Interview: Gail Kim discusses Cornette-Santino controversy, Rosemary-Sexy Star incident & more
After a storied career that inspired many women to pursue their professional wrestling dreams, Gail Kim announced her retirement from the ring, not long ago. She returns to her native land of Canada to compete at Bound for Glory, in what will be one of the final matches of her career.
Gail Kim was very introspective, as she answered my questions and that of other journalists during the weekly Impact Wrestling Conference Call. Here are the major highlights.
Do you think what is being described as 'The Women's Revolution' worldwide is something that began with the Knockouts, and is something that the Knockouts do not get enough credit for?
Gail Kim: Oh yeah. I've spoken about this before and everyone has their opinions. There were so many points when women's wrestling was strong. When I started with WWE, they had a strong women's division. But what I was referring to was 'The Impact Knockouts Revolution'.
At the time when we did it, there was no women's wrestling on television that was at the forefront. It was literally like women's wrestling was dead for a while, and it was very frustrating for me because I always loved the sport of wrestling. I did the manager thing for over a year.
At first, I was just patient and happy to be back in the company where I felt passion again, but after a while, it felt like I was wasting my time and I didn't want to waste my talent because of what happened to me previously. I felt like time was ticking. So, Impact gave us that opportunity and has pretty much never stopped.
So, I sometimes feel like they don't get the credit they deserve because they started this women's wrestling movement and it's never stopped. We've gone through ups and down and of course, rebuilding stages, but it's never stopped and they've always believed in the women.
That's why I've always felt very loyal to this company. Because they gave us a chance and even if we disappointed at times because we are not perfect, they just kept rolling with it. So, if we have contributed to the whole big picture of women's wrestling today then I'm very happy.
Is there another Knockout that deserves to be in the Impact Hall of Fame? What's the first thought that comes to your mind?
Gail Kim: Well, the first thought that comes to my mind obviously is Awesome Kong. I have nothing but the deepest respect for her. We just had unbelievable chemistry, unbelievable deep respect for one another to this day. She was my partner throughout. Fans will come up to me. Sometimes I think back and am like, wow, that was ten years ago.
For the fact that fans still love it and remember it, that's what's special to both of us.
What's your take on Rosemary as a character, and what went down between her and Sexy Star?
Gail Kim: Rosemary, I love her. Number one, I think she's just well rounded in every way. She's polished in her character, her promo work, her in-ring work. She's just very good. I love that she's different.
With regard to what happened with her and Sexy Star, whether it's her...it could be anyone, a male wrestler or a female wrestler, that's just something you don't do. A well known unwritten law. You need to take care of your partner in the ring and trust one another because we literally put our lives in each other's hands.
You know, you have to be trained, and you have to be smart and you have to be careful. I hope that Sexy Star learns her lesson. I don't know what's going on with her right now but I lost a lot of respect for her.
Did you see the recent stand-off between Jim Cornette and Santino, and what was your take on it?
Gail Kim(bursts out laughing): Yes, someone actually did show me that video. It's like high school I guess. I mean you're going to have your group of friends, the people you get along with and the people that you're tight with. Then at the same time, you may not agree with some people.
So, I don't know their personal matter. I know that I get along with both of them. I like both individuals. So I don't like to see when two people don't get along that I like. Like I said, it's none of my business. I don't know what exactly happened there. For me, I'm sad that they don't get along.
We also had a chance to talk to Josh Mathews about the passing of Bobby Heenan and Lance Russell, and he said that while he was deeply saddened, they will live through their voice. Catch both Gail Kim and Josh Mathews on Impact Wrestling, live on Sony ESPN.
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