Former Los Angeles Lakers beat writer, future screenwriter, and currently enjoy writing about the amazing superstars & legends of the WWE!
The choice was volleyball or professional wrestling.
I think it's safe to say that the professional wrestling fans of Mia Yim are incredibly glad that she chose the latter.
The HBIC had a long road full of ups and downs while on her journey towards her dream job with the WWE. That journey is something to be fully admired by her peers and fans alike, along with all the respect in the world. I'm about to explain why Mia Yim is one of the most courageous and beloved superstars on the entire WWE and NXT rosters today.
I remember the moment when I first laid eyes on Mia after she debuted in TNA as Jade, a member of the interesting group called The Dollhouse. Along with Marti Bell and eventually Taryn Terrell, the group had an immediate impact on the show which made me realize just how perfect the trio was together.
However, watching them week after week, I realized something. The in-ring skills of Jade impressed me so much that I told myself that I'll definitely be watching her work inside a WWE ring one day. For whatever reason, I just had this gut feeling about her. And well, that gut feeling, unsurprisingly, turned into a reality.
After her TNA stint, the summer of 2017 brought us the first ever Mae Young Classic tournament. The competition introduced the WWE Universe to some of the top female wrestlers from all over the world, who would then compete in an exciting new tournament and determine who was the best of the best.
Mia was one of those featured women.
After defeating Sarah Logan in the first round of the tournament, she unfortunately ran into the dominant Shayna Baszler, who eliminated Mia from the competition. Sadly, Mia Yim didn't hear anything back from WWE.
However, she was invited to return the following year where the second annual Mae Young Classic came about. This time around, you could see the determination and passion that Mia had during her matches with the likes of Allysin Kay, Kaitlyn, and Toni Storm. The fans at Full Sail University were VERY observant of that fact and gave her all the props in the world throughout the competition, leading to a very special moment after her loss to Storm...
The fans at Full Sail were so appreciative of the efforts of Mia Yim that they began chanting, "Please sign Mia!" as loud as they possibly could. Although Triple H stated they were signing her regardless, the fans were so adamant while shouting that chant out and that alone spoke MAJOR volumes. It showed their outpouring of respect and admiration for Mia Yim's performances during the tournament. The fans wanted Mia, and they got Mia.
When you garner the respect from the fans, that's all the validation that you need to become a success within the WWE. Triple H saw it. Backstage officials saw it. We ALL saw it. The passion that Mia had during that tournament poured out all over our television screens, increasing our respect for the resilient woman we now call The HBIC. In wrestling terms, Mia Yim was OVER.
"I'm here in WWE because of you guys. The fans that chanted for me, the fans that rallied for me online, the fans that supported me since Day 1, hell, the fans that supported me since yesterday, I'm here because of you guys. I am forever grateful and appreciative of the support and love that you give to me. You don't know how far that love takes me and builds my strength. So thank you for saving me." - Mia Yim
The Growth of Mia Yim in NXT
Since Mia has been on the NXT roster, my respect for her has grown exponentially. She seems to be a whole lot more comfortable and her identity has now set her apart from the rest of the women. She has the distinguished look, the charisma, the passion, the in-ring abilities, and the character to move herself up the ladder to greatness. Above all else though, she has that lovable personality towards her fans that make them fall in love with her and continue to have her back.
With that confidence and passion that she possesses, she has pulled off some incredible matches during her NXT career. That ladder match against Io Shirai to become a member of the War Games team was really something special, and quite frankly, brutal. The carnage that those two ladies left inside AND outside the ring was truly unbelievable. Unfortunately for Mia, Kay Lee Ray made her presence felt and launched her off the ladder into a sea of other ladders placed on the outside. This happened after Mia already saw a pool of her own blood on the mat after being hit in the nose with the ladder!
The determination and perseverance of Mia Yim was very much shown that night and her willingness to continue the battle after being hit with the ladder shows the kind of character that Mia Yim has. In an interview afterwards, she stated how she didn't want to give up on the fans and was going to continue the match, no matter what the circumstances were.
Another match of Mia's that I want to touch on is the recent one against The Queen Charlotte Flair on an episode of NXT. It was five long years since these two ladies locked horns inside an NXT ring and let me tell you something...
The match was absolutely remarkable.
For two women who haven't competed in the ring against one another for awhile, it looked like they've been wrestling each other every single day. The storytelling was perfection, the timing and chemistry were on point, and the level of excitement that exuded out to our television screens was so pure and organic, even without an audience surrounding the ring.
Now granted, Charlotte Flair makes every single opponent she's in the ring with look like a million bucks. However, for me, Mia Yim completely shined during this match with The Queen, and marked herself with a stamp of approval for going toe-to-toe with one of the best in the business.
The Character of Mia Yim
The HBIC of NXT currently has started her next storyline with Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano alongside her main squeeze, Keith Lee, and I'm incredibly excited to see how it all plays out. The future of Mia Yim looks as promising as ever before and I am SO happy that she's finally living out her dream in the fullest way.
I touched upon the character of Mia Yim earlier, and when I say that, I'm not talking about her being The HBIC. I'm talking about the character that she possesses as a human being.
After watching the amazing interview she did with Lilian Garcia on the Chasing Glory podcast, I realized just how much character Mia truly has. The reason I respect and admire Mia Yim so much is not just because of her in-ring prowess and potential to become one of the greatest women superstars in WWE history. It's because of her huge heart. It's because she's such a down-to-earth, lovable individual that just wants her dreams to come true. It's because of the way she conquered her fears after being an unfortunate victim of domestic violence.
The mental struggles that come along with that last sentence is astronomically difficult for some people out there to do. It takes a strong-minded human being to not only walk away from that terrible situation, but to adapt to a level of normalcy again after months and months of abuse. My respect for the woman that Mia Yim is stems from her courage and bravery, as well as her determination to not let that bump in the road define who she is as a person.
Whether she knows it or not, she's given the opportunity for women who are dealing with those same issues the chance to see that there IS a light at the end of that dark tunnel. There IS a way out. And there IS something to look forward to after you take that final stand and get out of that horrifying situation.
Mia Yim will forever be known as a role model for that.
Thank you, Mia, for not only all the sacrifices you make being an NXT superstar and putting your body on the line for our entertainment, but for being the extraordinary human being that you are. I'm so glad that you've been able to capture your WWE dream and have become a viable member of the NXT women's division. You're an inspiration to many, many people out there. After hearing about your long journey to becoming The HBIC, I can't think of another person more worthy of the success you've achieved thus far in your life. You deserve it, my friend.
She's The HBIC, The Blasian Baddie, an NXT superstar, a true role model, the epitome of a strong woman, and a wonderful dog-mom to Prince Stannis.
Ladies and gentlemen, she's Mia Yim.