Heading into the Royal Rumble, some questioned whether Trish Stratus would be able to fairly officiate the match between Ashley and Mickie James. Prior to the match, Mickie told Trish that she loved her, catching Trish off guard and furthering the dilemma. In the end, Trish was impartial, and Mickie James was the one who walked out victorious.
Early in the bout, Ashley worked over Mickie’s arm, frustrating her to no end. As Ashley was pounding Mickie in the corner, Trish got physically involved, pulling her protégé off of James. While it was the correct thing to do according to the rulebook, it gave Mickie a chance to cheap shot Ashley and take control.
Mickie spent the majority of the match focusing on Ashley’s back and neck, at one point applying a brutal sitting variation of a bow and arrow. Ashley made a comeback, however, and pounded Mickie in the corner again. This time, Ashley shook off Trish’s attempt to separate them, nailing Mickie with a spear into the corner.
At this point, Ashley stood Mickie up in the corner, and climbed the ropes to pound her some more. Instead, Mickie grabbed Ashley, driving her hard into the mat with a vicious powerbomb. Trish seemed appalled, but was forced to count as Mickie made the cover. The powerbomb was enough for the three count, giving Mickie the victory. When the match was over, Mickie attempted to celebrate with her idol, but Trish pushed her away.