In recent months, James has been on The Last Rodeo; she previously announced that she would retire after her next loss. But the four-time champion has strung together a number of wins, and now she’s gearing up for a high-stakes clash against Jordynne Grace at the pay-per-view on January 13. Grace will defend the IMPACT Knockouts Championship against James in a Title vs. Career Match.
During an appearance on The Alliance Pro Wrestling Network podcast, James shared her thoughts on the upcoming match and noted that she has focused on putting herself in a mindset where she believes she’s going to win. The veteran than praised Grace and described how she has been a great representative for IMPACT before she stated that while she’d love to win, she’d be okay going out her own way with a loss.
“This is the last chapter of this Last Rodeo, this is it. This is what it’s all about. Either I win the championship, or I retire,” James said. “I have to be in the mindset that I’m gonna win. So I keep saying I’m gonna win because I need to be. But I will say that Jordynne has been a remarkable champion. I think that she’s the perfect representation of this generation of women’s wrestling. I think that she has held onto that championship very strongly and gracefully
“She’s a wonderful representation of the brand and a wonderful representation of that Knockouts World Title, and what that division represents. So I would never take that away from her. I know she’s done it the right way, and she’s worked really hard to be the champion and to keep that championship and hold it close. I know it means a lot to her, but it also means a lot to me. My career means a lot to me. It would mean a lot to me to have one more championship run, but if this is the way it has to end, I’d be okay with that too, just because I could go out my way, and I’m okay with that.”
James was then asked to describe her mental preparation for the match. She described how the Last Rodeo was meant to prove that she could still go, as she never wanted to reach a place where she was wrestling like a shell of her former self. James looked back on the journey up to this point and made it clear that she intends to go down as the greatest Knockouts Champion of all time if she beats Grace.
“It’s been some up and downs. I have taking more time for myself and my own clarity, and resetting my purpose as to why we’re doing this, why I’m doing this in the first place,” James said. “I never wanted to get to a place where I stuck around too long or wore out my welcome or was wrestling in a way that was a shell of my former abilities or my former self. I think that this has been a real test to me, facing all of these women on the roster and revisiting some people that I had faced in their very first match.
“I wanted to do something special on the way out the door, and I think that this is something special. I think, if I win that championship, I will do my damndest to go down as the greatest Knockouts Champion that’s ever lived, and I will carry that championship with prestige and honor, and make history with it. I’m sure Jordynne would want to do the same. So the stakes are high.”
WrestleZone will have coverage of IMPACT Hard To Kill as it airs on January 13.