WWE Rumors: Mickie James Returning To WWE In January On 'SmackDown Live', Possible Feuds For Her Return

Rumors regarding Mickie James' return to the WWE have been firing up recently, but it now appears as if those rumors are now closer than ever to reality, as the 37-year-old ring veteran has reportedly signed a multi-year deal with the company that first made her a big star.

A five-time WWE Women's Champion, one-time WWE Divas Champion, and three-time TNA Knockouts Champion, Mickie James is one of the most decorated women in professional wrestling. And those who had seen her rise to fame in WWE were happy to hear that she was confirmed as NXT Women's Champion Asuka's opponent for NXT TakeOver: Toronto, potentially marking her return to WWE as part of the company's developmental brand.

James had lost that match, but had helped solidify Asuka's transition into a villainous character, and had reportedly impressed WWE top brass in that defeat, sparking rumors of a Mickie James return to WWE's main roster. And with women's wrestling at a much better place than it was when Mickie was last signed with WWE, it looks like it may be only a matter of weeks before she joins the main roster, possibly as a member of SmackDown Live's lineup.

According to a report from PWInsider, James has just "signed a multi-year" deal with WWE, per the publication's "multiple" sources close to the company. This news comes less than a month after NXT TakeOver: Toronto, which marked Mickie's first appearance on WWE (or NXT) programming in six years, and by the looks of things, WWE plans to place her in the SmackDown brand. And that's where things may get interesting, considering the recent turn of events in the brand's women's division.

Given that Mickie James may make her return to WWE in January and join SmackDown Live, there are two main possibilities for her at that point, according to PWMania. One of those possibilities would be having Mickie challenge recently-crowned SmackDown Women's Champion Alexa Bliss for the title.

Bliss had defeated Becky Lynch for the belt at WWE TLC on Sunday, and if she remains champion by January and retains against Lynch at some point in the future, this could set up a Mickie vs. Alexa feud for the title in 2017. James has been wrestling professionally for well over a decade, and this could position her as a scrappy babyface veteran up against a cocky young upstart in Bliss, who had made her main roster debut in July following the 2016 brand split.

Mickie James lost to Asuka at NXT TakeOver: Toronto in November, but impressed WWE officials in that match. [Image by WWE]
Mickie James lost to Asuka at NXT TakeOver: Toronto in November, but impressed WWE officials in that match. [Image by WWE]

Another possibility mentioned by PWMania would be putting James in a feud with another longtime mainstay of the women's wrestling scene, Nikki Bella. The Inquisitr reported last week on the mystery of Nikki's Survivor Series attacker, and while James wasn't mentioned among the possible suspects, PWMania believes she may be a plausible suspect if WWE wants to set up a feud between two female veterans. This could suggest Mickie James' return to the WWE as a heel character, but that might not necessarily be the case.

"True, this would potentially turn Mickie heel but the fans could turn against Nikki here. Same promo that Carmella cut on Nikki about John Cena, delivered by a face could make Nikki the bad guy there. It might be a long shot but there are ways around it."
Once again, it's no surprise that one strong performance in defeat at an NXT pay-per-view is leading to a main roster comeback for one of the top females of WWE's Ruthless Aggression era. Although the company has yet to announce it, it might not be much longer before Mickie James' return to WWE becomes official, thereby making SmackDown Live's women's scene even more interesting, if she will indeed be competing on Tuesday nights for the blue brand.

[Featured Image by WWE]