REAL NAME: MICKIE LAREE JAMES
NICKNAMES: Alexis Laree, Princess Alexis, Queen Alexis, Superball, Vicki Adams, Mickie James
SIZE: 5-foot-4, 124-pounds
BORN: August 31, 1979 in Montpelier, Virginia
Mickie James is of Native American heritage and grew up on a farm in Virginia. There, she developed a love of horses, going to horse shows before riding her own when she was 11. Soon she also became a fan of professional wrestling, watching shows with her father.
After high school, she was working at a bar when a friend, aware of her enthusiasm for the sport, suggested she try out a school not far from the D.C. area. James certainly took the advice to heart, for she would end up training with the KYDA Pro Training School, camps run by Dory Funk Jr., Ricky Steamboat, Ricky Morton and Bobby Eaton, as well as ECW's dojo.
She debuted as "Alexis Laree" in 1999 as a valet, but soon became a wrestler herself and paid her dues on the road, often losing money to appear on shows. In 2000, she supplemented the income she earned from wrestling and waitressing at the Olive Garden by appearing in racy, nude photos for Leg Show magazine.
After grinding out a living with little notoriety on the indy circuit for a few years, she got a break by landing gigs with Ring of Honor and TNA in 2003. James' first big angle in TNA was teaming up with Amazing Red as he chased after X Division Champion Kid Kash, but she later joined Raven's stable, "The Gathering." She competed in a couple hardcore Clockwork Orange House of Fun matches, making her the only woman to appear in one, let alone two.
Good things were coming in threes, as WWE offered her a development deal in August 2003 after she spent two years pestering them for a chance. At Ohio Valley Wrestling, James would receive additional training from Lance Storm, Rip Rogers, and Al Snow.
Finally, in October 2005, James, using her real name, debuted for WWE, running down to save Trish Stratus from a post-match beating from Victoria on Raw. She presented herself as Stratus' biggest fan, but turned out to be a dangerous, jealous stalker who craved a romantic relationship with her idol.
At first, her affections, albeit a little over exuberant, helped Women's Champion Stratus. At James' debut WWE pay-per-view, Taboo Tuesday, she sacrificed herself for Stratus by eliminating herself and Victoria in a Fulfill Your Fantasy Lingerie Diva Battle Royal match for the title.
James, however, would demonstrate that while she wouldn't tolerate others attacking Stratus, it might not be such a bad thing if she had a go, especially if the Women's Championship was on the line. With James beating Victoria in a number one contender's match, she got a shot at Stratus' title, and the two went on to have a hard hitting match at New Year's Revolution, which Stratus ultimately won.
It wouldn't be long before James' obsession with Stratus caused her possessiveness to come out when she attacked Ashley Massaro several times. James declared her love for Stratus, who, obviously creeped out, eventually said they should part ways. But with Torrie Wilson injured, Stratus accepted James' offer to replace her as a tag team partner. That move would backfire, as James turned on Stratus at Saturday Night's Main Event after they teamed together to defeat Victoria and Candice Michelle.
Her new obsession was destroying Stratus, and James began by taking away her title when she beat her at WrestleMania 22. Not even a month later at Backlash, James legitimately dislocated Stratus' shoulder and lost by disqualification after refusing to release a choke hold.
Although Stratus could no longer wrestle while she recuperated, she brought in Beth Phoenix to even the score. Phoenix helped soften up James, but a returning Stratus was unable to get her belt back. In one of their matches, Edge came out to spear Stratus, setting up a title match for his girlfriend Lita.
With Edge's help, Lita beat James for the Women's Championship on Raw. Although no longer champion, James was now a babyface, and finished up her angle against the retiring Stratus on a positive note, as the two hugged after Stratus defeated her on Raw.
Stratus beat Lita for the Women's belt at Unforgiven and then retired, leaving the title vacant. James and Lita met again for the belt at Cyber Sunday, but Lita came out on top. Lita, however dropped the belt to James in her retirement match at Survivor Series.
Not long after, James achieved another milestone, earning her Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration. She had been taking classes online, and planned to work on getting her Bachelors in Operations Management.
The next set of opponents for James would be Victoria and Melina. Although James was able to withstand Victoria's onslaughts, she eventually succumbed to Melina's and lost the Women's title to her on Raw. Although she managed win back the title at a house show in Paris, France in a three-way match against Melina and Victoria, Jonathan Coachman ordered an immediate rematch because James pinned Victoria for the duke. Melina won the belt back later that night.
James continued feuding with Melina, as well as Phoenix and Jillian Hall for the next year until finally recapturing her title, beating Phoenix on Raw to win the belt for the fourth time. Her four-month reign came to an end at SummerSlam, when she and Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston lost their titles in a Winner Take All match against Phoenix and Santino Marella.
For the next few months, James was involved in tag and multiple-Diva matches, including the 25-Diva "Miss WrestleMania" Battle Royal at WrestleMania 25. But she still had her eye on the prize, and turned her attention to WWE Divas' Champion Maryse Ouellet. She managed to beat her in a non-title match on Raw, and at the end of June, defeated Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, and Rosa Mendes in a four-way number one contender's match.
---compiled by Richard KamchenMickie James Photo Gallery
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