Fueled By death cast



Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 188 - Mickie James

Mickie James in the ring

PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER - MICKIE JAMES

"You have to 100% commit, you can't 50% commit or they won't buy it." Mickie James, professional wrestler, women's champion, co-host of GAW TV

 

WATCH THIS EXCLUSIVE VIDEO CLIP

 

ABOUT MICKIE JAMES:

Mickie James might have been introduced as a crazed-fan of Trish Stratus, but she has become so much more since then. Nine time Women's wrestling champion and twice the Women of the Year for Pro Wrestling Illustrated, Mickie has more than proven her legendary status in the ring. Mickie talks about how she started her career and what it was like competing in her first championship. Plus, hear details about Mickie's budding music career and her plans for her next album. Don't forget to check out Mickie's new YouTube show, Grown Ass Women TV, with her friends Lisa Marie and SoCal Val. GAW TV has new episodes premier every Wednesday.

TRANSCRIPT:

Jeff:
Mickie thank you so much for joining me on the show today. I'm so excited to talk with you about everything, all the different careers, all the different hats you wear and everything as it goes. And I just want to say I'm a big fan of everything you do, not just what you did in the ring, but everything outside of the ring. You are an inspiration to a lot of people out there. I just want to thank you for taking time for being on the show.

Mickie James:
You're so sweet, thank you so much. Thanks, hey.

Jeff:
Yeah, there it is, shameless plug. Look anytime-

Mickie James:
Shameless plug here. No, thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it and you're so sweet, you're too kind.

Jeff:
Sometimes I like to start in the now, but sometimes I like to start at the beginning. And I'm always curious, especially someone who's been in wrestling for so long, I'm always curious where was your first inkling of wrestling? Do you remember the first time you actually saw a wrestling match or maybe saw wrestling on TV or something, do you remember that?

Mickie James:
For sure, I was with my dad. I was with my dad, I'm watching TV. It was a Sunday morning or something like that. And then that was kind of our thing, that's where I fell in love with wrestling, that was our bond was my dad and I's bond with my sisters and I. And then they would cut to commercial break and then we would all try to wrestle and we would all gang up on our dad, obviously, we always won.

Jeff:
Oh, yeah. I have a similar story. I started watching, my dad kind of watch it a little bit, but then I watched it a lot more and then I got grounded because I tried to top rope, my stuffed animals off the couch, and broke the couch. So it was a bad idea.

Mickie James:
No more wresting in the house.

Jeff:
Yeah, no wrestling in the house. So when did it actually come to a point in your life where you were like, I want to pursue this because I know you went through a lot of training before you actually started wrestling professionally. Did you have a watershed moment in your life where you were like, "I want to pursue this as a career?"

Mickie James:
We say it like I would be, "Oh, I want to be a wrestler when I grow up." As a kid, you say this it was just like, I was going to be a movie star, I'm going to be a singer, I'm going to be all these things and hey, you might still be, you don't know yet. But it was one of those moments where I was out of high school, I didn't go to college, I was working in a bar. I was really at these crossroads of moments in your life where I'm going like, "Okay, well, what am I going to do with my life? I don't really know." I had fallen out of being a wrestling fan through high school and everything else, but I'd fallen back into it because it really was such a hot time of the wrestling business, it was the attitude era. It was cool to be a wrestling fan, wrestling was cool. They were doing and saying all the things that you wanted to do in real life and say in real life but just couldn't, so you just vicariously lived through them.

Mickie James:
And so, I think I was working there and then a buddy of mine who was one of the bouncers or whatever at the bar. And he's like, “My buddy has a wrestling school, it's closer to DC, like Manassas”. I had no idea. I assumed that when you say... I've just assumed that they found these people, because to me, I was still like, these are larger than life superstars, these are people who are like... they're superhuman kind of thing. Just like you would find the bearded lady for the circus, it was just one of those things. Maybe there was a particular scout that went out and found these folks, or I didn't really know.

Mickie James:
So the idea that there was a wrestling school where you actually learn how to wrestle, how to cut these promos, how to create a character or cultivate all this stuff. I was like, "Whoa," it blew my mind. So of course, I went and I checked it out and I signed up that day and I've been doing it ever since and I love it.

Jeff:
That's incredible. What was the most surprising thing for you, going to the school because so many people that just know of wrestling as the casual observer think, "Oh yeah, you go to wrestling school and you learn how to fall properly or whatever." But like you said, there's so much that it's involved into it. You have to not only create a character, but be in character for so long, you have to learn the little tricks that are in the ring so you and your partner and you're the person that you're going against, know that kind of thing. You have to know how to cut a promo, you have to know all these things. Was there something that was incredibly surprising to you as you started out in training?

Mickie James:
As I started out in training, I felt like everything was pretty eye-opening to me. It astounded me how bad even hitting the ropes hurt and how much I bruised up, how sore I was just from running the ropes. I wasn't allowed to take a bump until I think I was three months in before I took my first bump. Because I had to get all the other stuff down first, get the running the ropes down first, get your timing down first, know the ring first, maybe learn how to grab a headlock, and learn how to grab a wrist properly, learn these things. And when you learn those things, then we'll teach you how to bump. I was like, "Oh, okay." But so yeah, it's really interesting.

Mickie James:
I think so many people like you want to be the best wrestler in the business and to really cultivate and make... for me, what I've found for me was not only just being the best wrestler and not just being the best wrestler, as the best female wrestler, but try to be the best that I could be. But it's more about character development and learning how to do that, how to create. And that's like that artistic side of, not only knowing how to wrestle, but having that character and how that character would do it, you know what I mean? And creating those elements, that's really fascinating to me. That's the artistic side of me where I'm like, "Ooh."

Mickie James:
And how she would do it compared to how this person over here who might do it, And I've been able to play different sides of characters. And I feel like they've all been elements of myself, but they've been different sides of them, the hardcore country character, versus the girl next door, Mickie James' character, versus the psycho, super crazy fan who lives in us all, I don't know, it's fun.

Jeff:
It's fascinating to someone like me on the outside of it, because I just, I love talking to different wrestlers like yourself and learning the ins of it because there is so many little nuances that you guys are all doing. As all these matches go out as everything, from promo to anything, from backstage, and let me tell you this, you made it look effortless. You still make it look effortless. But I mean, even from your first days in the ring, it looks like you were born to be there. And that's a testament to your hard work, that's a testament to the work that you're putting into it.

Jeff:
And I'm always curious, your first days you started out independent and then working obviously with TNA. It's one thing to start practicing, to start training, to start doing all that, but then in front of thousands of people and having to mentally check yourself, not only to know all the stuff you're supposed to do, but also be in character. How do you do that, how do you hone that mental capacity?

Mickie James:
So I feel like I try to separate it. I mean, me, backstage, Mickie James, unless that hopefully, I mean, there's a certain element, I'm a goof, I goof around. I joke, I love to play. I'm a kid at heart, it keeps you young in your soul and I love it. But at the same time, there's an art to being able to turn something on when the camera's on or as soon as you walk out through the curtain and you have to be able to know that character inside and out and really... I do almost like a book report, it's the silliest thing, Don Murray told me. I've done for pretty much every character, or every stage of a character I've changed and modified, but there, for me, I'm like from the psycho character to the hardcore country character, which is pretty just much me, so that was easy.

Mickie James:
But I had to define who she was, where she came from, what music does she, what is she into? What's caused her to be so angry or whatever? Why does she choose wrestling? All of these elements of who Mickie James, that character is. So that way I could be her thoughtlessly, be able to turn that on and just be in that moment. So then I wasn't acting, I was just reacting as that character would react in that moment, not as Mickie James playing the character of Mickie James reacting in that moment. Because that is that veil that you have to, [inaudible 00:08:59] that's where you become so comfortable in that element because it really, isn't the moves that you do, it's the in-between moments, in between what you do when you're doing it.

Mickie James:
Those are the things that make me know whether you believe what, who that character is or not. If you have that conviction, because you then effortlessly, immediately know and feel that moment. And even I struggle, professionals are not, we're not perfection, we are not. So even I get irritated at myself pretty much at least once a match for something that I've done or not done.

Jeff:
Well, we wouldn't know it.

Mickie James:
Well, good. Every now and then you might, but-

Jeff:
But that's so interesting because some of the greatest writers and filmmakers out there say the exact type of thing. I've heard that same type of thing from JK Rowling of Harry Potter or George Lucas of Star Wars. They have volumes on the characters that they've created of information that you and I have never heard or seen, or it doesn't even matter. It's just, so when they sit down to write the character or direct it in a movie or something like that, they have all of this information in their head, so they can embody it to the fullest and that's what you're doing, and that's awesome.

Mickie James:
Right, or answer as, and you see that from actors who do that method acting and where they go like, "I can't be, I am this person when I'm from that time," The entire filming of a movie they completely delve themselves into that person so then it just becomes second nature rather than trying to just act, and there is an art to it and it is an art to it. And it's a really cool thing because that's just like I'm a creative person anyway, so those elements and to be able to play with those things and trying, and failing, and trying and succeeding, and the only, really, way that you know that is from their reaction, the immediate reaction from the people to know whether it's working or not. And you have to 100% commit, you can't 50% commit or they won't buy it.

Jeff:
Yeah, and that actually made me think of a question right off the cuff here is, do you think that makes it then even harder in the state of the world now where wrestling is continuing without an audience that must make it absolutely much more harder for the wrestlers to really know if stiff stuff is working, right?

Mickie James:
Right, because they're not... well, it's very interesting, isn't it? It's really fascinating. It's really interesting because we, as performers, we rely, I feel like so much on that immediate reaction. So we know whether what we're doing is working, do we need to tweak it on the fly and trying to think of like something else that might ignite the emotion that we're trying to get? And we don't have that immediate response, and you're not going to see that immediate response until you see it on the feed or however it works and then later after the match.

Mickie James:
And so, it's a really interesting way to see, and I think they've done a fabulous job and it is hard. It is so hard as a performer to go out there and perform in front of zero audience because that reaction ignites us and it makes us go that much harder out there because we feed off of it. So to not have that immediate reaction it's frustrating. It's so frustrating, I'm sure, I'm sure it is, so yeah.

Jeff:
And speaking of, you brought it up a couple of times, one of your most beloved, or I guess could be hated, I guess, is your psycho character. When you debuted that, moving from TNA to at WWE, and I can't imagine having to do what you did with Trish and being able to play that absolute psycho fan with nobody reacting to it, that would have been so much harder.

Mickie James:
Can you imagine, can you imagine? I wonder how different that whole thing would have been. Because it really took people going like, "Ooh, that was weird, she's a psycho," like all those just added the layers to this, yeah.

Jeff:
Now, in the moment, even going back and watching some of that stuff, in the moment you guys again, made it look effortless, it looked like that was exactly what was going on, but I know you put so much work into it. Was that-

Mickie James:
We all did, we all did.

Jeff:
At face value, it just looked like you guys were having the most fun. Was it so much fun to play that character?

Mickie James:
It was so much fun. Out of the entire, I will say... And I've done some pretty awesome, pretty fun stuff, and gotten to do some really cool angles, that was probably, and maybe because it was my journey as a rookie from that. Even though I wasn't a rookie in the business, when you start, every layer is different. I rookie back over, rookie when you go to developmental, rookie when you come up to the road, that's just the way it is.

Mickie James:
And so, then to start that journey as a WWE superstar and already be put with the top female at that... you know what I mean? And still regarded as probably, the top female of all time. To be immediately put, set my bar right out the gate, so I had it's either sink or swim. And I was so blessed and so fortunate because Trish was 100% committed to the storyline as well, because it was so fun, it was so fun. I think that because our personalities immediately matched and just bounced off each other organically, naturally, that it just transmitted onto the screen easily.

Mickie James:
It was just so easy, and it was everyone added from writers to everyone, even the people involved, Ashley, and everyone, Stephanie, everyone, Alex, freaking Brian, everybody had some really magical moments. And not everything that we all pitched, myself included, we all pitched where were like, "Oh, that might be a great idea." I'm like, "Maybe not."

Mickie James:
And then, something just came out recently where it was like, I think Bryan Goertz tweeted it, about a part of the idea of my grandpappy skeleton in a rocking chair or something like that way back. And I was like, "Oh my God, we didn't do that on television." But I remember discussing it because we had even divvied it up prior somewhere in a backstage segment where I was talking about my grandpappy and how we used to watch, and it was a big guy. He knew that my idol... she was my idol, and what was it, that how proud he would be right now or whatever. So we had served it up, a couple of weeks prior maybe, but then we didn't go with the skeleton in the rocking chair. I was bawling laughing, because I was like, "Oh my gosh, I totally, totally remember that pitch. It's so funny."

Jeff:
The amount of stuff that you guys must've came up with that never made it to air, that just hit the cutting room floor?

Mickie James:
Right.

Jeff:
Because, again, that whole era was just pandemonium for you and your character, and what we got to see, was crazy. So did the outlying crazy stuff, you could probably write a book on that, that's the [crosstalk 00:16:16].

Mickie James:
Oh yeah, so funny, so. And you think about the amounts of time they took, really, that invested in me, to create that character, to bring her in and to give her the platform right there from the get start, and then to create that character before I even turned, months later, to then first win the championship nine months later on, about that six... you know what I mean, at WrestleMania, it was an incredible journey. And it was an incredible journey, I think, because we, as fans always think about, "Okay, if I was a fan, what would that look like for me? How would it be?" Because we, as fans, always have someone that we looked up to.

Mickie James:
I remember the first time I met Sherri Martel at Maryland Championship Wrestling, and she was a special guest referee, and I was so envious because Tara got to wrestle with her and she... but it was an amazing match. And to meet Sherry, and hang out with Sherry, and talk to her on a real personal level, I was having the best day of my life. And so, then you think about that and how you transmit that emotion, or what you would feel like when those moments actually happen for you.

Mickie James:
And we, as wrestlers, most times, by the time we get to that platform, we've already that fandom, we're still fans at heart, we love the business, we're fans for the business, but that freakout fandom kind of thing when you meet those people has simmered down a little bit because... but if you think about how that fan hasn't and they've only been wrestling for six months, and they get an opportunity like that, how that would look like for them. And that's really what I tried to think about, I don't know.

Jeff:
And we've touch on a little bit of the different points of your career. I mean, like you said, you won five different WWE Women's Championships, speaking of Pandemonium, WrestleMania, I think he was 25, the 25 diva, just ridiculousness. Oh my gosh, it's still ingrained in my brain, what a crazy thing. I'm sure so much of it is near and dear to your heart. Is there any moment or match that you think finally back on all the time, one that just like brings a smile to your face?

Mickie James:
Ooh, well, obviously, that one. It's hard because I have so many special matches I feel like in my life, that where I've gone, Ooh, those and some, not all of them were televised and not all of them... And like I always say, one of my favorite matches of all time was a match I had with Beth Phoenix in Alaska, and I've told that story. And it honestly, because that was an amazing moment for me and for her, for the first time in my life, did we ever get a complete standing ovation from the entirety of the locker room from Triple H, and Arn, and Cena, and Ric Flair and all these people would just go on like hell of a match lady. I'd never had that happen in my life, until that moment. So I knew what we had done out there was pretty magical, you know what I mean?

Mickie James:
But the false count anywhere match with Melina, the cage match with Tara. And also, there's like little stories within the stories that people don't know, like the cage match with Tara, Victoria, Lisa, she's hyperextended her elbow, almost like that want to say, well, was she still went for another, at least five minutes or so, it was a little past halfway of the match, she hyperextended her elbow to the point where she had zero strength in her arm, she could barely even move a bit.

Mickie James:
And it was like, we went to do like bet my head scissors off the cage or something, and that she just couldn't, she was just like, "Oh my gosh." And I was like, "Oh man." That was like... but she's so tough, and she's amazing, and I trust her with my life, with my life. As a sister, she insisted that we finished the match and that we... you know what I mean? And all these and so there was stories within those stories, which have made some of those matches really, really special, you know what I mean? On a separate level of just the emotion that we got from the people.

Jeff:
Totally, totally, and you're so busy throughout your entire career, constantly working, constantly doing everything you can. Do you ever get the moment where you get to be like, "Holy shit, I just did that," or be able to take it in, or is it always just like, "Okay, onto the next one," kind of thing?

Mickie James:
No, I think you have to relish in those moments, I really do. Because if you don't, if you weren't thankful in that moment and you don't appreciate what is just happened in that moment in itself, then you're almost unwelcoming more of it, you know what I mean? Because you're not being grateful in that moment in order to have more come into you. So of course you have to embrace that moment, and be grateful for it, and just be like thankful. But I do, always I'm like, "Okay, so what next? What next?"

Jeff:
Yeah.

Mickie James:
I know, it's a sickness.

Jeff:
And you got to play both sides of the coin a lot, hero and heel. And I'm sure I know the answer to this question, but do you have a favorite? Do you favor being the heel over the hero?

Mickie James:
No, oh gosh, no, there's fun elements. I feel like I'm allowed to be more creative as a heel, in the sense of I'm allowed to push more boundaries, I'm allowed to do... you know what I mean? So in order to incite those reactions, whereas a babyface, there are certain things that you shouldn't or couldn't do as a babyface or say, because it's a little bit those boundaries are getting pushed a little bit more, obviously, like Stone Cold Steve Austin, bad-ass babyface of all time, the coolest babyface era, my opinion.

Jeff:
No, I think he's blurred that line to a point where I don't know if anyone else could touch that.

Mickie James:
I feel it.

Jeff:
It's funny.

Mickie James:
We all just want to be Stone Cold.

Jeff:
Exactly, yes we do, yes we do, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Mickie James:
Yeah, that's fine. Creatively, it's more fun because you get to dive and do more crazy stuff as far as that kind of stuff. But I feel, I don't know that babyfaces always get the acknowledgment that they deserve because it is hard to be a really amazing babyface. It is hard to make people love you all the time, because they don't want to. People by nature, they want to find a reason to not like you because they want to find, "Okay, what's wrong with this person? Why..." They're too perfect, they're too great. Wait a minute, that's just our human nature because we compare ourselves to them on a just a direct level.

Mickie James:
So it's harder to be a beloved babyface that people just embrace and want to love, it really is, so there's a certain art to it. It's really depending on the story, I think. Depending on the story, depending on where it's going and what's going to kind of come out of it, I like making people love me to a point to when I turn heel, they're devastated, and broken, and completely hate my guts. And I love to live in that moment that they hate my guts. I don't want to get them to try to like me and to buy my t-shirts because I want you to hate me if I want you to hate me. So there, it's that 100% commitment, you just got to go all in, that's it.

Jeff:
Yes, and that's what's so great about wrestling as a whole is the diversity of all the characters, because no matter if your babyface or heel, it depends on, like you said, the storyline and the match at hand. Because you could always root for this one babyface, and then they're facing off against your favorite heel, and you're just going to be like, "There's many times that I've rooted for the villain because it's more fun."

Mickie James:
Right, I'm so torn.

Jeff:
Exactly, exactly. The other aspect of it is, again, working so hard in the industry. You've had a couple of times where you've been injured, just so many in wrestling because it is such a demanding sport. How do you stay healthy in the sport? How do you continue to be healthy and bounce back from inevitable injury when you have it?

Mickie James:
Obviously, I've been out injured, I'm still with my ACL and I haven't been cleared yet, but more because of everything else that's going on right now, I feel good. Yeah, I do feel good. I'd still feel like there's strength, it's amazing. And I guess because they've had to reconstruct, and making me a new ACL, and there's a lot that went into it, obviously. But injuries suck, they suck so bad, and we know that it's a part of the job, and that it's a risk that we take every time we go out there, and it just stinks when it happens because it always happens. It's usually on something that you've done 1000 times over and it's just like, this happened, freak accidents, that's usually how it happens.

Mickie James:
So that's even more equally frustrating. It's like you get pie-faced and you separate your shoulder, which has happened to me. I pie-faced and somehow I separated my shoulder, I don't have... what? But to stay healthy, its really like to listen to your body, I think. It's really listening to your body, especially because we're on the road so much and there are days that I really feel like, "Oh man, I should be in the gym killing it right now today, but I'm so tired, and my body is tired, and my body is saying like, you need just to rest today, that's it." And so, I try to listen to it, and have my coffee and rest, or maybe go by the pool or do whatever. I try to do yoga almost every day, 30 minutes at least, that's just kind of how I get going through my day.

Mickie James:
And then, yeah, I just listen to my body, it's part of my life because it's been ingrained in my life for so long since I was 18 years old. I almost feel like if I'm not working out, if I'm not doing these things, I get antsy, and I get bored, and I feel like I need to do it, it's just part of my routine. And once it becomes part of your routine, it's just second nature. Not all my workouts are an hour killing it in the gym or two hours killing it in the gym every day. Sometimes I work out at home, sometimes I go for a run with my dog and my son, and then just do yoga in my house. And then sometimes, I go to the gym and do heavy lifting. It just depends on where I'm at and what I'm doing.

Mickie James:
And I find that most times, I probably train better at gyms and stuff when I'm on the road and I do more of my other stuff when I'm home because I want to do that with my son, I want to be able to hang out and go do these things, so I almost modify those to where I'm at and what I'm doing, so.

Jeff:
Yeah, and you mentioned it really quick, I got to ask, how much does coffee come into your routine?

Mickie James:
Oh, every day. I drink coffee every single day. This is so strong, can I just tell you, when I say... Oh, the first time I had the canned one I was like... So this just now, because we've got the grounds in, we had a French press and I usually do it. We usually have to make two French presses to satisfy us both. But I've had one cup, this is my second cup and I feel like I'm bouncing. I'm like... I'm awake.

Jeff:
It's good to hear, well, I'm glad-

Mickie James:
So as I told you, I was like, "I got to reheat my coffee," because it's still, I can't [inaudible 00:28:26] to where you can see, it's still about half full.

Jeff:
Oh, good, well, good, I'm glad that we can help keep you caffeinated. And I want to talk about the other side of your career, something near and dear to my heart as well, music. You are not only a lover of music, but a musician yourself. And I don't know if this is very well known about you and it's something that I read, so I'm not even sure if it's true, you, as a child were a violinist, is that correct?

Mickie James:
I did.

Jeff:
I am also a violinist.

Mickie James:
Were you?

Jeff:
I still am.

Mickie James:
Are you?

Jeff:
Yeah.

Mickie James:
That's amazing. It's my favorite instrument to listen to, the fiddle. There's Lindsey Stirling, have you heard her?

Jeff:
Yes.

Mickie James:
I am obsessed with her. And then, I just love the fiddle, I love the fiddle. I love the violin. I played it for five years. I wish I'd still played it. I still have mine. I wasn't very good, I was second string, I was not the best violinist, but I tried.

Jeff:
You could always pick it back up.

Mickie James:
But I tried. And yeah, I feel like music has always been near and dear to me because I've found, even through my horses and stuff, it's just always moved me. I've always connected with music the most. And I found myself when you say, "I'm going to be a wrestler one day, I'm going to be a singer one day, I'm going to be..." We say all these things. And I would record myself singing to my little A side B side to like, whatever. But you don't think that these things are possible for you. Me, growing up in Montpelier, Virginia, 200 people in my graduating class, I didn't think that it was possible for me, any of these things, it's just one of those things that you say it but, anyway.

Mickie James:
So as I'm on the road with WWE, I started writing and I found myself, I write all the time anyway, I keep journals and just write all the time. I found myself writing more in song style, more in a lyrical format rather than just a standard, random thoughts or like it would just be either pieces of what would be maybe a hook or a melody. And I'm like, "Hmm, that's weird." And then when I felt, I would realize indirectly I was doing it a lot to the songs that were already on the radio but I was just kind of changing their words which was really strange. So it was kind of interesting. I was like, "Hmm." And then I was like, "Well, I'm just going to do it." And then because it was one of those things where you just go like, "Oh, I want to do it."

Mickie James:
And so it was at that point, I was on the road, I was very successful, I was the women's champion. This was about 2008, I think when I finally was like I had this collection of songs or whatever, I was like, "You know what, this is something I always wanted to do since I was a little girl." And I thought that I just never did it because I didn't think I was good at it and I didn't think it was possible. And so I'm just going to take these songs, I'm just going to see, I'm just going to take them to Nashville and see what happens. I'm like, "If I just cut them and they ended up as a coaster, it's totally fine."

Mickie James:
But at least I did it and it just opened up this... an entire different door for me as a creative person not only whether one person thinks my music is any good or not. At least when I write, I feel like I'm writing from my heart and writing for what I feel like. And it's just a release, it's a release for me because we don't always find ways to be able to transcend these energies or these thoughts or whatever that you're thinking or feeling at that moment because it's hard to express those but if I can put it in a song and it does it, then that's okay because it might move somebody, I don't know.

Jeff:
Is it different? Because it's almost a different type of performance, obviously, than being in the ring to performing as a singer, you, again, make it look effortless, did you take to that really easily as you started performing and started playing out?

Mickie James:
I definitely, I will say that I get more nervous on the stage as a performer singing than I do in wrestling. And whether it's because I'm so much more comfortable in wrestling is, I still get nervous, I still get anxious, not like nerves, "Oh, I hope I don't mess up," but just more excitement when I go out for our match, whereas music I'm still like, "Oh, I hope I don't mess up, I just want to do good, I don't want to crack, I don't want to sing the wrong words, I don't want to flip flop the lyrics." All these things. And so yes, but I do, I will say that my courage to be able to do it, to go out and do that has definitely come from the courage that I've been able to build up in myself of being able to get booed out of an arena and be able to just be okay with that from wrestling. So that's yeah.

Jeff:
That's awesome, that's really cool. And last holiday season, you graced us with a beautiful Christmas song, Christmas Presence, and accommodated with a really cool music video as well. And I just have to ask it, you leak a song here and there and keep us all happy but you haven't released an album in a while. Is that on the table, are you going to be doing a new album soon or?

Mickie James:
I am working on another album right now. I am working, so yeah.

Jeff:
Excellent.

Mickie James:
And we should talk. Yeah, we should definitely talk. Do you play on other people's albums?

Jeff:
All the time, yeah. You want a violinist? I was going to say you should get Lindsey Stirling but if you can't get Lindsey Stirling, I'm your man.

Mickie James:
I think she might be booked.

Jeff:
I'm your man then.

Mickie James:
I'm trying to write an album of all originals. I'm trying to do all originals. It'll be my third album, I put my first one out in 2010 and my second one in 2013. And since then, I've just done singles, I've just done. And most of these singles that I've put out I've co-written with the exception of maybe two or three of them. And I just did a song called With The Love of a Child with Roosevelt Ross for her 5TooMany Campaign and for child health. And then, so I wrote that with my friend, Sean Gasaway here in Nashville and yeah, as I'm constantly writing, I'm constantly. So now I'm trying to pull the collection of songs I've already worked on to some new ones to really kind of cultivate this next album. I don't know when it's going to come because I'm writing and like, "I want the best ones." But yeah.

Jeff:
That's exciting.

Mickie James:
So that will be the next one. I just don't know when it's going to be and whether I might pepper out a couple of singles in between just to kind of-

Jeff:
Hey, that's great news to hear that at least it's in the works, it's going to happen and we can all wait, we can all wait with bated breath for that, that'll be great.

Mickie James:
I'll just keep teasing you with little singles, that's all.

Jeff:
Yeah, that's awesome, that's awesome. So I want to get to the new thing in your life which is GAW, GAW TV Grown Ass Women. I have now talked with both of your cohosts, Lisa and Val. And if anybody's listening to this episode when you're done with this episode, definitely go back and listen to theirs as well.

Mickie James:
That'd be amazing, I loved those two so much.

Jeff:
They're so great. And they both said that this is basically your idea. How did you come up with Grown Ass Women?

Mickie James:
I have to attribute it with Foxy because we did it together, I think. And she'll go, "No, that was your idea." But we did it together. It was one of those things of, we throw around like, "I'm a grown-ass man, I'm a grown-ass woman," or whatever. And at this point on a business level for wrestling, they had just come out with the tag team women's championships, they had just brought those back. And we always travel together, we always ended up on a tag team together, anyway. So we just started indirectly just calling us ourselves, the grown-ass woman, team GAW. It was really one of those things that we were trying to define, okay, so in this business, we've gone from kids, like children growing up in this business and it sets a whole new perspective of when we look at it from when we first started and what our goals and our ambitions or then compared to her what they are now, and what it took to get to those points of what those transition moments and all that and what it takes to be a grown-ass woman.

Mickie James:
And then when we started like, "What if we did the Book of a GAW with the laws of GAW to follow of how to build your GAW higher of this is our five hours in the car driving to wherever, Idaho, this is us creating. I was saying, I was talking to Foxy before I called you, these are my deep thoughts. I hadn't spoke to her for like a week or so but my deep thoughts with Foxy conversations because we go into these... Anyway, so then fast forward wherever we are now, and I've talked to both separately with Lisa and with Val about doing different things or whatever. And I've talked to Val, especially a couple of times about like, "Ooh, it'd be fun to do a girly girl show to embrace wrestling but really expand outside the world of wrestling of everything else that we love and that everything else that other people love and bring in."

Mickie James:
And I think that our personalities just meshed, we're at different stages of our careers and of our lives, but we all have that common denominator but our personalities just organically just bounce off each other so well. And it just fit and it's fun. And it's given us, especially during all this, like Corona and everything else, it really just gave me, because we've been spent a lot of time at home. I'm not used to being like a little... I'm a bird, I don't like it.

Jeff:
Yeah, I did want to mention about GAW TV. I think it is so inspiring and needed, especially like you were saying in the world today and how we're all stuck at home. And also from people like yourself who are in the public eye so much, and to be, for lack of a better term vulnerable, to pull that curtain back and to show us the true side of who Mickie James is, which is by the way, everybody spoiler, it's very fun. And you definitely have to tune in for it. You guys have your own mixologist, you guys have so many fun things. I got to ask too. I'm sure it's all from circles and wrestling, but how did you first meet Lisa and Val? Did you meet Lisa before coming to WWE or?

Mickie James:
I know, I was trying out with WWE because Lisa was already up on the road. She was in developmental prior to me coming. So I had never really met Lisa until I finally came up to the road because we crossed paths in OBW. I think I'd met her like in passing or whatever but it was just, "Oh, hey, nice meeting you." And then obviously as when I was in OBW, I would come up backstage whenever they were within the vicinity. So I met her prior to coming up to the road as well and Val I met at TNA. And it's just funny how we all travel in such small circles. And then come back to TNA and then that's where I see Lisa again, second time back. But yeah, it's a small world, it's a small wrestling world.

Jeff:
Yeah, but it's great though. You guys are a big family.

Mickie James:
It is amazing, it is a... Yeah, most of us are family.

Jeff:
So I asked Val this too and I got to ask you, where do you see GAW TV going? What's the future of GAW TV? Because as we're recording this, you guys have just put out episode three. So you guys are in the baby stages of this.

Mickie James:
I'm just going to put this out there that I think that we are going to have getaways and camps and seminars and books and movies and it's going to be gorgeous, darling.

Jeff:
That's too funny, okay. That's all?

Mickie James:
That's all.

Jeff:
That's all. All of the things. Everything is going to happen. I love it, I absolutely love it. All of that brings me to the theme of this show. We're all fueled by the same thing, the spoiler alert is that one day we're all going to die, but we want to leave this world a little different before we do. And you've been doing that through everything that you do in all of your different careers. You've been leaving this world a little different. And I just have to know what fuels you to keep going? What fuels you to want to keep singing, keep wrestling, keep being the best Mickie James there is?

Mickie James:
I think because we only get one time to do it, you only get one chance. You get one in everything. And we'll get second chances at a job or get a second chance here and there. But at life, you get one chance and it really does define the story that you write, the story that you write for your children to follow, to read and to follow of what type of person you are. And that's on every level, you know what I mean? And how you did it and how you got there and the impact that you made on the world then, or even, and every level. And we all have different goals of what that level looks like for us. But even if it's just to your children or what that looks like to them, for them to build a dream on, you know what I mean?

Mickie James:
So for me, when I'm like, I could be selfishly going after all these ambitions and desires and these dreams, it just to be able to not only provide my son with a life that hopefully will give him a better chance than I had when I... you know what I mean? As to elevate, hopefully something for him, but also to change, I don't know, the perception of women in wrestling or and how they're looked at instead of, "Oh, good match girls. Oh, that was a really good match for a ladies' match." Just hell of a match, girls, that's the difference? Those different layers or just to make some type of positive impact or really make a positive change in anything, whatever your dreams and your passion is. Or maybe just to inspire one person to do something good with their life and then you made all the difference. So you only get one chance to do it, so you should do it.

Jeff:
That's so inspirational. And that's why we all love you for sure. So at the end here, I got to say, it was awesome hearing your story and for anybody who wants to continue to follow your journey, do you have a favorite social media or a website or something outside of obviously everybody hashtag GAWTV and go follow GAW TV, but the best way to follow Mickie James?

Mickie James:
Follow and subscribe. I toggle I'll go on kicks. Like I won't look at Twitter for a couple of weeks and then I go nuts on it for a whole week straight. And then I'll go, Instagram is probably the one thing that I've been, more recently, the most active and interactive on. I can't figure out a lot, I can't figure out the repost thing. I'm not the most technology savvy person in the world. Twitter seems to be the easiest for me, because you can just quote, retweet, whatever, whereas Instagram, I struggle with all that but in the story, stuff is easy. So I like Instagram plus I can look at other stuff. I love Pinterest because I can look on all these things that I think I can do, like DIY projects. Huge fan of looking at those, thinking about how I could do those if I wanted to.

Jeff:
I'm telling you, Pinterest is amazing and terrifying. My wife is the same way, she'll be like, "So we're going to be gardeners." And I was like, "I don't know how to be a gardener." She's like, "Well, I saw all these things on Pinterest." And I was like, "Stop looking at Pinterest."

Mickie James:
I need you to build this greenhouse real quick. Get some plastic and these PVC pipes. You're like, "What?" But then looking right now, I've been looking at how to make your own... Nick was like, "Excuse me." The make your own pool, your natural pool, a pool that you could put in but then it's irrigated through the thing. And it's like, so it's a real pool, it's a pool, you would go swimming in, same depth, same everything, but it's all-natural. And he thinks I'm insane, but I'm like, "I feel like it would be cleaner than chlorine in the water and we could..." Yeah, you're looking at me-

Jeff:
Good luck, well good luck with the pool. I cannot wait for the eventual new album and new singles that we're going to be getting before that. And once you're finally cleared, I can't wait to see you back in the ring as well.

Mickie James:
Thank you, I can't wait either, we'll see.

Jeff:
And I just got to say one more time, thank you so much for taking some of your time out of the day to talk with me on the show. It was truly an honor and you are absolutely inspiring.

Mickie James:
You're amazing, thanks, Jeff.