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Gail Kim talks upcoming TNA Hall of Fame induction, Maria Kanellis, Broken Matt Hardy & more



Former WWE Women’s Champion, former 5-time TNA Knockouts Champion and TNA Hall of Famer Gail Kim joined “Multi-time Award Winning” the Rack Thursday Night. In a nearly 15-minute interview, she talked about her initial reaction to being names as the TNA Hall of Fame, being the first Knockout selected for the Hall of Fame and the first Knockouts Champion, on being part of the early Women’s Revolution in TNA, her current role in and the status of the TNA Knockouts locker room, what’s next for her after Bound for Glory, her thoughts on ‘Broken’ Matt Hardy, what is her favorite dish that her husband Robert Irvine makes and much more.

What her initial reaction was to being named to the TNA Hall of Fame: “Well, they didn’t tell me. You guys all saw it with me on television; they tried to make it a surprise and it was kind of funny that day because they were trying to hide it and keep it secret. They were kind of making it obvious, but you just never know which way it’s going to go. It’s funny because I told the office after because they were like ‘Did you know? Did you know?’ and I said ‘Well, the signs were there because everyone from the office completely just ignored me all day.’ So, like I said, it was kind of obvious but you just never know. So, at that moment, when it was announced, I’m normally a calm, collected person emotionally, I think, and emotion overcame me and I pretty much cried, which I never do. It’s just very humbling and I’m just so grateful for that moment; it’s surreal.”

On being the first Knockout selected to the TNA Hall of Fame: “You don’t think about those things at the moment but when people say it to you, it’s almost like when I won the title the first time in both companies (TNA and WWE); it just happens so fast and you don’t have time to absorb it at that moment. You think about it and it’s mind-blowing how far I’ve come in this business and I’m happy at what I’ve accomplished in this business. If I had to walk away tomorrow, I’d be completely happy.”

What has it meant being the first Knockouts Champion and a standard bearer for the division: “That probably was the most meaningful series of events I guess you could say because you fight for so long for something and for it to come to fruition and successfully happen. It took a while for it to happen but when the division happened it was such a success almost, it seemed, overnight; you couldn’t ask for anything more. It’s like all your hard work and begging and fighting pays off and you can’t have a more satisfying feeling.”

On the ongoing Women’s Revolution in wrestling today and its start in TNA: “You know, it took some time and because, probably, we’re looked at as a smaller company, people might overlook that but TNA has always been, like I said, it took a little bit of pushing and begging and for them it wasn’t really about not wanting to do it; it was just more of a time issue. When I started with the company, I believe it was an hour show when I signed on and they just said we need to make time for it, there needs to be time for it and we’ve got to find the talent. It’s not going to be right away; and everybody wants everything now at this moment but to be a part of that. I remember that first day, with the girls who were there: Traci Brooks, Christy Hemme who was wrestling at that time, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky- I remember being so emotional and to look back, it’s like a blur now. Time just went by so fast. But I’m proud of everything we accomplished.”

What does she feel like her role is with the current TNA women’s roster: “I feel like my role is, I guess, I am more of a leader of the locker room, which comes with age and experience, right? I’m really lucky to have worked with girls who really trusted me, valued my opinion and normally, people think when you get a bunch of girls together, that it’s going to become a catty, competitive locker room; but the entire time, I mean obviously it’s almost kind of like high school, any work is, where you kind of have the friends you hang out with, and there might be ups and downs but overall I just found the Knockouts locker room, throughout all the years, just generally comes together because in the end we just wanted to produce the best product and that comes with supporting the other girls. In that ring, you need to be able to trust your opponent and it’s kind of like a dance- you’re putting your like in the hands of this person. So, at the end of the day, no matter what, we always respect each other and bring the best out of each other.”

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On her long history with Maria Kanellis-Bennett: “It’s been a long time, but throughout the years, the fans that, when a storyline has been going on and it takes this long; although she hurt her hand at Slammiversary, so that’s why it never really happened. But throughout the years, with Awesome Kong, Taryn Terrell and now Maria, I find that the fans are more emotionally invested when they take the time and invest in the story over time because people are now at the point where they just want to forget about the title and just want to see me kick her butt, you know? So it’s actually pretty amusing, I’m really looking forward to it and I don’t plan on disappointing the fans that night. The Knockouts Championship is always an important factor and I think it’s just double the pleasure now that I can finally get my hand on her and go for the title at the same time.”

What’s next for Gail Kim, after Bound for Glory: “You know, in terms of accomplishments and things like that, I feel like I’ve accomplished what I’ve wanted. I mean, the only other thing I can think of is going for another title that’s not even in the women’s realm, you know? But, the next thing for me, I would think, is I just really want to help the girls to be honest and it’s just such a whole new generation of girls that came in all at the same time: Jade, Sienna, Allie, Marti Bell- all of them came through the independents together, so it’s interesting to see their sisterhood. It reminds me when I first came into the company with Traci, Myself, Christy and reminds me of the same thing. I want to help rebuild this division and help them succeed as much as we did.”

On ‘Broken’ Matt Hardy and the Final Deletion: “We’ve all seen it and we always look forward to seeing the next thing in terms of Matt’s character. You know, they (Jeff and Matt Hardy) have been wrestling since they were teenagers so you’d never even expect to see them reinvent themselves; it’s like it’s never-ending reinvention. I mean, they live and breathe wrestling and it’s clear when they’re out there and performing.

When I first saw ‘Broken’ Matt Hardy, I thought to myself, ‘Umm…’. I actually said to Jeremy Borash ‘Why is he talking like that? Is he trying to make an accent and it’s coming out really bad?’ And then it kind of grows on you and it’s just funny as hell, at least for me. I think this is great for Matt Hardy and it’s probably one of the times I’ve seen him outshine his brother; they’re both great but right now, it’s Matt Hardy’s time I feel. It’s tremendous.”

You can follow Gail through her Twitter (@GailKimITSME) for her latest news and notes. You can follow Gail and the other stars of Impact Wrestling on POP TV, Thursday Nights at 8pm ET/7pm CT. Check your local cable listings for local times, channel availability as well as the latest card information. You can also see Gail as she fights for the Knockouts title versus Maria Kanellis-Bennett as well as the rest of the Impact Wrestling stars at TNA”s upcoming pay-per-view event, Bound for Glory, on Sunday, October 2nd at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT. Contact your local cable or pay-per-view provider for availability and time/cost information.

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