As we noted, that Mickie James’ deal to return to WWE was completed in the days before she was announced to return as Asuka’s NXT Takeover Toronto challenger.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter updated the story, noting WWE wanted Mickie at last week’s NXT tapings for the announcement, but she was in Europe with husband Nick “Magnus” Aldis. As of right now, she is only scheduled for the Takeover event in Toronto; she and Aldis recently moved to Orlando and they are scheduled to return home early in November from touring.
Before James was contacted, the original plan was said to be for Trish Stratus to face Asuka, with Trish’s hometown reaction turning Asuka into the heel. The plans changed after it was learned that Stratus is pregnant with her second child, but the idea was for Asuka to go heel on Trish, allowing Ember Moon to be a bigger face while eventually challenging Asuka.