The hard thing about making a list like this—especially when a talented individual like Mia Yim, or Michin as she’s also now known, is involved—is that there is way too much to choose from.
In the end that’s a great thing overall, but an arduous task is brought to my doorstep now because I have to choose only 5, which is hard, but hey, “don’t cry for me Argentina,” as it so musically states in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita. Watching Mia Yim matches that span her entire career isn’t at all torture, trust me.
She is an incredible wrestler who takes to her craft seriously and since she’s been doing this, she has only gotten better and better, but even early on her matches were well-paced and athletic. She has always been a joy to watch.
Thus the need for a list like this; if were to look at only one phase of her career, we’d be missing out on some pretty insane matches from the indies and at other companies.
She made her triumphant return to WWE this past year after a very successful run in Impact where she made quite the impression with a bunch of matches that not only reignited that spark of attention from pro wrestling fans, but it obviously got the attention of Triple H, a man she has always respected, as she herself has stated.
It was while speaking with NBC Sports Boston on an episode of The Ten Count, that she made the following statement:
"“Triple H. I have a lot of respect for him, and when I found out that he took over, he was bringing all my friends back, and — it was just the right time, right place, and working under him with NXT has been so fun, like it’s so easy to talk to him that it was an easy decision for me to come back with him in charge.”-via 411mania.com (Transcription)"
Mia Yim, or Stephanie Hym Bell, went to Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia on a volleyball scholarship. Her pro wrestling adventure would start at that time while she was 18…studying pro wrestling while in university.
The rest, as they say, is history, but she of course would make stops at Jersey Pro Wrestling, she would hit the Virginia Independent scene pretty hard during her early years, going to ROH, Combat Zone Wrestling, Shine, Shimmer, Full Impact Pro, TNA, WWE/NXT and of course she made many other significant stops along the way.
Let’s take a look at some of her portfolio, shall we?
Shayna Baszler vs. Mia Yim / Absolute Intense Wrestling
Yim and Baszler would go on to feud in NXT while they were there together, and although their matches were great on that platform as well, sometimes in pro wrestling things are a tad more personable in the independent close quarters type of environment, which paid off big time here. Many great spots during the match.
There is of course one exception—another great match from a tad later in their careers…in fact not too long from when this match took place—and you’ll find out what that exception is as you read on, because yet another encounter by the two women, and a special one at that, is here on this list.
Mia Yim vs. Eddie Kingston / Absolute Intense Wrestling
Intense is perhaps the right word to use here. Dare I say it, for me, and hey, I’m an old-school guy, so forgive me, but some parts of this match are a tad difficult to watch.
Kingston does not pull any punches, as he never does, and he’s always on…delivering in every way, but heck does Yim hold her own, and by the end of this thing, she comes off as one that we needn’t worry about, no matter who the foe, what the situation.
Mia Yim vs. Deonna Purrazzo /Impact Wrestling (2022)
After her release from WWE/NXT in 2021, she went back to Impact Wrestling where she had already been and established herself as a major player in the Knockout Division. Her return, as stated above, proved to be a great one and she had many matches at Impact during her brief but significant run over there, including this one here with one of the very best female competitors in the business.
The match delivered on all fronts, but really I’d challenge you to find one of the matches she had over there on this run that wasn’t perfect.
Queen of the Mountain Match / Impact Wrestling’s Slammiversary (2022)
This of course brings us to this epic showing of just what one of the better divisions in pro wrestling can do. All of the women in this match stepped up and truthfully I’ve written about it before because it was so impactful, pardon the pun.
Yim in this match was a motor…the engine that just kept giving, and she played her part exceptionally well (as she always does). Had she not been there, I’m not sure any other wrestler would have played that part just as right as she did…and you know what they say when you remove one cog from a perfectly functioning machine, the whole thing goes haywire.
Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler / Mae Young Classic (Sept. 5, 2017)
The Mae Young Classic that occurred back in 2017 was a massive precursor to the Women’s Evolution in WWE. It was a very important showing of what was happening in the women’s division in pro wrestling in general—essentially across the board, really—and many epic female wrestlers were present…including two very special women, and ones that would make a bold statement with where they would end up over the years that followed.
In the match they put on during the classic, a second-round match, they showed just what women’s wrestling in the upcoming era would be all about and boy was that a perfect case for foreshadowing because the women’s division is on fire and that’s across the board, dear readers… industry-wide.