Why did Mickie James leave WWE in 2010?
Mickie James was released from WWE back in 2010, but what was the real story behind James' shock WWE departure.
Mickie James is a former five-time Women's Champion, she is also a former Divas Champion and was once considered to be the future of WWE's Women's Division when Trish Stratus passed the torch to her at WrestleMania 22.
Just four years later, Mickie was released by WWE and made the switch over to TNA, so where did it all go wrong for the country singer?
Mickie made her debut in WWE back in 2005 as the "stalker" of Trish Stratus, which later led to a lengthy storyline between Mickie and the WWE Hall of Famer, after which Trish made it obvious that Mickie was getting a little bit too close.
This led to an incredible match between Mickie and Trish at WrestleMania 22 where the former picked up her first Women's Championship. Following Trish's retirement at Unforgiven later in the year, Mickie entered into a feud with Lita after the latter won the Women's Championship from her in the Summer of 2006.
Mickie later lifted the Women's Championship for the second time when she defeated Lita in her final match in WWE at Survivor Series in 2006.
Melina versus Mickie James
After Lita and Trish Stratus walked away from WWE in 2006, it seemed that the Women's Division was solely focused on the rivalry between Melina and Mickie James. Melina became the number one contender for the Women's Championship and managed to take the title from Mickie in February 2007.
Mickie was injured as part of their Falls Count Anywhere match later in the year, which caused a rushed finish, but she wasn't believed to have been seriously hurt.
The duo's feud continued throughout the year with Mickie winning her third Women's Championship at a house show in Paris when Mickie pinned Victoria in a triple threat match, which also included Melina.
Melina was given an instant rematch and Mickie dropped the title back to Melina giving her the shortest Women's Championship reign in history.
Four-time Women's Champion
Mickie then moved on to a feud with Beth Phoenix and lifted her fourth Women's Championship in the UK in 2008.
Mickie later lost her championship when she teamed with Kofi Kingston in a 'winner takes all' tag team match against Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella.
The former Women's Champion later moved on to feud with Maryse over the Divas Championship in 2009, a title that she lifted when she managed to defeat that French-Canadian star a few months later.
Mickie only ever won the Divas Championship once and dropped it to Jillian Hall after a three-month reign before she was drafted to SmackDown.
She then went on to be part of a controversial storyline where Michelle McCool and Layla referred to the former Women's Champion as "Piggy James" as rumours suggested that backstage executives had asked Mickie to lose weight and she had refused, so this was her punishment.
Mickie finally got the better of the duo at The Royal Rumble in 2010 when she defeated Michelle McCool in 20 seconds to become a five-time Women's Champion.
Final storylines and departure
Mickie lost the Women's Championship back to McCool after just a month as Champion when Vickie Guerrero joined the feud and slapped Mickie to show which side she was on.
The feud reached its peak in a 10-diva tag match at WrestleMania 26 where Mickie's team were defeated by LayCools.
The rematch took place on Raw where Mickie's team were successful before Mickie made her final WWE appearance the following night on SmackDown when she teamed with Beth Phoenix in another losing effort to LayCool since she was pinned by Layla.
It was later announced on WWE's website that Mickie along with Katie Lea Burchill, Shelton Benjamin, Kung Fu Naki, Slam Master J and Jimmy Wang Yang were all released from their WWE contracts, with Mickie stating that WWE explained that this was due to the fact that they were hoping to move in a new direction with their Women's Division.
Rumoured backstage controversy
It has been well documented that Mickie James and John Cena were part of an affair whilst Mickie was still in a relationship with Kenny Dykstra.
This was the main reason why Mickie was drafted to the SmackDown brand in 2009 and it was said that she was the victim of nuclear backstage heat for a long time after this.
Mickie was part of one of the worst WWE storylines that the company has ever broadcast when "Piggy James" was born, which was said to have been partially WWE's way of punishing James for the problems she had caused in her personal life.
Life after WWE
Mickie signed a contract with TNA in 2010 and joined the roster as one of their more experienced Superstars, she joined the likes of Christy Hemme and Tara who were also both former WWE Divas on the Impact roster.
Mickie lifted the Knockout's Women's Championship in April 2011 to become the first woman to lift the WWE Women's, Divas and TNA Knockout's Championships.
Mickie went on to win the Knockout's Championship three times during her lengthy spell with TNA before she decided to return to WWE in 2016.
Return to WWE
Mickie returned to WWE for a one-off match against Asuka at NXT Takeover: Toronto back in November 2016. James lost the match, but WWE COO Triple H stated that the door was open if Mickie wanted to return to WWE in the future.
James took WWE up on this offer and returned to the SmackDown brand to help aid Alexa Bliss in her battle with Becky Lynch earlier this year.
Mickie has since been drafted over to the Raw roster where she has recently begun a feud with Alexa that could lead her to her sixth Women's Championship.