WWE Royal Rumble: Mickie James explains how shock ‘forbidden door’ inclusion came to be

  • Ash Rose
Mickie James

Mickie James has revealed how her appearance in next weekend’s Royal Rumble match came about.

The news of James being announced as a participant in the 2022 women’s Royal Rumble sent shockwaves through the wrestling world and flung open WWE’s own dalliance with the fabled ‘forbidden door’.

Her appearance will be the first time a current IMPACT champion has appeared on WWE TV, and she recently spoke to Ariel Helwani on how her inclusion in the event came to be.

“It was a few weeks ago, and Scott had called me first…just to kind of see where I was at and if I was interested. I think immediately I was excited, because I think about this historically has never happened before, for WWE to do this or to have anyone participate in the Rumble, especially to acknowledge the championship. It’s really, it’s cool. And it just shows a different amount of respect –I feel really great about it. Plus, I think, in my mind, the last thing most people bring up or talk about was on the other end of the spectrum with and so it’s just cool not to have that be the thing, or the last thing, or whatever that is. So I’m so excited, honestly.

James, a six-time women’s champion in WWE, was released by the company in April 2021 and came amid some controversy, with reports of her belongings being sent back in a trash bag. However, apologies have since been issued and it was John Laurinaitis who spoke to Scott D’Amore about the idea of bringing Mickie in.

“Johnny (Laurinaitis) reached out to Scott to first just talk to him professionally because… this has never really has been done before by them. So definitely, they talked first to see if this was going to be something they because they’ve worked together, Impact worked together with WWE in the past for other things, you know, for when Flair went in the Hall of Fame and Christian Cage and all that stuff, so it wasn’t unforeseen that it could possibly happen. But yeah, so I think that’s why Scott first reached out to me to see what my interest was. And then obviously, we were all able to make this happen somehow. And I think it was going to be a surprise, we talked about having it as a surprise. But you know, the announcement [and] the response back from the announcement kind of has blown my mind. I think it’s pretty incredible. You know, it’s different, and it’s kind of historic, and then to be the person to do they’ve done it with it’s really freaking cool.”

The announcement was made on SmackDown’s 14 January show as WWE reveald a host of names set for this year’s rumble match, including the return of The Bella Twins, Summer Rae and Lita. Yet, it was Mickie’s name that caused the biggest shock and the timing of the announcement was a surprise to James, too.

“I was headed to Impact because we obviously had the championship on the line and it was going to be the main event. And that was already a thing. So, I was actually driving around looking for a guitar when it aired on SmackDown in Dallas. So, I don’t know, I think like we said, we were we were talked about it being a surprise, like more of like, just one of the surprise entrances. But then I think Johnny really in the camp really wanted to kind of get it out there because they were doing that big announcement in the reveal that night, and they wanted to put it as part of that.”

You can watch WWE Royal Rumble live on January 29 in the US on Peacock and in all other international markets on the WWE Network.

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