It has been announced that IMPACT Knockouts Champion Mickie James will be making a shock return to WWE.
In what can only be described as a shocking turn of events, Mickie James will return to a WWE ring at the 2022 Royal Rumble. The announcement comes after James was released by the company in April 2021.
In the weeks after her release it emerged that the former Women’s Champion had her belongings returned to her in a trash bag, a move it emerged had cost a WWE staff member their job.
Following her departure from the company, James returned to the ring as well as creating NWA EmPowerrr, an all-women’s pay-per-view. During this period, the veteran was openly critical of WWE and how they handled their women’s division, as well as their treatment of older female performers.
In July 2021, Mickie James returned to IMPACT Wrestling for the third time, going on to defeat long-reigning IMPACT Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo at Bound for Glory. The victory meant that James has now held the championship on four occasions.
In an unusual move, WWE acknowledged James as the Knockouts Champion when her entry into the Royal Rumble was announced.
Impact Knockouts World Champion @MickieJames will be in the #RoyalRumble Match! #SmackDownpic.twitter.com/TXH0jm6QgE
— WWE (@WWE) January 8, 2022
Mickie James’ last match in WWE was the 2021 Royal Rumble match where she entered at number 19 before being eliminated by Lacey Evans.
In the video package it was also confirmed that Hall of Famers, The Bella Twins and Lita will be appearing in the match.
Elsewhere on SmackDown, Jackass star Johnny Knoxville qualified for the men’s Royal Rumble match by throwing Sami Zayn over the top rope after he had been defeated by Rick Boogs. The sneak attack came after Zayn had mocked Knoxville backstage before his match.
You can find a full list of entrants for both the men’s and women’s matches here.