|Birth name||Ivelisse Milagro Vélez|
|Born||September 21, 1987|
Ponce, Puerto Rico
|Residence||Tampa, Florida, United States|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Ivelisse |
|Billed height||5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)|
|Billed weight||115 lb (52 kg)|
|Billed from||Chicago, Illinois|
San Juan, Puerto Rico
|Trained by||Carlos Colón, Sr.|
Steve "Boz" Boniak
Ivelisse Milagro Vélez (born September 21, 1987) is a Puerto Rican professional wrestler under the ring name Ivelisse, where she once held the Lucha Underground Trios Championship, with Son of Havoc and Angélico. Vélez also works in the independent circuit, most notably for Shine Wrestling, where she is the current three-time Shine Champion, and a former one-time Shine Tag Team Champion.
In 2011, Vélez appeared on WWE Tough Enough, a reality show produced by WWE. She didn't win, but the promotion signed her to a developmental contract. Between 2011 and 2012 Vélez worked under the ring name Sofia Cortez in WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling as well as NXT.
Professional wrestling career
Vélez began training to be a wrestler at the age of fourteen, in Puerto Rico. Soon after, she debuted in World Wrestling Council. She subsequently wrestled in the International Wrestling Association. After gaining experience, she began wrestling in the United States, beginning on the Chicago independent circuit and continuing her training under Steve "Boz" Bozniak of Chicago Style Wrestling.
Tough Enough (2011)
In March 2011, Vélez was announced as one of the fourteen contestants for the fifth season of WWE Tough Enough. On the May 10 episode, she was eliminated from the competition due to a leg injury. After being eliminated, on November 11, Vélez was signed to a developmental contract with WWE.
Florida Championship Wrestling (2011–2012)
She was assigned to WWE's then-developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), and made her debut under the ring name Sofia Cortez at an FCW house show in a six-woman tag team match, teaming with Cameron Lynn and Audrey Marie to defeat Caylee Turner, Leah West and Raquel Diaz. She made her televised debut on the December 25 episode of FCW TV, teaming with Turner to defeat Cameron Lynn and Kaitlyn. On the March 11 episode of FCW TV, Cortez formed a villainous stable dubbed The Anti-Divas, consisting of Paige and Raquel Diaz, with the trio attacking Audrey Marie. The following week on FCW TV, Cortez and Paige and lost to Marie and Kaitlyn.
WWE went on to re-brand FCW into NXT. Cortez's NXT television debut took place on the July 4 episode of NXT, taped at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, where she defeated Paige. On the July 25 episode of NXT, Cortez defeated WWE main roster Diva Natalya by count-out, but suffered a post-match attack from Natalya. In August 2012, Vélez announced that she had been released from her WWE contract. Her final match saw her lose to Tamina Snuka, taped before her release.
During a May 2015 podcast with Vince Russo, Vélez alluded that her reporting Bill DeMott to the offices as a highly probable reason for her being released from WWE, and that she was one of the first to report DeMott for mistreatment.
Independent circuit (2012–present)
On October 4, 2012, Vélez debuted at Family Wrestling Entertainment (FWE)'s pay-per-view Back 2 Brooklyn, as a special guest along with former WWE Diva Maryse Ouellet. Velez established herself as a villainess and delivered a promo about her dislike for "Divas" and her mission to make a statement. Later in the event, Vélez attacked Katarina Leigh after she and Maria Kanellis were defeated by The Beautiful People (Angelina Love and Velvet Sky).
In December, Vélez was revealed as the newest member of the Los Perros del Mal stable. Vélez made her debut as a representative of the stable on January 1, 2013, at a Perros del Mal independent event, where she teamed with Cósmico and Eita to defeat Celestial, Flamita and Sexy Lady. On April 21, Vélez defeated Alissa Flash to win the PWR Women's Championship. On May 11, she re-lost the title to Flash, who now works under the ring name Cheerleader Melissa.
On November 28, 2014, Vélez made her debut for the Mexican promotion Lucha Libre AAA World Wide (AAA), teaming with Faby Apache to defeat Sexy Star and Taya. Vélez worked the match as a fan favorite, opposite Taya, a representative of Los Perros del Mal, a stable she herself once represented.
Vélez debuted in Shine Wrestling at Shine 5 on November 16, 2012, where she was defeated by Athena. At Shine 6, on January 11, 2013, Vélez defeated Su Yung. Later that night, the formation of the stable Valkyrie was revealed, consisting of Vélez, Rain, Allysin Kay, Taylor Made and April Hunter. At Shine 8, on March 23, Vélez and the rest of Valkyrie defeated the team of Amazing Kong, Angelina Love, Mia Yim and Christina Von Eerie. At Shine 9 on April 19, Vélez was defeated by Jazz in a Shine Championship tournament qualifying match. On January 24, 2014, Vélez defeated Rain to win the Shine Championship. Following the match, Valkyrie turned on Vélez and kicked her out of the stable. Vélez went on to defend and successfully retain the championship against the likes of Mercedes Martinez, Leva Bates and Jazz for both Shine pay-per-views and other promotion events. At Shine 20, she defended her championship against Serena Deeb and wrestled to a one-hour time limit draw. On November 16, 2014, during Shine's parent company WWNLive's tour of China, Vélez lost the Shine Championship to Mia Yim.
At Shine 30 on October 2, 2015, Vélez returned to Shine and defeated Thunderkitty. At Shine 35 On June 17, 2016, Ivelisse won the Shine Championship for the second time by winning a four-way match involving Shine Champion Taylor Made, Shimmer Champion Madison Eagles and TNA Knockouts Champion Allysin Kay.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2012–2013)
On October 11, 2012, Vélez had a tryout match for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), competing against Tara in a losing effort. On February 24, 2013, it was reported that Vélez would be competing in a TNA Gut Check match, in which she defeated Lei'D Tapa on the February 28 episode of Impact Wrestling. On the March 7 episode of Impact Wrestling, Vélez was eliminated from TNA Gut Check, and therefore failed to earn a contract with the promotion.
Vélez returned to TNA in 2013 at One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown, where she lost to Lei'D Tapa. She also appeared at TNA One Night Only: World Cup of Wrestling as part of team Aces & Eights, along with D.O.C., Knux, Mr. Anderson and Wes Brisco. Vélez defeated Team USA's Mickie James, with help from Aces & Eights, to advance to the finals, where team Aces & Eights were defeated by Team USA.
Lucha Underground (2014–2019)
Vélez debuted on the November 5, 2014, episode of Lucha Underground, simply as Ivelisse, teaming with Son of Havoc in a loss to Sexy Star and Chavo Guerrero Jr. Ivelisse, Havoc and Angélico went on to form an alliance, and on February 8, 2015, the trio won a tournament to become the inaugural Lucha Underground Trios Champions. On the February 18 episode of Lucha Underground, Ivelisse earned her first singles victory against Angélico. During the time Ivelisse, Havoc and Angélico held the championships, they defended and successfully retained them against The Crew (Cortez, Castro and Bael) in a ladder match on the May 20 episode of Lucha Underground, and against Cage, DelAvar Daivari and Big Ryck on the June 3 episode, despite Ivelisse suffering from a legitimate foot injury. On July 29, at Ultima Lucha Part 1, they lost the championships to The Disciples of Death (Barrio Negro, Trece and El Sinestro de la Muerte), due to interference from Catrina.
On the Lucha Underground season 2 premiere on January 27, 2016, Ivelisse defeated Son of Havoc and Angélico to earn a Lucha Underground Championship match against Mil Muertes, but failed to capture the championship. At Ultima Lucha Dos Part 3, Catrina cost Ivelisse her match against Taya and then delivering the Lick of Death to Ivelisse. On the first episode of Lucha Underground Season 3, Ivelisse challenged Catrina to a match in Lucha Underground at Ultima Lucha Tres. At part 2 of Ultima Lucha Tres, Ivelisse defeated Catrina by pinfall.
In January 2019, Vélez stated Lucha Underground would not release her from her contract despite there being no firm plans for a new season, and she had been trying to get a release for over a year. She was released on March 26, 2019.
All Elite Wrestling (2019)
Ivelisse was part of AEW Women's Casino Battle Royal at AEW All Out on August 31, 2019, not being able to win it.
Class action lawsuit against Lucha Underground
On February 6, 2019 it was reported that Ivelisse, Joey Ryan, Melissa Cervantes and Jorge Luis Alcantar (El Hijo del Fantasma/King Cuerno) had collectively filed a class-action lawsuit in California against the El Rey Network and the Baba-G production company behind Lucha Underground. The group claimed that their Lucha Underground contracts were not legal under California law, unfairly restricting their ability to work in their chosen profession.
Championships and accomplishments
- Family Wrestling Entertainment
- Lucha Underground
- Pro Championship Wrestling
- PCW Women's Championship (2 times)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Pro Wrestling Revolution
- PWR Women's Championship (1 time)
- Shine Wrestling
- Title Match Wrestling Network
- LNO Championship (1 time, current)
- World Wrestling League
- Wrestling Superstar
- Wrestling Superstar Women's Championship (1 time)
- Other titles
- VWAA Women's Championship (3 times)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
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