Mickie James’ first return match on WWE Raw was completely overshadowed by Seth Rollins and Samoa Joe.
Before the Aug. 10 episode of Raw, WWE announced Mickie James would be making her highly-anticipated return to television, much to the approval of wrestling fans. So many fans were eager to tune in to the Red Brand to see James, who is a legend of the business.
James’ first appearance was quiet. She appeared backstage and had her interview interrupted by the tag team of Natalya and Lana, leading to a match on Aug. 17 between Nattie and James. And fans were excited for this match, given the legendary status of both veteran wrestlers. Plus, the match would be James’ first back, and fans were looking forward to her picking up a win in a good match.
Instead, neither of those two things happened. James lost the match by count-out, though she did stand tall when she kicked Lana, who was recording James’ reaction to the loss. Count-outs are never a good finish, but the finish of the match was honestly not the biggest issue here.
No, the biggest problem was that James and Natalya only got a couple of minutes to wrestle, and the camera literally wasn’t focused on their match. Instead, WWE used a match between two great women’s wrestlers to put a focus on a feud that isn’t even a feud yet.
WWE focused on Seth and Joe instead of Mickie James and Nattie
Seth Rollins and Samoa Joe got into another argument from the commentary table. I get that Joe and Rollins are big names, but it’s not fair to Mickie James, Natalya, and even Lana to take attention of the match and put it onto Joe and Rollins. I mean, Rollins already has a lot of screen time and has a big SummerSlam Street Fight against Dominik Mysterio. Joe and Rollins have plenty of ways to build to their future feud aside from totally stealing attention away from what could have been a great wrestling match in the Raw Women’s Division.
I get that WWE are building a similar story to Ruby Riott. The story is simply that Mickie James can’t win on her own and needs a tag team partner to even the odds, just like Liv Morgan and Riott needed each other to deal with the IIconics. WWE needs more babyface women’s tag teams, especially if Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss break up, so James plus someone else would be great.
But there’s a good way to do this and a bad way to do this. By putting the focus on two men who already get enough screen time, WWE are taking the wrong direction. And they’re robbing the viewers of the opportunity to watch two in-ring technicians, James and Natalya, tell a great story in the ring.