Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Reposting My First Interview with Mia Yim: Feb. 17, 2010

February 17, 2010 
David Falcon's interview with Indy wrestler Mia Yim.  At this point Mia was still only 20 years old and had been wrestling for about six months. 
All Photos by David Falcon are in high resolution (click to enlarge)

Mia Yim
Photo by Walter Lippmann

  DF:  You have said elsewhere that your dad got you watching wrestling when you were 8 and you got "hooked."  What hooked you?  Was it a particular wrestler or a match or something else?
Mia:  I was always a tomboy, and seeing the intensity in the ring between two competitors is what hooked me.  I also loved the athleticism involved. 
 DF:  Was there a wrestler that you idolized before you went to training school at 18?
Mia:  As a female, it was always Lita. I wanted to be just like her cause she would always hang with the guys. She could carry her own weight even if she was in the ring with a guy and that’s what I wanted to do. She proved that you don’t always have to do bikini contests or mud wrestling as a female in the business. I also liked The Rock ‘cause he was sexxxxxy!!!!

Lita on the mic @ WWE

 DF:  How long did you train before stepping in the ring?  And what was the most important single lesson you learned from your training?
Mia:  I trained a year before I had my first show. I wanted to really make sure I was ready. The most important lesson I learned (and still learning) is to pump up the crowd.
 DF:  That’s interesting, since the important lesson was a psychological one, a one tied to the persona you portray in the ring.  What was the most important physical or technical lesson you learned?
Mia:  Chaining.  Not a lot of females know how to chain, so I like to think learning
 to chain, especially as a female, is very critical to learn in the business. It is       
 what separates you from the Eye Candy to Wrestler.

Angel Dust with boot choke on Mia Yim
Photo by David Falcon

DF:  What is the most surprising aspect of the wrestling business that you did not realize prior to launching your career?
Mia:  No lie, but the friends I have made. My previous trainer always told me that in the business, it’s always going to be me, myself, and I, and I shouldn’t trust anyone (the fact that he was my ex-boyfriend might have played a role in that) but honestly, I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for the friends that I have made that helped push for me and encourage me.
  DF:  I assume most of those friends are wrestlers and promoters; do you include fans among the “friends” you have met in the business?
Mia:  Yes, like yourself,  lol!
DF:  Sorry, I wasn't fishing for a compliment :)

Sara Del Rey has Mia in a tough spot

 DF:  You have had some of your best matches with Sara del Rey; she must be a great mentor.  What is the most helpful thing she taught you -- in the ring?  Outside the ring?
Mia:  Well, let’s just say that I get my kicks from her. I will always remember her saying “Do not strike like you’re a girl” which influenced me. She also would give me tips and advice after a match so the next match would be even better.

 DF:  That’s cool.  Has she taught you anything about how to market yourself or how to deal with people in the business?
Mia:  Not so much so, just because I rarely see her and whenever I do see her, it is for a quick minute or so  (whenever we both have free time)

Mia whips Annie Social across ring
Photo by David Falcon

DF:  How are you able to generate so much heat with Annie Social?
Mia:  I think it’s because we are so much alike from our style, our swag, and our abilities. I like to think it’s similar to sibling rivalry. 
DF:  What are you learning about the "psychology" of a match -- building interest and emotional connection to the story of rivalry, alliance and betrayal in wrestling?
Mia:  Oh wow, I am still learning the psychology today! I remember the first day in training was just about psychology. A match would be shit if it didn’t make sense.

 DF:  It is a huge part of what successful wrestlers bring to the ring.  By having a match “make sense” do you mean the way a particular match builds from the opening bell to the finish -- through ups and downs, dominance and near falls -- to a particular climactic, believable finish OR do you mean the larger meta-narrative of the “angle,” the back-story, the history between the wrestlers, the fact that this match is an episode in a larger story?
Mia:  Both.  You have to create a story regardless of in-ring move-set, or out of the ring angle.  A story where the fans can follow and understand.

DF:  What is the most challenging physical aspect of wrestling?
Mia:  Getting over fears. Anybody can do anything; it’s just that they are scared to do it. Along with working with someone who shouldn’t even be in the ring in the first place, cause it takes your physical ability and you have to make up for their LACK or physical ability.
DF:  You have clearly conquered a number of fears because you do things in the ring that most guys and girls would never dream of doing.  What was the scariest fear you had to overcome to wrestle at the level you do now?
Mia:  Because I also play collegiate volleyball, I fear getting injured every time I step into the ring, as it would ruin my volleyball career. As of now, Volleyball is the way I got into college, if it wasn’t for volleyball, I highly doubt I would have even been looked at as a prospering student. So getting injured and having to stop my volleyball career would ruin my college career.
Mia #14 with Marymount teammate

Mia Spikes for Marymount University

 DF:  You have said that you love Hurricanranas.  We all love your "kick me goodnight!" finisher to the head of an opponent.  What move do you want to master that you currently do not use?
Mia:  I honestly want to master the Tornado DDT. Still learning, just need to make a few tweaks before bringing it into the ring.
 DF:  Very Cool.  I can’t wait to see that!
Mia:  I can't wait to show it off. I have to perfect it before bringing it in the ring J

Mia with some young fans
Photo by David Falcon

DF:  What was the biggest thrill you've had in the ring?
Mia:  Being blessed to wrestle is a thrill for me, especially being behind the curtain about to go out. But the biggest thrill was probably being given the opportunity to work with Sara Del Ray and getting a “Me So Horny” chant. That was pretty cool!
DF:  What was the biggest disappointment you've had?
Mia:  Going to a show, and at the last minute being told that I will be doing a little eye-candy bikini contest rather than an actual match.

DF:  What non-wrestling athlete do you admire most?  Why?
Mia:  My boyfriend, Ricky. He is a football player with the position of DL. He is also deaf. Meeting him and his family and learning about his life growing up made me admire him even more. Being deaf and being able to play collegiate football, he had to go through obstacles and hardships with judgmental and arrogant bastards who didn’t understand. He is very strong, emotionally and physically. I admire him because nothing stands in the way of him doing what he wants to do.
 DF:  Thanks for sharing that.  Please give Ricky my best!

Mia gives Ricky a kiss
Photo by David Falcon
DF:  What female wrestler working today do you admire most?  Why?
Mia:  Sara Del Ray because she is an actual WRESTLER. She doesn’t deal with bullshit stereotypical female eye candy stuff. She is a hard worker.

DF:  What do you like most about your fans?  Does anything that fans do annoy you?
Mia:  I like that they support me (Like yourself) and have my back. I would be nothing without fans. Nothing really annoys me about them; I just wish they would stop taking pictures of my butt when I’m not looking…

Mia feeling the effects of a brutal match
Photo by David Falcon

DF:  You're kidding, I hope J  You know, taking pictures of your butt, whether you’re looking or not, is a compliment to you!
Mia:  Ha ha  very  true!

 DF:  When you make it to one of the big promotions, who would you most like to wrestle?
Mia:  I would love to wrestle Amazing Kong or Beth Phoenix

DF:  You have the potential to be a "face" or a "heel"; which of the two do you enjoy most?  Do you think you could ever do a hardcore match
Mia:  I like being heel because it’s always fun to be a bitch. I would do a hardcore match to an extent. Ladders and chairs and tables are fine. But I don’t think I will be doing any thumbtacks, barbed wire, and glass anytime soon…
DF:  If you had a free month and the money to do it, would you go to ..Japan.. or ....Mexico.... to gain experience in different styles of wrestling?  Why?
Mia:  Oh hell yea I would defiantly go. I mean why wouldn’t I? To have the opportunity to go to another country and learn brand new styles and techniques.
DF:  I guess I assumed you would seize the opportunity.  My question is really which place would you choose to go if you could only go to one place, and why?  Lucha Libre and Joshi Puroresu styles are both awesome, I’m not sure which one you want to explore and master?
Mia:  Japan! Just because I feel that their style will go best with my persona and the direction I am heading with my own style.
DF:  You have Korean and black heritage -- an exotic mix.  Interestingly pro wrestling is not big in Korea, and yet Koreans from North America seem to enjoy wrestling.  WWE diva Gail Kim is a case in point.  What is your opinion about Gail? 
Mia:  She is very beautiful, and seems to know her stuff in the ring. She has history in WWE and TNA, so she obviously knows the ins and outs of the business. I have respect for her.

Gail Kim is victorious

DF:  Good point.  Gail is a lot different from Lita, but I think you do have to respect her skills and her professionalism.  Her TNA matches with Awesome Kong were pretty epic too!

Mia greeting her fans at JAPW show
Photo by David Falcon

DF:  Where will we see Mia Yim in five years?
Mia:  Hopefully, with a College degree and still wrestling, either as a big name in the Indy’s or on TV somewhere J
 DF:  What advice would you give to a 16 year-old girl out there who hopes to wrestle someday?
Mia:  All my life, I have been discouraged from wrestling by my friends and family. If YOU want to wrestle, then go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. If they do tell you that, do it anyways to prove that you CAN do it and shove it in their faces.  That’s what I am doing ^.^

DF:  Is there anything else you'd like to say?
Mia:  Thank you for this interview, it was really fun. Love you guys!!! Sarang heh yo!

DF:  Mia, thanks for taking time to talk with me!  We love you too, Ahn Nyoung Girl! ;)

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