Legendary is an adjective that is thrown around often in professional wrestling. While some are deserving, others might get a debatable response. One individual who deserves every accolade available including that designation is Mickie James. She’s stepped into a new role in the industry and continues to leave an impact that will be felt beyond the ring.
On Thursday, January 11 Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful posted to Twitter that James is taking on the role of Creative Director and Head of Female Talent for OVW. This is along with her position as Executive Producer for all OVW shows.
OVW has a prominent place in professional wrestling as it was once WWE’s main developmental territory before the Performance Center and WWE NXT filled that void. The company has since been the focal point of a Netflix docuseries and has several top independent names on its roster. James spent time in that company for nearly 20 years before her call-up to WWE in 2005. OVW is currently run by Matt Jones, Craig Greenberg, and Al Snow.
When talking about Mickie James, of course, one would mention all the championships she’s held throughout the years. She’s held six singles titles in WWE, a five-time TNA Knockouts World Champion, and titles in multiple other companies. Her career spans 25 years and she’s been in organizations like WWE, Impact, NWA, MCW, Shimmer, OHG, ICW, and several more. But it’s what she continues to do behind the scenes that sets the groundwork for the future of women’s wrestling.
Take NWA: EMPOWERRR from August 2021. This was an NWA show featuring a card dedicated to the women’s division. James was the executive producer for that show which brought together talent from throughout the industry. This happened at a time when both AEW and WWE continued to mistreat the women’s division with some of the worst bookings in recent years.
She followed that up by kicking down the proverbial forbidden door when she took part in the 2022 Royal Rumble and was specifically referenced multiple times as the Impact Knockouts Champion, even showing up with the championship around her waist on screen. James continues to create moments that some would call impossible and she does it on a stage that the entire industry recognizes.
Seeing James in this role for OVW will go a long way in elevating women both on the screen and behind it. White men dominate the wrestling industry, with very few voices of women and people of color in powerful positions. As James gets to a point where her in-ring time is winding down, she stands out as someone who should find herself moving into more powerful positions. She’s a beloved figure and there’s never a negative story floating around about her as seen with so many men who stay in prominent positions. James also sees the importance of building for the future, as many of her quotes leading toward EMPOWERRR mention the need to lay the foundation for the future of women’s wrestling. She’s someone who sees the work that is needed and can be trusted to get that work done.
Professional wrestling has several names that get praised for all they’ve done in and out of the ring. Mickie James is someone that is easily among that list and her contributions are far from over.