Ever since returning to WWE in 2017 after several years away, Mickie James has mostly been used to put over rising young female wrestlers, as opposed to the top-tier status she enjoyed during her first run with the company. Having recently turned 40-years-old as she recovers from a knee injury suffered in June, it now appears that the five-time WWE Women’s Champion might be transitioning to the next stage of her wrestling career, one where she will be working behind the scenes and helping book matches instead of competing in them.
On Monday, PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that last week, there “had been talk” of James shifting from an in-ring role to a backstage producer role. This update came just as the erstwhile SmackDown Live superstar appeared on this week’s edition of the pre-taped show Main Event as a guest commentator, with WWE seemingly keeping her busy while she recuperates from her injury, as WrestlingNews.co noted.
As reported previously by The Inquisitr, James had last been seen on WWE programming as one of the 30 women who took part in the Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania 35 in April. After not being used on Monday Night Raw or SmackDown Live in the weeks that followed, James underwent ACL surgery in her right knee in July and was expected to miss the next seven to nine months of action as a result. As noted, it was believed at that time that she suffered the injury during a match against Carmella at an untelevised house show in June.
While James’ recovery could theoretically allow for an early-2020 return, perhaps in the lead-up to WrestleMania 36, the former champion seemed to hint that she wasn’t sure whether she could successfully make a comeback. According to WrestlingNews.co, James included the words “if I come back” in a tweet where she thanked her fans for their support while she was undergoing the knee procedure.
After spending most of the first half of the decade with Impact Wrestling, where she won three Knockouts Championships as one of the company’s leading female stars, Mickie James competed in a one-off match against then-NXT Women’s Champion Asuka at NXT TakeOver in November 2016. Not long after, she was signed to a three-year, full-time contract with WWE, which is said to expire in December of this year. During her first stint with WWE from 2004 to 2010, James won a total of six titles, including five Women’s Championships and one Divas Championship.