Ivelisse Milagro Vélez (September 21, 1987) is a Puerto Rican professional wrestler. In 2011, she was a contestant on WWE Tough Enough, but was eliminated from the competition due to injury. WWE signed her in November 2011 and Vélez adopted the ring name Sofia Cortez as she appeared in WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling as well as WWE NXT; Vélez was released from the WWE in August 2012.
Professional wrestling career
Vélez began her wrestling career at the age of fifteen in the island of 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, starting on the Chicago independent circuit. She was eventually noticed by WWE and sent to Florida Championship Wrestling for further evaluation. She continued to work the indy scene in the U.S. before signing a contract with WWE.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2011-2012)
Tough Enough (2011)
In March 2011, Vélez was announced as one of the fourteen contestants for the revival of Tough Enough. On the May 10 episode, she was eliminated from the competition due to an injury.
Florida Championship Wrestling (2011-2012)
After being cut from Tough Enough, on November 11, 2011, Vélez signed a contract with WWE. She made her debut under the name Sofia Cortez at a FCW house show in a 6-women tag team match, teaming with Cameron Lynn and Audrey Marie to defeat Caylee Turner, Leah West and Raquel Diaz. She made her television debut on the December 25 edition of FCW, teaming with Caylee Turner to defeat Cameron Lynn and Kaitlyn. On the February 5 episode of FCW television Cortez teamed with Raquel Diaz in a losing effort to the team of Audrey Marie and Kaitlyn. On the March 11 episode of FCW television, Cortez formed an alliance with Paige and Raquel Diaz, with the trio attacking Audrey Marie. The following week on FCW television, Cortez teamed up with Paige losing to Audrey Marie and Kaitlyn. Cortez and Paige dubbed themselves the Anti Diva Army.
In 2012, Vélez, as Sofia Cortez, debuted on the July 4 episode of the sixth season of WWE NXT taped at Full Sail University, where she (as a heel) defeated Paige. On the July 25 episode of NXT, Cortez (as a face) defeated 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. In her final match in WWE, Sofia reverted to her villainous persona in a loss to Tamina Snuka taped before her release.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2012, 2013)
On October 11, 2012, Velez had a tryout match for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling; a losing effort to Tara. Velez returned to TNA on the February 28, 2013 edition of Impact Wrestling; defeating Lei'D Tapa in a Gut Check Challenge match. Despite her victory, the Gut Check judges turned Velez down. Velez took part of the Knockouts Knockdown PPV on March 17, 2013 (aired September 6, 2013) in a losing effort to Tapa. The same night, Velez also took part in the World Cup of Wrestling PPV (aired December 6, 2013) as a villain representing the Aces & Eights in a victorious effort against Mickie James, who represented Team USA. In the 5-on-5 elimination match for the TNA World Cup, Velez was eliminated by James.
Shine Wrestling (2012-present)
Debut; Valkyrie (2012-2013)
On November 17, 2012, Ivelisse debuted for Shine Wrestling at SHINE 5 in a losing effort to Athena. After the match, Ivelisse attacked Athena in the ring, establishing herself as a villainous character. On January 11, 2013, Ivelisse defeated Su Yung and later took part in forming the Valkyrie faction along with Allysin Kay, Taylor Made, April Hunter, and their leader Rain. Ivelisse defeated LuFisto in a highly praised match at SHINE 7 on February 22, and was on the victorious end of an eight-woman tag team main event at SHINE 8 a month later. At SHINE 9, Ivelisse lost to Jazz in a match for a spot in the SHINE Championship Tournament, but she would defeat the debuting Amber O'Neal at SHINE 10 in May.
An Injury to Jazz and vacant spots left by Allysin Kay's suspension and Taylor Made gave Ivelisse a second chance to qualify for the SHINE Championship Tournament, which she did by defeating Amazing Kong, Angelina Love, and Kimberly in one of two four-way qualifying matches that took place at SHINE 11 on July 12. That same night, Ivelisse defeated Santana Garrett in the first round, but she lost to Mia Yim in the semifinals after Rain's attempt to interfere on Ivelisse's behalf backfired. At SHINE 12 on August 23, Ivelisse competed in a #1 Contender's three-way match against Yim and Jessicka Havok and lost to Havok. Ivelisse teamed up with the returning Allysin Kay in a victorious outing against Havok and Kong at SHINE 13 on September 27. She teamed up with Kay again at SHINE 14 on October 25 in a losing effort against the Global Green Gangsters (Kellie Skater and Tomoka Nakagawa) for the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship. Ivelisse defeated Mia Yim at SHINE 15 on December 13, and was named #1 Contender for the SHINE Championship at the end of the show.
SHINE Champion (2014-2015)
At SHINE 16 on January 24, 2014, Ivelisse defeated Rain to win the SHINE Championship, and after the match, she was attacked by Rain and the rest Valkyrie after being ousted from the faction, turning her into a babyface. Ivelisse was also attacked by the debuting Serena Deeb, who replaced her in Valkyrie. Ivelisse had her first title defense at SHINE 17 on February 28, defeating Mercedes Martinez. At SHINE 18 on April 18, Ivelisse defeated Saraya Knight to retain the title, and was again attacked by Valkyrie after the match. At SHINE 19 on May 23, Ivelisse participated in a 10-woman elimination tag team match, and was eliminated by Serena.
At SHINE 20 on June 27, Ivelisse competed to a time-limit draw against Serena in a match for the SHINE Championship. She defended her title successfully against Nevaeh at SHINE 21 on August 22 and against Madison Eagles at SHINE 22 on October 10. On November 16, 2014, Ivelisse lost the SHINE Championship to Mia Yim during WWNLive's tour of China.
Ivelisse confronted Mia Yim at SHINE 23 on December 5 before defeating Amanda Rodriguez via submission. She later saved La Rosa Negra from a post match attack from former Valkyrie cohort Taylor Made and got involved in the main event SHINE Championship match by attacking Nevaeh, causing Mia Yim to be disqualified. After the match, Ivelisse brawled with both women and attacked referees and Shine VP Lexie Fyfe, and had to be carried away by security.
At SHINE 27 on May 15, 2015, Ivelisse returned and challenged Santana Garrett to a match for the SHINE Championship. Ivelisse received her opportunity at SHINE 28 on July 24, but failed to capture the title after the referee stopped the match due to her ankle injury. After the match, Ivelisse refused to shake Santana's hand. At SHINE 29, Ivelisse and Amanda Rodriguez defeated Malia Hosaka and Thunderkitty.
SHIMMER Women Athletes (2014-present)
Lucha Underground (2014–present)
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. On February 8, 2015, Ivelisse, Son of Havoc and Angélico 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.
Velez played basketball and volleyball in high school. Before joining Tough Enough, she worked in Chicago as an assistant pet groomer.
- Dessert Eagle (Sunset flip powerbomb)
- Disdain (Wheelbarrow DDT)
- Front chancery transitioned into a DDT
- Guillotine choke
- Diving hurricanrana
- Flaming Arrow (Slingshot DDT)
- Roundhouse kick
- Scorpion Kick (Multiple martial arts kicks)
- Swinging hurricanrana
Championships and accomplishments
- World Wrestling League
- WWL Goddess Championship (1 time)
- Lucha Underground
- Lucha Underground Trios Championship (2 times) – with Angélico and Son Of Havoc
- Lucha Underground Trios Championship Tournament (2015) – with Angélico and Son of Havoc
- Pro Championship Wrestling
- PCW Women's Championship (2 times)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Pro Wrestling Revolution
- PWR Women's Championship (1 time)
- Other titles
- VWAA Women's Championship (3 time)