Exclusive: Gail Kim talks about retiring as Champion, 2019's potential HoF inductees & more
Gail Kim may have retired from active competition, but she's still very much a part of the Knockouts Division in a backstage role, as an agent. I had the good fortune of catching up with the Impact Wrestling Hall of Famer during Impact Wrestling's weekly Media Pass teleconference.
Kim was introduced as the greatest Knockout ever by the host, Ross Forman, and it is hard to argue with him if you look at her credentials. Not only did she fight for the Knockouts to become an important part of Impact Wrestling, but her accolades also speak for themselves.
When Gail Kim retired from the ring as Knockouts Champion, she had held the title 7 times already! I had a chance to ask her a few questions and here they are for your reading pleasure.
As a proud Impact Wrestling Hall of Famer, who would you say deserves to go in this year?
Kim: Oh boy, that's a hard one. Well, there's a lot of obvious picks. They might be in different companies so I don't know if it can happen but obviously, AJ Styles might be the Number 1 top pick for most fans, wrestlers, co-workers, and companies. I mean he is outstanding and has proven himself to be an MVP throughout all his years in wrestling.
So, that would probably be the top pick. Awesome Kong could be a good one if you're going to pick a female. I'd say it would be AJ or Awesome Kong. I would pick one male and one female.
Ross Forman: Riju, who would you pick?
Me: Probably the same choices (laughs).
Forman: No one else? You have a whole roster of people!
Me: So when Abyss was on the podcast, he nominated Mike Tenay as his pick...
Kim: Mike Tenay. Oh yeah, that's a good one. You know what it is? I think when you hear that question your mind automatically goes to wrestlers. But you're right. There are a lot of people who contributed to the company and Mike Tenay I would not object. He deserves it 100%. He's amazing. I wish he was still in wrestling right now.
Ross began the call by calling you the Greatest Knockout ever. How was it retiring as the Knockouts Champion after so many successful reigns?
Kim: Oh wow. I'm just truly grateful that I got the closure to my wrestling active career that I wanted. I think that a lot of wrestlers don't get to achieve that. They don't get to maybe go out the way they wanted.
Or maybe sometimes people have careers where it's ended abruptly by an injury. Or some other reason.
So, I'll always be appreciative that I got to end my career just on a great note. And with feeling calm and satisfied. So, I really hope for all the wrestlers out there that they can have the same.
And what's your opinion on Taya Valkyrie carrying your legacy forward?
Kim: Oh my god, I absolutely love it. Taya is a fellow Canadian. She has been wrestling for a long time. She has paid her dues. She was trained by Lance Storm. She went down to Mexico and lived there for five years. I mean she is fluent in Spanish. She's just come so far and she was kinda far away from us this past year because of some issues with travel and immigration.
But when she came back, I have to tell you that she came back as a new woman. I was really excited to see her and she has blown us all away. I mean the fact that she has become the Knockouts Champion in such a short time since her return says a lot. And I am really excited to see her in 2019. And I think it's going to be her year.
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