Earlier this month I did an interview with Mickie James for ESPN.com’s Page 2, discussing her attempt to succeed as a pro wrestler while also pursuing a career as a country singer. She made some interesting comments that didn’t make the cut for the interview.
* I asked about her national singing debut on TNA iMPACT!, which was interrupted when Tara attacked her (producing a Janet Jackson-esque moment with James fighting back while holding up her dress). It seemed to be a risky move, since people might relate her storyline so closely to her performance that they might never take her music seriously. It was for that reason that she made sure to sing live up until the attack.
“I was really singing during that performance, because I thought in my mind as a performer, you know, you can do it one of two ways. Because it is a show, and TV, and you can do things a number of ways. Honestly, I found we were going to be doing that pretty much the day before we taped it. So, we were given the option, ‘Do you want to sing to your backup track?’… And I said absolutely not. I want people to see that I’m serious about this. And if I got up there and for whatever reason something goes wrong, then I only have myself to blame.”
* I also asked for clarification about her exit from WWE. James explained that she initially liked putting together her album independently of the company because it gave her creative control. But she added that long-term it’s difficult to do any type of side project without WWE affiliation because you won’t get any consideration as it pertains to the road schedule. She estimates she spent maybe 20 days at home in Virginia her final year with WWE, between traveling to shows and going back and forth to Nashville to record.
“They had every opportunity to jump onboard if they wanted to, and I would have welcomed it. If they wanted to wrap a tour around some of the live event shows, Or maybe market the album itself. I think because it’s an industry they really don’t know anything about… Country music has a loyal, loyal fan base, just like wrestling, just like NASCAR, just like any diehard sport like that. So I think it’s an easy crossover if it’s marketed correctly. But if you’re completely ignorant to the whole process, or you don’t know anything about country music, you probably can’t open up to that idea because it’s not your world… I think if they had a little more of an open mind and actually grasped the concept and actually taken the ball and ran with it. I think they had a really killer idea on their hand that they probably dropped the ball on.”
When contacted for a response, her former employer simply responded, “WWE wishes Mickie James the best in her country music career.”
* She spoke glowingly of Tara, saying that despite their “storyline differences” she never would have been have been able to make history in their cage match without such a good opponent.
* She’s moving to Nashville as soon as she can get her Virginia home sold.
* She’s pursuing an audition for Warner Bros.’s movie adaptation of “Wonder Woman.”