For more than the past year, wrestling promotions have interacted with each other, swapping talents at what many people call the “Forbidden Gate.” One of the only promotions that did not participate in the event was WWE, until now.
Over the weekend it was announced that Mickie James, the current Impact Knockouts champion, will compete at the Royal Rumble on January 29. The event will take place inside The Dome at the America’s Center in St. Louis.
James took to Instagram to announce the news, saying it raises the bar and knocks down glass ceilings. The former WWE Women’s Champion is looking to make a real impact at WrestleMania.
This is the first time James has stepped into a WWE ring since she was released on April 15 along with several other wrestlers. His dismissal was deemed controversial because he received his personal items in garbage bags.
James made his WWE debut in 2005 and immediately got into a history with Trish Stratus. It was released in 2010 and competed around the world shortly after. She returned in 2016, facing Asuka for the NXT women’s title, and later signed a multi-year contract with WWE. James is a five-time WWE Women’s Champion and a one-time Divas Champion.
Since leaving WWE, James has won the Impact Knockouts Championship four times. She recently returned to Impact and beat Deonna Purrazzo for the title. At last weekend’s Hard to Kill event, James defeated Purrazzo in a Texas Deathmatch to retain the title. While also competing with Impact, James is working with the National Wrestling Alliance and was the executive producer of the NWA EmPowerrr women’s event.
Impact’s Scott D’Amore recently spoke to Sporting News about WWE’s addition to Forbidden Door, mentioning James as an example of someone who could be a good star crossover. Now, James will represent Impact in a match to determine who will compete for the women’s title of his choice at WrestleMania.
“One of the last parts of the forbidden door that hasn’t been kicked open is that 800-pound gorilla – WWE,” D’Amore said. Can you imagine a world where you see Mickie James take on Charlotte Flair, Jordynne Grace with Becky Lynch? There are so many pairings to do. We’re seeing a lot of those people that we never thought we’d see coming, like Kenny Omega and Jay White showing up unexpectedly. The possibilities are endless. You can sit down and list a list and create dream matches with female fighters for years. Only time will tell. “
It is also being reported that WWE is interested in bringing another big name to the men’s Royal Rumble.