Lucha Tributes: Ivelisse
If you missed any of the previous Lucha Tributes, click below to check them out!
You guys are lucky I love you; I was considering starting this column off by quoting the Joker’s entire monologue from the latter half the first Batman movie (the one where he’s all “on the other hand he had a tremendous singing voice!” Classic). Alas, that would’ve made absolutely no sense, and thus we’re just going to dive right into this Lucha Tribute. Who are we talking about today? Why one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world, the bad ass to end all bad asses, the person who haunts Son of Havoc’s dreams like Hamlet Sr. haunted Hamlet Jr. Speaking of, why has there never been a luchador named Hamlet; seems like a winner. Alright, we’re back on track. Ladies, gentlemen, the dude with the Reject Reigns movement that really needs to just let things go, this is a Lucha Tribute for the love of Son of Havoc’s life and the “Baddest Bitch in the Building”, Ivelisse.
What You Already Know
I mean, shouldn’t we start with the obvious? We all know that Ivelisse is the “Baddest Bitch in the Building”, a) because I just said it literally five seconds ago and b) you all saw her prove it during season one of Lucha Underground. She began the season as the girlfriend/boss of Son of Havoc, a romance dudes and dudettes like us only dream about if we wished torture upon ourselves. Needless to say this wasn’t Joanie Loves Chachi, and the couple would very publicly (and for Havoc, successfully) split up during a Son of Havoc victory over some young whippersnapper named Angelico. Instead of then feuding with each other afterwards, El Jefe himself (the silver tongued devil he is) would put Ivelisse and Havoc together with the aforementioned Angelico , and thus the Greatest Trios Team (and most dysfunctional) to ever live was born. Against all odds and bickering all along the way, the three would go onto capture the Lucha Underground Trios Championships in one of the most spectacular nights of wrestling in 2015. The win made Ivelisse the first woman to hold a Lucha Underground Championship; it also sadly hobbled her for the rest of the season, as she suffered a (let’s see if I get this right) broken ankle during the epic victory. Despite that, she would continue to appear in every defense the rest of the way and the team would hold onto the titles until Ultima Lucha, where they were pretty much screwed out of them by the Disciples of Death. The Greatest Trios Team That Ever Lived has vowed to reclaim those titles and, unless I’m mistaken, it appears that Havoc and Ivelisse may have even rekindled their romance. I’m not sure whether to congratulate them or duck for cover.
What You Didn’t Know
Ivelisse isn’t just the “Baddest Bitch in the Building”; she’s the baddest bitch everywhere. Born in Puerto Rico (that’s right, she’s Puerto Rican. Raise your hands if you knew that!), Ivelisse got her start wrestling for the famous Carlos Colon run World Wrestling Council (WWC) in 2005 at the age of 17. Yup, she’s a ten year pro already. She bounced around between WWC and International Wrestling Association of Puerto Rico before finally coming to the States in 2008, primarily working indies in Illinois. She hasn’t slowed down since, and has had stints in EVOLVE, Shimmer, Perro Aguayo’s Perros del Mal promotion and AAA, where she teamed with Faby Apache to battle Sexy Star and Taya Valkyrie. Her most notable run, aside from Lucha Underground, has been with Shine, one of the top all female wrestling promotions in the US. Having worked there since 2013, Ivelisse has established herself as one of the promotions top stars, and was the second ever (and longest reigning) Shine Champion in company history. I told you she’s the baddest bitch everywhere!
And then there’s her work for the two biggest non Lucha Underground promotions in the US. While I didn’t include this in the first section, many of you are aware that Ivelisse was a member of the Steve Austin season of Tough Enough, and much like another former Tough Enough contestant turned Temple fighter Marty the Moth was booted out only because she was hurt. What you likely don’t know is that Ivelisse’s run with the WWE didn’t end there. Unlike other future LU stars that were on that Tough Enough season, Ivelisse actually signed a developmental deal with WWE and would work in both Florida Championship Wrestling and the earliest form of NXT in 2011/2012. The good news about this; she got to form a tag team with Paige and Eddie Guerrero’s daughter called the Anti-Diva Army, which sounds like the greatest idea for a stable ever (and a whole lot better than PCB or the Submission Sorority). The bad news; the WWE changed everything that made Ivelisse (or Sofia Cortez as she was called there) Ivelisse. A lot of her matches were kept really short and even more strangely, she had to dye her hair blonde. Don’t get me wrong, she still looked great, but the fact she had to do that strikes me as one of those weird WWE requests to try and make her have more sex appeal (in which case, really WWE? Did you not see how beautiful she was?). In any event, Ivelisse would eventually be released by WWE shortly after NXT would launch (in a podcast with Vince Russo last year, she attributed her release to speaking up about then head trainer Bill DeMott’s abusive ways) and she would wind up in TNA as a Gut Check contestant that same year. For some reason, TNA decided not to sign her, and yeah, I don’t get it either. Both WWE and TNA had one of, by my calculations, the five best women’s wrestlers in the world and they let her go? Red Skull, tell it like it is.
I’ll give you all two guesses but you’re only going to need one. Look at it this way; let this 1,000th viewing of Ivelisse, Angelic and Son of Havoc winning the Trios Championships serve as more evidence that watching Angelico soar like R. Kelly in that song from Space Jam will never, ever get old. Come to think of it, nothing from this match will ever get old. That’s why it’s here dammit!
How can you not love Ivelisse? She’s feisty, she’s charismatic, she’s a bad ass and she’s one of the best women’s wrestlers and all around performers out there in wrestling right now. She may not have the reputation of a Sasha Banks or Becky Lynch, but I guarantee if you put her in the same spotlight as those two, she would get just as much praise. And now we’re (hopefully) going to get to see her healthy for all of season two! In short, you shouldn’t just expect big things for Ivelisse; you should expect potential top star status for her. Her, Angelico and Havoc will be a big deal again come season two and may indeed regain those Trios Championships. A big time match with Catrina, hinted at during the tail end of season one, is money waiting to happen. And of course, there’s the big prize itself, the Lucha Underground Championship. I said it in my a few months back and I’ll say it again here; sooner or later, there will be a woman holding the top prize of the Temple. If I had to put my money on it, Ivelisse (or Sexy Star) will be that woman. It’s going to happen peeps; it’s going to happen.
And so the movie concludes. No guarantees, but I may be back later with that Lucha Underground Survival Guide I’ve been telling you guys about! If not, then expect it tomorrow, along with another Lucha Tribute. Till whenever, DUCHOVNY is out there.
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