Mia Yim‘s ‘good half year’ is the story of potential being realised – potential that dates back to almost the very start of her career, where she got a lot of attention very quickly. Her combination of athleticism and good looks were obvious, as was the desire to learn and improve (she was working in Japan by her second year in the business), but for us it seemed like it was just a case of putting everything together, and it seemed like last October’s ‘Female Fight Season’ (and specifically her contributions on the SHIMMER tapings that month) was the moment where everything clicked. She was one of the undoubted stars of that season, and the question was always going to be… was she going to carry on that form into 2014? The short answer, dear reader, is yes.
Some of Yim’s most high profile matches this year have come in tag format, alongside her buddy Leva Bates as the team of the Lucha Sisters. Formed for the SHINE Tag Team Title tournament on Feb 28th, the high-flying team (who even adopted some move cues from their significant others in Los Ben Dejos) were the banner tag team in SHINE for the whole year so far. They triumphed in the tournament, defeating The Kimber Bombs, the S-N-S Express and Made In Sin in one night to become inaugural champions, then made successful defences against the S-N-S Express (in a really fun old school tag match) at ‘A Wrestling Odyssey’ in New Orleans, Kellie Skater & Evie at SHINE 18 and Ivelisse & Candice LeRae at FIP ‘Florida Rumble’ before shockingly dropping the straps to the team of Legendary (Malia Hosaka & Brandi Wine) at SHINE 20. As a combination of the two most popular babyfaces on the SHINE roster, it’s not a surprise to note that the combination of The Lucha Sisters were (and will likely remain) hugely over with the fanbase. Yim also hugely impressed at SHINE 19, where, as part of the 5 vs 5 elimination match, she lasted the entirety of the 40+ minute match. Ivelisse and Serena may have pulled most of the plaudits for that match, Yim deserves credit for her contributions, which were amongst her strongest in SHINE this year.
While the Lucha Sisters tag team has given Mia a chance to showcase some of that superb athleticism, for me, she’s excelled mostly in singles competition. We recently shared video of a singles match she had with Serena Deeb at PWS back in February, a match which Deeb was so happy with she was compelled to tweet about it. “Last night was one of those ‘this is why I wrestle’ matches. @MiaYim is unbelievable. Mad respect. I’m still buzzing from our match. Thank u” – Go and check it out. Conversely, for high-speed sprint style wrestling that started about 100mph and never stopped, you should look at AIW‘s Girls Night Out 11 from March 29th and Yim’s match with Athena. It’s available at SmartMarkVideo and is one of the most breathlessly fun matches of the year so far. Crazy, faultless exchanges and believable near falls all at a breakneck speed. Incredible – and doubly so given that they would have had hardly any time to put the match together due to Athena arriving at the venue so late. Later in the day at Girls Night Out 12, Mia defeated (but elevated in the process) Jasmin, giving the young Toronto native her best match in AIW competition to date.
If SHIMMER last October was the moment when everything came together for Mia, then SHIMMER this past April was proof (if proof were needed) that it was no fluke, as Yim’s SHIMMER career got the rocket right to the top of the card – including her first shot at the SHIMMER Championship. Considering a tweaked knee from the Wrestling Odyssey show kept Yim out of SHIMMER Vol 62 in New Orleans, she excelled the following weekend – and in a strange way, that injury became part of the story of her Berwyn weekend and made her matches even better and even more dramatic. When big moves came, they meant more, and her selling was all the more dramatic, all because of her bad wheel. On Vol 63 she defeated Hikaru Shida with a Package Piledriver (a rematch from Vol 58 in October) and on Vol 64 she defeated Mercedes Martinez with an inside cradle in another match based around her opponent attacking her knee and Yim fighting through the pain. We described her as “one of the biggest stars on the day” for Saturday at the time, and although she went on to lose her SHIMMER Championship match to Cheerleader Melissa the next afternoon at Vol 65, the match itself was excellent. A match with Ray to end the weekend (which Yim won, keeping her strong at the top level after her title loss) was also superb, and it’s certainly fascinating to see where she’ll go this coming October – but to be a credible main eventer in the top female promotion in the world considering she was at one point 0-9 in SHIMMER main show competition… well, that’s some going.
She’s been noticed elsewhere too – with TNA once again bringing her in to work their TNA Knockouts Knockdown PPV taping in May, where – even as an uncontracted performer – she got to defeat TNA’s own Brittany before progressing to the Gauntlet main event. It’s not the first time Yim’s worked for TNA either (she also appeared on last year’s version of Knockouts Knockdown). Sure she’s local to where they were taping the events, but these TNA appearances – along with rumblings that Yim took part in a WWE tryout in Florida recently (and has been spotted hanging around at NXT events) also suggest that Yim’s success has not gone unnoticed.
It’ll be interesting to see where the next six months takes her – a probable re-challenge for the SHINE Tag Titles seems likely, and she’s already scheduled to return to WSU on July 12th at their “United” iPPV show. She remains a big part of both AIW and SHIMMER too, and may well have main events to look forward to with both promotions in October, depending on how things work out… but for now, congratulations on a job *very* well done so far in 2014.