Possible Reason for the Bizarre Ending to the Mickie James vs. Asuka Raw Women's Championship Match

This week's Raw Women's Championship match between Asuka and Mickie James left fans scratching their heads, as "The Empress" was declared the winner after applying the Asuka Lock despite James never tapping. The finish wasn't protested by the commentary team and the show quickly turned its attention to Zelina Vega calling out Asuka, leaving fans with plenty of questions about James' status. Both Mick Foley and Lance Storm took to Twitter after the fact, stating that they had heard James suffered a shoulder injury late in the match that prompted the referee to call for the bell.

Dave Meltzer echoed that sentiment on Wrestling Observer Radio.

"I thought she popped her shoulder," Meltzer said.

Update: Meltzer's co-host Bryan Alvarez tweeted out early Tuesday afternoon that James was not injured, and that the referee made a mistake.

James took to Instagram early Tuesday morning to react to what happened.

View this post on Instagram

Not... Like... This... 💔

A post shared by Mickie James (@themickiejames) on

Prior to Monday's title match James spoke with ComicBook about her return from injury.

"I'm excited to be back. I feel better than ever," James said. "I've been training hard. I've been rehabbing hard. My knee, that was my first injury surgery ever in my whole tenure of wrestling. I was very fortunate. I have to find some wood to knock on right now because it's kind of crazy. I think that kind of setback really refocused me and reset me in a sense and I'm so much more driven in the sense of my goals and what I want to achieve out of this run. I'm really excited about it."

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During the interview James made the bold pitch for WWE to launch a new show where the roster is made exclusively of women.

"We have the largest female roster that we've ever had combined between RAW, SmackDown, NXT, and NXT UK, and there's a vast amount of female talent, more female talent than there's ever been," James said. "It could be an opportunity within our shows. Sometimes there's really only time for a female championship match or whatever. A whole show, even if it was just an hour, like a 205 Live or something like that, that is cultivated just for the women, is something I think would satisfy a market that really just loves women's wrestling. It's a chance for a lot of females that perhaps don't get a chance to shine as much on TV to shine there, and then Evolution could be our big pay-per-view of the year."