Former Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion Mia Yim, also known as Jade in Impact, recently spoke to TVInsider.com about competing in the upcoming WWE Mae Young Classic tournament.
Hoping to surprise people in this year's Mae Young Classic:
“I feel like the game has been upped. There was a lot of good women last year, but now this year they are bringing in girls like Meiko Satomura. There are a lot of good girls in this year’s competition. I’m actually happy for that people may think they know what to expect, considering what I did last year. I learned so much new stuff… I don’t want to be specific with it. I’m hoping people underestimate me and have an expectation of me from last year, so I can surprise them that much more.”
Having to take time off from wrestling due to a leg injury last year:
“I’m so used to traveling every weekend. For the first time since I started wrestling, I’ve had this long length of time of not doing anything and being home while everyone else is traveling. It was depressing. It felt like I was forgotten. Thankfully, I had my best friend Blake [Thomas] at the time to keep me uplifted and telling me, ‘This is the perfect time to work on the things you didn’t have time to work on before because you were so busy traveling.’
“Whether it be learning to up my makeup game or learning how to fix my hair… even Shelton [Benjamin] would tell me, since I wasn’t doing anything, to maybe go on Accutane to fix my skin. Work on new gear, character work. Both of them were telling me, since I had a lot of down-time, to work on my character.
“It’s my time. I’m going to make sure people notice me. That’s when the ‘Blasian Baddie’ character was created. Blake helped me stay on track and make sure I didn’t get in a hole.”
Having support from Jessamyn Duke and current NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler:
“Thank God I had Shayna [Baszler] and Jess helping me around. Taking me to the gym, making sure I was on top of my PT and being around me when I felt like I was alone. Having them here, making me laugh… Both of them made sure all my business was handled. Even helping me take care of my dog. It really made us a family.
"Even now they are pushing me telling me, ‘You’re going to get signed next. We want to help you get there next.’ We all try to support each other no matter what it is. With my family being in D.C. and California, best friend in Baltimore, it’s nice to have family here.”