Mickie James has opened up on receiving her possessions back from WWE in a big bag, which sparked a huge storm on social media and resulted in changes to WWE's talent relations department.
James was one of a number of releases made by the promotion on April 15, 2021 after returning to WWE in 2016. A week later, James took to social media to share a photo of a big bag with her name on it while also thanking WWE for sending her a 'care package'.
In response Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and John Laurinaitis all posted statements on social media, apologising to James and reporting that the individual responsible had been fired - believed to be Mark Carrano.
James has now revealed that she also received a direct phone-call from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. The former Women's champion says she does not necessarily blame McMahon for the incident or for how she feels she's been treated over the years, but does not believe he is aware of everything that goes on within his company.
Speaking on her Grown Ass Women podcast, James said:
"All I can do is laugh about it. It's not even about the trash bag. I was astonished at how it took off. I almost deleted the post because I felt like it came off as too nasty or bitter. I was being sarcastic and laugh at myself and the situation. I got my stuff the exact same way ten years ago. The difference is, at that point, I honestly believed it and took it to heart and thought 'this is what the company thinks about me.'
"I know I made bad decisions, but at the same time, it didn't spark there. Between the Piggy James stuff and even in the last run, it's just how I felt positioned in the last three years. It's okay. I'm good now because I'm in a good space and can express myself in a real fashion. I was like 'Wow, they still do this. This is bullsh*t.' It's also kind of comical because it's literally how I felt that they thought about me for the last three years whenever I'd pitch anything or talk about anything.
"I know it wasn't a direct thing. I empathize with Mark and feel bad he's taking the full brunt, it sucks, but I guarantee his pension package is more than what I got paid in my last run. So, I don't feel that bad. He was not happy in that situation.
"I'm p*ssed and don't want to come across as angry, but it is a direct reflection of everything I've experienced in coming back. I was happy to take a backseat and take a trainer role. All I asked for was a curtsy out the door. It was never 'I want one last run' or 'I want to wrestle for the next five years.' All I wanted was a little respect so it wouldn't feel like unfinished business. I felt because I was asking for this one thing, it was going to come with a price.
"I'm not saying that's from Vince because he's always been respectful to me. He called me on the phone to apologize for this incident and to let me know that this isn't what he thought of me. I tagged Vince because he needs to know. There's a lot of stuff that happens under his nose that he is oblivious to because he's running a multi-billion dollar company. The small-minded mentality sometimes leads to thoughtless behavior.
"Especially for me, to constantly be presented as old, when I'm 41 years old and every single male champion has always been my same age or older and has been glorified for those reasons. As they should be, they're amazing. Why is it different for women or for me? Ageism is a real thing and it's bullshit. I'm grateful for the strides we've made to be seen as equal, but it's not true for every person and it's unfortunate. I don't know why I was made to feel like I didn't deserve it. I did everything in my power to be a company girl."