One of the more memorable storylines in professional wrestling history is Mickie James' obsession with Trish Stratus while both were in WWE. At the time, Stratus was one of the top stars in the WWE, while James was new to the company and when James began a long program with Stratus, it led to her having a legendary pro wrestling career. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, James opened up about her current relationship with Stratus.
"I actually just saw her at the Alabama Comic-Con," James exclusively told PopCulture. "It was, for the first time ever, here in the states, Trish, Lita, and I had a panel together and we did photo ops together. It was my first appearance with... We've done one overseas, in Liverpool, but this was the first with the three of us together. We're still friends, to this day, and it's crazy.
"I was not Trish's friend when I first started on television, and I felt like we have one of those bonds of... She's one of my dearest friends and I love her and I respect her so much. She's one of the hardest working women, in and out of wrestling. That story not only set me up in my career, as far as television, and how people perceived me thereafter, because it elevated me immediately out of the gate."
The storyline began in Oct. 2005 and James was Stratus' biggest fan. As time went on, James become obsessed with Stratus and it ultimately led to a match at WrestleMania 22 in 2006. Stratus was the WWE Women's Champion at the time and lost to James at WrestleMania. It was James' first title in WWE and went on to win it four more times as well as the Divas Championship once. The two met in the ring again in 2018 to compete in WWE's first-ever Women's Royal Rumble match, a moment fans enjoyed due to the unforgettable feud.
"We had good chemistry and we had a good kinship and friendship, in the sense of we were both working towards the common goal, and she had been there, on television, working at that goal the whole time, to legitimize women's wrestling," James said. "We knew we were getting an opportunity and we can sell this and we can make it amazing, that people will really do it and they did. We were able to really cultivate and create a moment for women's wrestling that, I think, changed people's perception of how women's wrestling is, what they're capable of. It was magic."