Mia Yim struck gold at today’s final WWNLive show in China as part of its week-long tour of the country. Following victories over Su Yung and Allysin Kay in the last few days, Ivelisse Velez lost the SHINE Championship to Mia in Beijing in what was one of three title changes on the tour – Rich Swann beat Trent Baretta on Friday to win the Full Impact Pro World Title and Johnny Gargano regained the Dragon Gate USA Open the Freedom Gate Championship on the Beijing show.
The match (which you can watch here and starts at the 52 minute mark) was a hard-hitting yet good-natured affair with the pair exchanging chops and kicks, power moves like Exploder and German suplexes as well as submission holds like the bow and arrow, triangle choke and even the Lasso from El Paso. The fight spilled to the outside in the closing minutes which saw Mia almost counted out and suffer Velez’s Vertigo Kick for a near fall but avoided a top rope Code Red and rebounded with a 450 splash – though it wasn’t her best execution of the move. Yim’s Package Piledriver attempt was broken up and Ivelisse nailed a Scorpion Kick, though she was countered as she tried to climb to the second rope and was nailed with the Package Piledriver for the title-winning pinfall.
Afterwards, she said “Winning the SHINE Title in Beijing is so special. Thank you all – but I will be back to defend this.”
The victory makes the 25-year old the first woman to have held both SHINE’s singles and Tag Team Championship – the latter was with Leva Bates between February and June this year. She was a fingernail away from becoming the first ever titleholder in July last year but lost in the tournament final to Rain, and she also went to a no-contest with Velez in a SHINE Title match on an FIP show back in May. The new champion has had a very impressive couple of years with title wins and commended performances and that has been rewarded with her biggest victory to date – though she has a first defence on the horizon.
We found out last month that whoever returns from China with the title will face Nevaeh in the main event of SHINE 23 on December 5, which creates an interesting dynamic for Yim. The reason is that Mia was pinned by Nevaeh as part of a six-woman tag team match at SHINE 22 so it appears that the challenger will have a definite edge against the new champion. When you couple in the Gem City Queen’s new affiliation with Jayme Jameson, Marti Belle and manager SoCal Val as part of the Valifornia stable, it seems that the numbers game could work against Yim. One thing which could work in her favour is that Mia also holds a victory over Nevaeh as part of a SHINE Tag Team Championship match at WWNLive’s A Wrestling Odyssey back in April, so it could be a pretty even contest.
As for the title change itself, there are positives and negatives which could be gleaned from the title change. While nobody could deny Mia’s credentials and her deservedness to hold the SHINE Championship, it does seem strange that Ivelisse’s 296 day run with the belt comes to an end as part of what is essentially an exhibition match rather than as part of an ongoing storyline. Velez has been fending off the challenges of Valkyrie since winning the belt and had also been gaining credibility by beating some very impressive names and having equally impressive matches. However, her reign has not seen much storyline development since Valkyrie leader Serena Deeb had to take time off due to injury – though had she returned to the US with the belt, she would have also had a match with Nevaeh with some backstory as the pair fought over the SHINE Championship at SHINE 21 with the challenger having a legitimate gripe as Nevaeh seemingly had the match won with a German Suplex but there was no referee available to count the fall.
Still, Ivelisse has seen her profile skyrocket since winning the belt in January and has loads of great prospects on the horizon. For Yim, she has the opportunity to be the focal point of a promotion after having shots at the SHIMMER and Women Superstars Uncensored titles. This is her opportunity to ascend to the next echelon, and we’re confident that she will not disappoint.