Mia Yim Discusses Decision To Re-Sign With WWE, Altering Her Ring Name, Possible NJPW Match, Pairing With The OC, & More! - Exclusive

It's been almost eight years since the social media movement known as #GiveDivasAChance planted the seeds that would ultimately grow into WWE's "women's revolution," a change in the company's philosophy toward women's wrestling that would see female performers given more time, better storylines, and a larger overall presence on WWE programming. While the gains seen by the women's division have ebbed and flowed over that time, with a significant amount of work still left to be done, WWE's women have nonetheless broken barriers in ways that many never thought possible. Whether it be competing in bloody Hell In A Cell matches, main-eventing WrestleMania, or making history wrestling in Saudi Arabia, the division no longer seems to have a glass ceiling.


So it should come as no surprise that one of WWE's most hotly anticipated re-hires, "Michin" Mia Yim, has started breaking some barriers of her own — including getting physical with men on WWE's main roster, a big no-no until very recently. In this exclusive interview with Wrestling Inc. Senior News Editor Nick Hausman, conducted the day before WWE Royal Rumble, Yim opens up about her return to WWE, possibly wrestling in NJPW, and more!


Nick Hausman: A lot of people are wondering now, should they call you Mia Yim or Michin? Which do you prefer right now?

Mia Yim: I'm okay with either. I've been responding to both, and my mom's been calling me Michin since I was a kid, so it's whatever you're comfortable with, I'll be comfortable with.


How cool is it to have that come over into your WWE career?

My mother's Korean, so it's not technically a nickname, but she would always call me and my sister "Michin." So now that it's a thing on WWE, she is so excited. I picked her up yesterday and she was just like, "Oh, Michin." I was like, "Yeah, yeah. I know."

Oh man. When your mom's a fan, that's great. A lot of parents get really worried when their kids get into pro wrestling.

Oh my goodness, they were not happy when I first started.

Oh, no?

No. It was the exact opposite of what they are now.

Well, it's good that you've won them over. I mean, you've had such a career. I mean, a lot of people know you before WWE with the work you did with Impact and elsewhere, and it's so cool now to see you alongside the OC, some really legitimate talent. I mean, you're talking Karl Anderson, AJ Styles.



How did this come together? What was it like with you getting paired with these guys? How'd that all happen?

What's funny is we've worked together before for years, but never actually worked together. So we would always share the same locker rooms. We would be traveling together. We were Impact together. And it was just, "Hey, how are you?" "Good." "All right, I'll talk to you later." But then now with the whole Judgment Day in Rhea, it was really flattering when they wanted me to be a part of the group to help them. And it was like, out of everyone, they're picking me? And in my mind I'm like, "Oh, we're acquaintances." But the fact that they brought me in and immediately made me feel like part of the family was so sweet of them.

Decision To Return To WWE

It's definitely a change of pace from Retribution, I'll say that much. And you left after Retribution, you've come back. Obviously there was a bit of a change with Triple H coming in. What did he say to you to convince you that now is it's going to be okay, I'm going to come back, I'm going to get everything I always wanted from this company? How did those conversations go?


Well, you just said it. He said, "It's going to be okay. It's going to be good." And honestly, with my experience with Triple H and Stephanie before, and "NXT" — I trust him, I believe him, and I know he really does his best to listen to us, to make us feel seen and heard. So I had no doubt in my mind once he wanted me to come back, it was like, "Okay, I know I'm in good hands."

And you are getting some real opportunities right now. One of the things I think has been so fun is you get to do some intergender wrestling right now.

Oh my goodness, yeah.

Right? Something that was banned on WWE TV for so long. What's it mean for you to be a part of this, you and Rhea, bringing it back, get to tangle with the guys again?


I love it. Intergender Wrestling has been a part of me for as long as I've... since I've started. I've been doing it for years. And even just the little stuff, it might not be what I used to do in the independents or in Impact, but just the little stuff, it just means so much to me that I get to go with the boys and hang with them.

How do the guys feel about that? Are they like, "Throw me off something?" Are they excited to make you look like the baddest woman on the planet? Even badder than Ronda Rousey, something like that?



They're just excited, if not more than us.

Dream NJPW Match

"WWE Raw XXX," what a big show. I don't know if you saw, but the Bella Twins have been out there saying they're a little disappointed in how the women were represented on that show. Do you want to respond to anything they've been saying about that?


I don't really have a response. I respect the Bellas. I think what they've done for the company, for the business, has been a big positive change towards women's wrestling. So I will stand by what they say.

Talk about a time for women's wrestling. I mean, you're with the OC. Karl Anderson's been to New Japan. AJ obviously has ties with New Japan. New Japan finally embracing women's wrestling, right? Is that something you want?

Oh my gosh.

You're watching the boys get to have that forbidden door open with WWE, are you itching to get over there and jump in the ring?

I am. I've wrestled in Japan many, many times, but I've always wanted to wrestle for New Japan. So that is on the bucket list. So AJ, Karl, make sure you bring me next time. I'm still offended you didn't.


So I'm guessing that Mia Yim versus Mercedes Moné match, is that what you would like to maybe happen over there, or no?

Definitely a dream match, for sure.