On last week’s Figure Four Daily, Lance Storm commented on the possible reasons why WWE wanted to transition Mickie James from being a wrestler into a producer:
“There was a comment that I saw that her being offered the producer job was deemed by many people as, ‘Put her out to pasture because she’s too old.’ She’s 41, and they offered her a backstage producer role. I was 35 and there was the urge to move me into a trainer’s role. So, it’s not the, ‘Women are old, get them off TV.’ I don’t think that’s what it is.
I firmly believe, and I would go so far as to say that I know this, that they do want women representatives in as many areas of the company as they can. Sarah Stock was the only female producer they had, and she got let go when I did back at the start of the pandemic. I would imagine that they’re looking to find a female producer so it’s not just all men. I can’t think of a single woman in the business that I think would be better suited or more qualified for that producer role than Mickie. I would deem that offer, or that push to move her into a producer role, as a huge compliment, not an insult.
To be a producer, you need to be, preferably, tenured with experience and knowledge, be respected by all of the people on the current roster, be current enough and up to date to be up with the current style. That’s where Mickie’s perfect. She made the main roster back in ‘05 or ‘06 doing the program with Trish, back in that era. So, she’s a veteran that all the women today look up to and respect. She’s one of the smarter, best worker women you’re going to find. She’s wrestled on the current roster in the last year. So, she’s current. She’s respected. She’s a veteran. She’s smart. She’s knowledgeable.
When she was off with her knee injury, she was doing a commentating role, I think on Main Event, and she was sitting in on production meetings. So, she’s experienced in the production meetings. She’s seen the rest of the producers having to do what we have to do in production meetings and stuff. I would say probably of every woman in the industry worldwide, there is no one more qualified and better suited to be a great, female producer for WWE than Mickie James.
Now, if she doesn’t want the job, I don’t blame her. There’s a lot of headaches and crap that goes with it. It doesn’t pay as much as talent. If she still wants to wrestle, she still can go, and looks great, is awesome and talented. I wish her all the best, and anybody that could hire her to be on a show, I think should. Just for the defense of the decision, because again, it was presented as a ‘Women get pushed out when they get older’, if you go back to 2004, and you see the talent that was being pushed on RAW and SmackDown and compare it to the quality of matches I was able to produce and could have produced, and I was 35, the urge to move me into a trainer’s role to help elevate and mentor these younger guys, was there with me as a dude.
The picture was drawn that this was a ‘When women get older, they’re shoved off television.’ I was a dude and much younger, and I was in the exact same boat that Mickie was, but I guess apparently, unlike Mickie, was at the end of my rope with the creative process and realized if they’re not going to use me efficiently on the roster as talent, I would rather make myself feel more useful and be a trainer. My only point was, this isn’t a male-female issue, and this isn’t an age issue. They did it with men. They will do it with women. They do it with a 41-year-old. They did it with a 35-year-old. It’s just their mindset. You don’t have to agree with it. I didn’t back in 2004, and I don’t necessarily now.
But, again, it was a decision, and again, she opted not to take that role, which is her prerogative. I’m just pointing out that I don’t believe it to be, ‘They won’t push women when they’re older.’They just decided who they want to feature. Again, I was six years younger than Mickie, and a dude, and I had the same experience. Regardless of me feeling that I was more experienced, more skilled, and a better worker than many of the people they had decided to push, they would rather me help teach the other guys than be used myself.”
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Figure Four Daily with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. A WrestlingObserver.com subscription includes the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and daily audio shows in addition to thousands of hours of archived audio shows. You can subscribe to the Twitch live streams by clicking here.