I want to take a second to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year! Be safe.
In case you missed it, Sheamus and Randy Orton announced that they will be in the Royal Rumble at last night's Smackdown taping. They will be joining John Cena.
For those who care about those things, WWE.com has a "Top 10 Superstars to look out for in 2013" on the site.
Here is the New Years Eve edition of Download.
MichelleMcCool.net sent the following.
Stomping Grounds: "Piggie James was the storyline that brought LayCool to fruition and really started and helped develop our characters. It was a main storyline that, at the time, started giving Divas more screen time and longer matches -- we even had a huge celebration. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: I give every single ounce of credit for that storyline to Mickie."
Keeping It Professional: "It was tough on everybody, but obviously tough on Mickie, to say the least. She was the utmost professional in that situation. She never complained about the material that was being written. She never bitched, moaned, or tried to change it or get it shut down. She knew it was business -- she knew it was going to help us."
Working with The Best: "She was already an incredibly over babyface, she was a great wrestler -- people loved her. She was one of those people who came in as a heel during the whole 'psycho/Trish' thing, but the fans loved her so much that WWE ended up turning her babyface. I don't think we could have done that storyline with anybody else."
Fan Reaction: "We got so much hate from that storyline from fans. People would send stuff in and we'd just be like: 'holy moly, we're getting genuine hate -- but on the other hand, I feel horrible! What kind of message is this sending out?' You just have to kind of remember that it's just a character on TV. A lot of times people just forgot that and it's easy to do."
The Birth of Piggie James: "It literally got started out of the clear-blue air. I remember being overseas, and that's when they told me at the arena that day that I was going to be singing the 'Old McDonald Had a Farm' little vignette, and I didn't know what to think. Honestly? I thought they were joking at first, a rib on me because my singing is so horrible -- so I was already nervous about that. I hid all day; 'I can't believe they're making me do this -- where is this going?' I had no idea where the storyline was going to go after that. During rehearsal that day, I'm literally sitting on the ground by the ring, like hiding... I felt awful."
Advance Apology: "There were so many times, time after time, where we would go up to Mickie and apologize in advance. We'd be like: 'this sucks and I'm sorry. Obviously, we didn't write this. I'm just sorry... we don't know what else to say.' Like I said: she was always completely cool with it. I'm sure it hurt; things like that do. Obviously she's not big -- she's one of the smallest people. There's no way anybody thought she was really overweight or 'Piggie James.' Again, that was just our stupid, silly LayCool characters that we had. Like I said: all credit to her. It would have not progressed, gone as far, or had gotten over like it did if it weren't for her. I don't think any other babyface could have pulled that off."
What Goes Around..: "I don't feel like LayCool ever got our butts handed to us by her enough. I never understood that... it was like: 'why isn't she killing us here? Doing this or doing that?' I think the story could have even gone further because the fans, week after week, wanted her to just embarrass us. At the Rumble we ended up with birthday cake in our face, and everybody loved that. Here we were embarrassed by her -- that was great!"
A Night To Remember: "During the Piggie James send-off, LayCool was cutting a promo. Then Maria came, she came, and then she cut a promo. I remember that she almost made me break character. We were talking about how dumb Maria was, or something like that, and Mickie flew off the cuff and said something about: 'oh, really? We all saw 'Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?,' mmmhmm!' -- I'm looking at her like: oh, gosh! I wanted to break character so bad! As soon as we got backstage I told her that she almost got me -- almost busted out laughing!"
Vince's Angels: "Vince ended up loving the LayCool character as a result of that storyline. That's kind of how things kind of kept happening for us. But, like I said: I give credit to Mickie James. She was fighting with us to get TV time, to get pay-per-view matches, to raise the bar... not many people will always do that. But she did, and I will forever be grateful for that."
Working With Mickie: "We've pulled off some really good matches together. We always kinda clicked; worked well together. That always makes it fun inside the ring when you know you can work with somebody. You can fly off the cuff while you're in there; you can improvise. We had some fun. Plus, her finisher was always one of my most fun ones to take! It was hard and trying at times, but was fun. She was a true professional and always wanted to do business -- what was best for the business."
Stealing The Show: "Something to add: the night we smashed cake in Mickie's face, during her send-off... she was just brilliant on her response! That was the point where LayCool finally got to Mickie James, she just looked humiliated as she ran off in tears. Nobody else could have done that the way she did it. As we all came backstage -- and very, very rarely does this happen -- Vince, Michael Hayes, and everybody in the gorilla position were standing up and clapping saying: 'the girls just stole the show.' That was a very, very special moment. I give her all the props in the world. So, thanks Mickie if you hear this -- I really, really appreciate you!" p