Mickie James | Obsession For Greatness

What can you say about Mickie James that has not already been said. Mickie James is a multi-talented entertainer with an in-ring resume that surpasses most wrestlers. She is a five-time WWE Women’s Champion, divas champion, and a three-time TNA Knockouts Champion. She is also a successful recording artist who has opened for some of country musics biggest names. James is also a devoted mother and wife. She is a surefire Hall of Famer and one of the main reasons that fueled the women’s revolution. 

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Mickie James was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. A lot of fans do not realize that she is of  Native American descent. In 1999 she joined KYDA Pro Wrestling as a valet. Mickie went by the name of Alexis Laree. Early on in her career, Laree would participate in mixed tags, regularly wrestling men. She knew in order to learn her craft the correct way; she needed to be able to handle herself with anyone. Alexis never stopped learning. She would attend The Funkin Conservatory in Ocala, FL, to learn from Dory Funk Jr. She also regularly attended the ECW Dojo in Philadelphia, PN.

In 2003, Alexis Laree briefly worked for TNA Wrestling. Immediately she participated in a mixed tag-teaming with the Amazing Red vs. Kid Kash and Trinity. A few weeks later, she also had her first TNA singles match against Trinity. During that match, Raven recruited Laree to his group called The Gathering.  During this time, she wrestled in two extreme hardcore matches called the Clockwork Orange House of Fun Match. Alexis Laree’s dream came true when she was signed to a WWE contract. In August of that year, she reported to Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, KY. 

Ohio Valley Wrestling

At OVW, she immediately became a top performer. She defeated Jillian Hall in a 1,000 match on Nov 12, 2004.  On May 17, 2005,  Laree was a part of the OVW TV Title Tournament. She defeated Mike Mondo in the first round. However, she lost to Bobby Lashley in the semifinals.  Laree was not only making a name in the women’s division; she was also defeating men twice her size. On October 12, 2005, She officially started appearing as Micki James.  James seemed to be getting satisfaction out of turning heads at OVW; however, little did she know that she was about to experience some stratisfaction courtesy of a rivalry with Trish Stratus.

Trish Stratus Replaced By Mickie James Due To Pregnancy Announcement
Photo / StillRealToUS

Trish Stratus Rivalry 

Mickie James made her WWE debut as Trish Stratus’s biggest fan. Mickie’s character was obsessed with the WWE Women’s Champion.  During a match between Trish and Victoria, Mickie attacked Victoria. Trish was completely confused. Mickie finally introduced herself to Trish in the most awkward ways possible. On the Halloween Episode of Monday Night Raw, she dressed up as Trish. Trish Stratus was a little creeped out. Mickie James played that role perfectly, and the fans ate it up. When Trish told Mickie that she needs some space, she told Trish she would agree to that, but she wants to say goodbye the “right way. “ Mickie James kicked Trish in the face, and the fight was on. This led to arguably one of the greatest Women’s matches of all time at WrestleMania 22 in Chicago, Il.

On April 2, 2006, Mickie James defeated Trish Stratus for the WWE Women’s Championship. When asked about working with Trish Stratus, she said, “I think when you look at fandom as a whole, there are some who take it to a whole new level; our business is no different,” “For me, it was an easy character to play because I was a fan, I still am a fan of wrestling. So, it was an easy emotion to promote out there. Trish and I were able to bounce off of each other. I could take her energy and use it towards how my character reacted. I was a super zealous fan.” Stratus was also very into their storyline.

The 7-time Women’s champion praised Mickie and said, “I was giddy with excitement. I didn’t care if they were yaying or booing me, I just wanted to hear their decibels & I wanted to hear their sound,” Trish replied. “They were into everything we were doing, and that’s all I cared about.” 

Photo / WWE

Obsession for Winning Championships 

Mickie James was on top of the world when she lost the title to Lita on Aug 14, 2006. In the meantime, Trish Stratus announced her retirement. Her last match would take place at Unforgiven 2006, where she challenged Lita for the title. Stratus won the Women’s Championship but vacated it the next night on Raw. The WWE held a tournament to crown a new Women’s Champion. Lita ended up regaining the title, but her time was almost over as well. Lita had been through several neck surgeries, and the bumps in the ring were taking their toll.

On November 26, 2006, at the  Survivor Series, Mickie James defeated Lita and won the WWE Women’s title for a second time. James held onto the championship until she was defeated by Melina on February 19, 2007, on Raw. A few months later, on April 24, 2007, she regained the Women’s Championship in a triple threat match at a house show by pinning Victoria. An immediate rematch was signed due to the fact that Mickie did not pin Melina. Melina defeated James and won the WWE Women’s Championship. Mickie James did not capture gold again until she defeated Beth Phoenix on April 14, 2008.

At Summerslam 2008, James teamed up with Kofi Kingston against Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella in a winner takes all match. In this match, both Mickies Women’s title and Kofi’s Intercontinental Title would be up for grabs. The Glamazon and her boyfriend took full advantage of this when they walked out of Summerslam with both belts. 

Photo / TWM

Diva Domination

After this defeat, Mickie James turned her attention to the Divas Division, more specifically the Divas Champion Maryse.  On July 26, 2008, at Night Of Champions, she defeated Maryse and became the new WWE Divas Champion.  James dominated the diva’s division during the summer of 2008, defeating the likes of Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix, and Alicia Fox. After three months of being on top, she lost the Divas title to Jillian Hall. Shortly after that loss as part of the WWE Draft, Mickie ended up on Smackdown and started a heated rivalry with Michelle McCool and Layla, aka Laycool.

Laycool were the mean girls of the Smackdown roster. They began to nickname her “Piggy James.” McCool even went so far as to parody Old McDonald with Michelle McCool had a farm. After being bullied and humiliated by Laycool, Mickie James defeated Michelle McCool in a record 20 seconds to win her fifth WWE Women’s Championship at the 2009 Royal Rumble. On February 26, 2008, McCool got her rematch with the help of Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero. McCool defeated James and regained the championship. Shortly after that, Mickie James was released from the WWE. 

Mickie James Knocksout TNA IMPACT

After dominating the WWE, Mickie James decided to cross the line. She made her debut as a special guest referee at Bound for Glory. She did her job and counted the pinfall declaring Tara, aka Victoria, the new Knockouts Champion. Madison Rayne took exception to this and got in a shoving match with James. Mickie then knocked out the former Knockout champion, making it perfectly clear she was in TNA to make an IMPACT.

At TNA Turning Point, the two superstars battled it out to a double disqualification. James, Tara, and Rayne continued their rivalry throughout the spring, but unfortunately, Mickie kept coming within an inch of winning the championship. During that time, Mickie injured her shoulder and need to rehab. TNA put this into a storyline by having Tara run over her with her motorcycle. 

Velvet Sky has a Special Gift for Knockouts Champ Mickie James - June 13,  2013 - YouTube
Photo / YouTube

Obsession turns into Frustration.

Mickie James made her return on April 17, 2011, at TNA Lockdown, defeating Madison Rayne and finally winning the Knockouts Championship. This win made Mickie James the first woman in pro wrestling history to win all three major titles. Mickie was TNA Knockouts Champion for about five months when there was a chill in the air. Winter was coming. Winter, aka Katie Lee Burchill, was someone Mickie James knew very well. On August 7, 2011, at Hardcore Justice, Winter defeated James, thus ending her title run. That year Winter did not last long, and on September 1, 2011, Mickie regained the title. Like a cold snap, Winter returned with a vengeance and froze James’ title reign by defeating her a second time for the title. 

On October 16th, 2011, at Bound For Glory, Mickie’s friend Velvet Skye won the Knockouts title.  Although she was happy for Skye, she was frustrated. That frustration was starting to show in matches. Week after week dissension was growing between the two. James attacked Velvet Skye, causing a severe knee injury. On the May 23, 2014, episode of IMPACT, James exploited this injury to defeat Skye and once again win the Knockouts Title. After this win, Mickie James returned to her heel roots, claiming it takes crawling and scratching your way to the top to succeed.

She further stated that no woman will ever be as great as she is. Unfortunately for James, she was defeated by ODB on September 19, 2013. After that defeat, Mickie left TNA for a year and a half. She participated in one final angle where she was in a mixed tag match along with her husband Magnus vs. James Storm and Serena Deb. 

Mickie James | WWE
Photo / WWE

Mickie James | A Blissful return to WWE

On November 19, 2016, it was announced that Mickie James was returning to the WWE. At NXT Takeover, she will step into the ring with the NXT Women’s Champion Asuka. Mickie James did not miss a beat, but Asuka was a machine.  She even hit James with a german suplex on the floor. After an unbelievable exchange of moves, Asuka retained the championship. When Mickie went to offer a handshake of respect to Asuka, the NXT Women’s Champion brushed it off. When asked about how she felt about returning to the WWE, Mickie said

“You hope for those moments. You hope that people and the fans are going to remember and that they’re going to give you that same respect because you see it happen, and you see it happen for the guys all the time, and it’s so great.” 

Mickie James made her official return to the WWE at Smackdown under a mask. She was Alexa Bliss’s secret weapon in her fight against Becky Lynch. During a tag team match on Friday Night, Smackdown Alexa Bliss was attempting to get the pin after Mickie did all the work.  James Mick Kicked Alexa to teach her a lesson. From there, Alexa started to call Mickie James names, stating that the superstar was too old. That claim was absolutely ridiculous and was dropped. James Challenged Alexa for the Women’s Championship several times but could not grab the brass ring. 

Mickie James Makes History 

After a few months of frustration James and Alexa reunited. Little did Mickie know that she would be seeing two familiar faces in the ring very soon. On January 28, 2018, WWE held the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match. Among the surprise entrants were Lita and Mickie James’ first rival, the one and only Trish Stratus. Stratus performed unbelievably well at the rumble. The fans were chanting, “you still got it.” There was no doubt Trish still had it. Better yet was the reaction of the fans when Trish and James went toe to toe. WWE was preparing for the first-ever women’s pay-per-view.

In the Main Event, the team of Alexa Bliss and Mickie James would face Trish Stratus and Lita.  Unfortunately for Bliss, she suffered a concussion and was replaced by Alicia Fox. Mickie’s team lost, but in reality, every woman who ever stepped in the ring won that night. Women’s wrestling was breaking new ground. Despite not winning the WWE Women’s Championship again, Mickie James cemented her legacy On Dec 17, 2018, by being the first woman to compete in the most matches in Monday Night Raw history. No one can ever take that away from her.

Recovery And Redemption

On June 1, 2019, she suffered a torn ACL. During her recovery, she was a commentator on the WWE syndicated show Main Event. After 14 months of being on the shelf, she returned and started a rivalry with Natalya. She also wrestled Asuka for the WWE Women’s Championship.

Arguably one of the greatest female superstars the wrestling business has ever seen. Not only was Mickie James motivated by an obsession for championships, but she was also motivated by the obsession to prove that women can tell just as good a story as their male counterparts. Having several of the greatest rivalries of all time, Mickie James proved that fact to fans all over the world. When asked how she would like to be remembered, James said, “as a shining example to never give up, never quit,  and never say never.”