Orlando has become the home to WWE amid Covid-19. Already familiar territory thanks to the WWE Performance Center and being NXT’s home base, the city has become the proverbial land of sports entertainment.
Though she knows the area well, Mickie James can’t help but look at it a little differently today, as she preps for the most important night in her resumed WWE career - her first shot at the Raw Women’s Championship. A win would give James her first WWE Championship in 10 years and give her seven reins for her legendary WWE career.
Since returning to WWE in October 2016, James had yet to receive a shot at one of the major Championships for female Superstars. Her only shot at gold, in fact, came against her opponent on Monday, Asuka. The two battled over the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, with the Empress of Tomorrow coming out on top.
It has been four years since that match, and James is ready for the opportunity that lies mere hours away.
“This shot is long overdue, I don’t mind saying that,” James said Sunday after touching down in Orlando. “My return to action has been an up-and-down road so far, but there’s no question that this is the biggest moment for me. I’m not going to let myself or my fans down.”
Anticipation for the match has been high for James, who last held a Championship in WWE in January 2010 after defeating storied rival Michelle McCool. Now, a decade later, the landscape of women’s competition has changed greatly in WWE, but James believes she can sit atop the ranks of the red brand.
“I’ll admit it - there were days during my recovery that I wondered to myself if I had what it took to compete against the incredibly talented women that fill the ring on Monday nights,” James said. “Ultimately, the reason I came back is to prove that I can not just tangle with these incredible athletes, but best them in competition and hold one of the few championships I have yet to capture in my career.”
James goes into battle against Asuka once again tonight. She knows she is more than ready for Asuka, as she said last week, but she also knows she has to have eyes in the back of her head, with the threat of Natalya and Lana interrupting her match.
“It seems like no matter where I go, those two Tik Tok twits are right around the corner,” James said. “I’m not going to let them distract me. I know Asuka wants me at my best and I want the same. I am laser-focused on one person - that’s the champ. Everyone else will be able to take selfies with me and post it to their Instagram after I get new side plates put on the Raw Women’s Championship.”
Be sure to watch history unfold tonight for Mickie James, as Raw airs on USA.
photo courtesy WWE.