In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, IMPACT Knockouts World Champion Mickie James discussed several topics, including how her upcoming appearance as part of the 2022 Women’s WWE Royal Rumble Match came together.

“It was a few weeks ago, Scott D’Amore called me first, just to kind of see where I was at and if I was interested and immediately, I was excited. Historically, this has never happened before, for WWE to do this or to have anyone to participate in the Rumble, especially to acknowledge the Championship, it’s cool and shows a different amount of respect.

I feel really great about it. In my mind, the last thing people bring up or talk about was on the other end of the spectrum with them, it’s cool to not have that be the thing or the last thing, I’m so excited honestly. I feel like John Laurinaitis reached out to Scott to first talk to him professionally, it’s never been done before by them, definitely they talked first to see if this was something that they could do.

IMPACT worked together with WWE in the past for when Ric Flair went in the WWE Hall of Fame and Christian Cage, it wasn’t unforeseen that it could possibly happen and I think that’s why Scott first reached out to me to see what my interest was, and obviously we were all able to make this happen somehow. I think it was going to be a surprise, we talked about having it a surprise, but the announcement, the response back has blown my mind, it’s incredible, different and kind of historic and to be the person to do it is really cool.

I was headed to IMPACT, I was driving around looking for a guitar when it aired on SmackDown, we had talked about it being a surprise, but I think Johnny and the camp wanted to get it out there because they were doing the announcement and the reveal that night and they wanted to put it as part of that. It worked out, I was a little apprehensive because I knew Deonna and I were going to be the main event at Hard To Kill and IMPACT hadn’t announced it, because internally it was a conversation of look at this thing we’re doing, it’s great, it’s more powerful that it was just going to be the main event. That was my only immediate reservation, I don’t want it to step on anything going into the Deonna match and it actually worked out better because I think a lot of people thought I was going to lose, more people thought I wasn’t going to keep the Championship because I was going into the Rumble.”

The full interview is available at this link.