Mickie James On The ‘Care Package Incident’: It Was Never About The Trash Bag, It Was About Ageism
Photo Credit: WWE
The fallout from “Trash-gate”, or the “Care package incident,” has rocked WWE. The person at the center of the controversy, Mickie James, has tweeted about it, but now the former WWE Women’s Champion has discussed the situation at length.
In a special episode of GAW, James shared her thoughts on the incident, in which she was shipped her gear in a trash bag following her release from WWE. Whereas plenty of the narrative has highlighted the trash bag itself, James focused on some of the more significant aspects of the situation. She also emphasized that she has reflected on “Trash-gate” and gained a more thorough understanding of it.
“I never wanted to trend over a trash bag, nor do I want to be known as bag lady,” said James. “It’s not even about the trash bag. At the end of the day, it was never about the trash bag for me. I was astonished about how it took off. I almost deleted the post because I’m going like, I feel like this comes off as too nasty or bitter or whatever. I was like, I’m being sarcastic, obviously, and just trying to laugh at myself and the situation because to be quite honest, I got my stuff the exact same way ten years ago.
“There’s just like all these things and even within this last run, and even in my response, you know, where it was like, I just feel like this is kind of how I’ve been positioned for the last year, for years, you know.”
James stated that the trash bag was a fitting metaphor for the way she was presented in WWE throughout her last run with the company. She made it clear that she would have been happy to take a trainer role or have a supplementary spot on WWE programming, but she just wanted to be treated with respect. James argued that WWE failed to do so.
“I was happy to take a backseat and take a trainer role or take something,” said James. “All I asked for was like, ‘Hey can I get an out?’ Like, ‘Can I get something that just can kind of curtsy out the door?’ It was never about, ‘I want one last run,’ or, ‘I want to still be a wrestler for the next five years or anything.’ All I wanted was just a little respect.”
When James specifically discussed her booking in her last run leading up to her release, she explained why she like any on-screen prominence she received came at a price. She stated that she felt like she was being punished for asking for more opportunities. James also made sure to explain that she doesn’t think Vince McMahon was responsible for this pattern, and she recalled how McMahon personally called her to apologize after the care package incident.
“I think that I’ve put up with a lot of crap in the sense of going back, even through coming back this last time, and always being booked in like a lackey position or never quite getting that moment for myself or if I did, it came at a cost of diapers and a walker, or the whole finish to the Asuka fiasco,” said James. “Or just like these weird things that, like I felt that sometimes specifically were purposely because I was asking for this one thing, it was gonna come with a price. I’m not saying that that is a directive from Vince because Vince has always been respectful to me.
“I mean, Vince called me on the phone to apologize, you know, for this instant and for me to know that this is not what we thought of me.”
Looking back on her final run in WWE, James criticized the ageism that’s apparent in the way the company books its talent. She also pointed out how there’s a double standard, as older men won world titles while she struggled to even get onto television.
“I think this small-minded mentality sometimes, or this thoughtless behavior, because it’s systematically, especially for me, like to be constantly presented as old or made you feel like you’re old when I am 41 years old,” said James. “And every single male champion that has been or come back or anything has always been my same age, or even older than me, have been champions and have been glorified for those reasons, as they should be. As they absolutely should be. They’re f—— amazing.
“But why is it different for women, or why is it different for me? And it’s like ageism is a real thing, and it’s bulls***.”
Lastly, James explained that she’s unsure whether she’d ever want to return to WWE, given the way she was booked in her last run, the fact that she’s getting older, and the failure to sanction the person who was truly responsible.
“For me I’m like well, now, if they think at 41 now is old, there’s no way like I’m coming back for one more run now,” said James. “And at the same time, knowing what I know now, would I want to? I don’t know.
“The person that is responsible for me feeling like s—, and I feel like for completely trying to like sabotage, or devalue me, or make me feel less than, is still very much employed and that’s f—-…, you know what I mean?”
The full episode is available here: