On Monday's Raw, Asuka vs. Mickie James ended in controversial circumstances. After the two women had battled back and forth for 11 minutes, James countered the Asuka Lock by shifting her weight but the official suddenly called for the bell. The six-time women's champion looked stunned by what had happened and Asuka was noticeably annoyed during her celebration.
Mike Johnson of PWInsider later reported the planned finish was for Mickie to tap out to the Asuka Lock, but the referee called for the bell because those overseeing the match thought James was "out on her feet."
Alex McCarthy at talkSPORT recently caught up with James and she confirmed the referee called for the bell because he believed she had suffered an injury.
Mickie said: "I honestly don't know. I rolled back to count – one, two – there was no count. So she obviously went to go and lock back in the Asuka lock and I think in those moments, here's the thing; it is a dangerous sport. We have to be very careful. The refs do their job and kind of their job is to protect us and make sure it never goes too far or no one ever gets hurt. So he made his decision based on what he thought was a reality, that I was hurt or I couldn’t continue and that's unfortunate for me.
"I felt like I could continue and it’s an unfortunate loss. But, it’s not a real loss let’s face it. It was the final decision, what can I do? Except go in there and throw a fit on Monday!"
She later added: "In that moment it's very hard for them to tell whether you are hurt or not. It can't just be his call either. It must have been whoever thought I was hurt. They're just trying to protect me and keep me safe because concussions are a real thing. What we do as a sport is very dangerous. So if somebody gets a concussion, not only can they not wrestle the rest of that match, but they could possibly never wrestle again depending on how bad it is, same with football.
"So we have to be careful with that and I get it. It was unfortunate for me and stinky, but I'm fine. My nose hurts a little bit from that knee lift, I'll be honest [laughs]."