Welcome everyone to my new article series, Prescriptions. It’s a fact of life that even the best in any endeavor should be looking for ways to improve themselves. Whether you just won the Super Bowl or you’re trying to tank so you can move the team from Cleveland to Miami (mixed metaphors, so what?) self evaluation is the key. Today’s prescription? The HBIC herself, Mia Yim.
Though she first hit the national scene in ROH as a valet for Stokley Hathaway’s The Embassy, I first learned of Mia Yim in Impact Wrestling. As Jade, she was the heavy hitter for Taryn Terrell’s The Dollhouse (properly said in a Josh Mathews Tha Daaahlhaause voice) before transitioning to singles competition. There she won the TNA Knockouts championship one time, and in 2017 moved to the umbrella of the WWE.
In the WWE, she’s a two time competitor in the Mae Young Classic, and starting in October 2018, a full time member of the NXT roster. Since then she bounces around the upper half of the women’s card in NXT, sometimes a threat for a title, but often more as a stepping stone to #1 Contendership.
Put simply, Yim’s knowledge of wrestling is pretty damn phenomenal. She learned her craft under some of the best around in a lot of different styles, including lucha libre, submission, hardcore, and more. She can strike, she can grapple, and she can brawl very well at times.
And she has lots of experience. Name any of the top women in pro wrestling over the past decade, and Mia’s gone to to toe with them. Mercedes Martinez, Gail Kim, MsChif, Sara Del Rey, Allysin Kay, Jessika Havok, Rosemary, Cheerleader Melissa… and that’s all before she got to NXT.
Frankly, you can count on one hand the women in WWE with a more extensive resume than Mia Yim, and none of them are only 29 like she is.
Prescription: Not a damn thing.
Those fans who don’t watch the dirtsheets must have felt Mia Yim dropped off the radar in between her first and second appearances in the Mae Young Classic. She wasn’t in TNA, she wasn’t with NXT… where was she?
Mia was rehabbing. In November 2017 she injured her leg severely when a competitor landed on her during an indy show in Virginia. The break took her out of action for four months, and she just made it back in time for the MYC 2018. If Mia’s out of the ring, it’s for a reason.
Also, while I’m trying not to blend the world outside the ring too much with work in the business, any woman who’s been able to survive domestic abuse like Mia has deserves big props in my book.
Prescription: Again, not a damn thing. Legit props to Mia here.
When she left Impact, Mia knew one thing. She didn’t want to be typecast as the ‘Asian girl.’ While I personally thought her Jade character wasn’t Asian typecasting, I can see how coming out in schoolgirl skirts and pigtails did sort of play to anime Asian girl stereotypes.
So Mia took matters into her own hands, embracing her mixed Blasian (black and Asian) heritage and becoming the Blasian Badass (screw Nigel McGuiness and his WWE family friendly ‘Blasian Baddie’ bullcrap). As the HBIC, she started quoting Wu Tang, Tupac, and even at one point had Black Panther inspired ring gear. Mad props, and Wakanda Forever!
That being said, her HBIC character is one that’s hard for WWE to pull the main roster trigger on. It’s no secret, Vince McMahon likes clear cut characters and clear cut stereotypes for the main roster. Nuance is not his thing. I really don’t think he can get it through his head that a woman can be black, Asian, street and technical all at one time.
Prescription: Tighten it up. Maybe simplify some so VKM can ‘get’ you. But don’t sell out!
The Okay, But Could Be Improved
Ring Gear: B-
For someone who is supposed to be street, Mia does a lot of things right. First off, the pants. While the horny teenager in me misses the short skirts or side lace-up shorts she wore in her TNA days, the fact is her ring gear fits her character very well. The hat, the bandanna, and the jacket she often wears are also pretty on point.
That being said, a few tweaks are in order. First, when she wears loose BDU-like pants, she usually wears some weird single piece ribbon belt. Why? If you’re going to be a solider, then be a soldier and wear a friggin’ belt. If you don’t want something that binds on the waist, then make it an elastic belt. But the weird ribbon thing should go.
With that, I’d add change the tops. The X-shaped bikini top worked in the indys and in TNA, where the, ahem, curves could be on display. And when she had some traps that would make a lot of men jealous. WWE obviously doesn’t like that, or maybe she’s had a wardrobe malfunction. But the little sheer panel often just looks ridiculous. Again, if she’s going street, then go street, and adopt a more traditional sports bra top or even a tight tank top.
Prescription: Tweak the gear. Go street or go back to the traditional wrestler long tights.
Entrance Music: C
In 2017, WWE got rid of longtime music producer Jim Johnston, and replaced him with CFO$. This made me nervous. Johnston is responsible for soooo many iconic themes, after all.
And let’s face it, your experience with a wrestler starts with that entrance music. Name your favorite wrestlers of the past 30 years, and you probably know their entrance music. It could be Thus Sprake Zarathrustra. Or college students saying “Oooooh YEAAAAH!” when Pomp & Circumstance plays. Hell, I knew Army units who played Real American and got people fired up with it. And of course, John Cena and Kurt Angle both suck.
Those are great themes, and they do their part to help the wrestler be remembered. But CFO$ is very hit-or-miss. Their fallback of using electronic pop-rap beats is probably cheaper than Johnston’s style. And when they hit, they do hit hard. For example, Sasha Banks’ theme works for her. Shinsuke Nakamura’s is… well, f-ing AWESOME.