Wrestler Mickie James tries making it as singer

Sat, Dec 18

Mickie James walks to the ring these days looking like she raided Daisy Duke's closet.

But her hayseed garb isn't just another pro wrestling fantasy. The former WWE women's champion and current TNA Knockout's appearance is an extension of her newfound career as a country singer. Earlier this year, she released her first album, "Strangers & Angels."

"I tried to make a beautiful marriage out of the two [careers], and I think TNA gives me the opportunity to do that," James said. "But it's not a gimmick, and I'm not some novelty act."

Singer/songwriter James' legitimacy is backed by collaborator Kent Wells, who produced Dolly Parton's 2008 release, "Backwoods Barbie."

James' album has received several positive reviews and is being repackaged for sale on her website while she seeks mass distribution.

After leaving the WWE, James had planned to focus just on music, but when the Nashville, Tenn.-based TNA called, she jumped at the opportunity … literally.

She recently leaped 20 feet off a cage into a "Lou Thesz press" to beat rival Tara.

"Of course I was scared," James said. "I said to myself, 'Oh, this is amazing. Please don't get hurt. Please don't get hurt.'"

Sounds like a country song.