Pay
Studio album by Mickie James
Released May 7, 2013 (2013-05-07)
Genre Country
Length 45:57
Label E1 Music
Producer R. S. Field, Jeff Lysyczyn (exec.), Al McManus (exec.), Dale Oliver, Jamie Lee Thurston
Mickie James chronology
Strangers & Angels Somebody’s Gonna Pay
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Somebody’s Gonna Pay” Jamie Hartford 3:49
2. “Best Damn Night” Mickie James, Porter Howell, Jamie Lee Thurston 3:52
3. “Whatever Turns You On” Dan Tyler, Billy Ray Reynolds 3:17
4. “A Good Time” Bridgette Tatum, Lorna Flowers 3:37
5. “Long Way Down” C. Michael Spriggs, Craig Wiseman 3:48
6. “If I Can’t Be Me” Odie Blackmon 4:20
7. “Goin’ Fast” John Paul White, Gary Nichols, Kris Bergsnes 2:43
8. “I’m Gone Song” J. Collins, Tom Shapiro, Rivers Rutherford 4:18
9. “80 Proof” Mickie James, Buck Reuss 4:43
10. “Hurts Don’t It” Kerry Kurt Phillips, Michael Higgins, Larry Haack 3:39
11. “I Just Wanna Do My Thing” J. Thurston, George Teren, P. Howell 4:34
12. “Hardcore Country” (Bonus Track) Mickie James, Dale Oliver, Serg Salinas 3:11
Total length: 45:57

Singles[edit]

Year Single Album
2016 Shooting Blanks[195] Non album single

Guest work[edit]

Title With Album Year
Is Everybody Doing OK [192] Cowboy Troy and “The Cowboy” James Storm King of Clubs 2014

Other media[edit]

James, along with Ken Anderson, represented WWE at the 2008 Republican National Convention, in an effort to persuade fans to register to vote in the 2008 Presidential election.[196] On April 13, 2008, James, along with Layla, Melina, and Kelly Kelly, appeared as guest trainers in an episode of Celebrity Fit Club Boot Camp.[197] On September 5 of that same year, James appeared on the USA Network show Psych, portraying a villainous roller derby girl called Rita “Lethal Weapon” Westwood, in the episode “Talk Derby to Me”.[198][199] James made a special appearance on Redemption Song which is hosted by Chris Jericho along with Candice Michelle, Maryse, and Eve Torres. It was originally aired on November 12, 2008.[200] In 2012, James was featured in Bucky Covington‘s music video for his song “Drinking Side of Country”.[201] In June 2013, James starred in a Dr Pepper advert, which featured “One of a Kind” individuals talking about the role of Dr. Pepper in their lives.[202] As part of the WWE roster, James made appearances in five WWE video games as a playable character.

Personal life[edit]

When she is finished with her wrestling career, James plans to own a farm and be an equine trainer.[3] James owns three Morgan horses named Rhapsody, Bunny, and Casanova.[203] James also owns two dogs, one named Butch and a Miniature Pinscher named Elvis.[204] Outside of wrestling, James received her Associate of Arts degree in business administration, and studied for her Bachelor of Arts degree in operations management.[203]

James is part Native American of the Powhatan tribe.[205][206] James has two tattoos: a symbol meaning ‘love’ on her ankle, and a dragon that wraps around it.[207] James is a fan of Equine sports and American Football, and is a fan of the Dallas Cowboys.[208]

In 2007, James was engaged to wrestler Kenny Dykstra.[209] On September 25, 2014, James and Nick Aldis, better known by his ring name Magnus, welcomed their first child, a boy named Donovan Patrick Aldis.[210] James and Aldis got engaged in December 2014[211] and married on December 31, 2015.[212][213]

In wrestling[edit]

James setting up to perform the Mickie-DT on Angelina Love
James performing a Mick-a-rana on Katie Lea Burchill
  • As Alexis Laree

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

James is a five-time WWE Women’s Champion

James is a three-time TNA Knockout’s champion

Luchas de Apuestas record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Mickie James (hair) Madison Rayne (title) Cincinnati, Ohio TNA Lockdown 000000002011-04-17-0000April 17, 2011 [108]
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