In an interview with The NewsHub, Gail Kim spoke about her first TNA run, if the promotion gave divas a chance and more. Here are highlights:
On training under Ron Hutchison, Rob Etcherverria and Dave ‘Fit’ Finley: “Ron was the first person that I went to and trained with and obviously a lot of people associate him training Edge and Christian, Trish Stratus, many great Canadian wrestlers so I knew that was the place to be. He really taught me psychology and taught me the basics and taught me right. A lot of wrestling schools would grab the student and say hey you can learn this cool move and do a moonsault your first month in and he really just pump trained us on the basics in terms of psychology and train wrestling and after we moved onto the more advanced stuff and he was a great trainer. When I trained with Rob and I was a student of his (Ron) and Rob decided later on to open up his own school and he favored the Mexican style of wrestling, the Lucha style also I took a liking to that as well. Once I had enough experience where I could have matches, pretty much a year after that I could be fearless with Rob and he was very supportive towards the women.
When I joined the WWE, Dave “Fit” Finley was our first agent that we worked with all the time and he brought in another form of aggression in me. I was very green when I started but he always said to me, “you need to be more aggressive”. I thought I was being aggressive but he was would say “no, more aggressive” and then more aggressive. I think each one of them gave me a little piece of who I am today and I think if you were to ask any of the women that I work with I think that is one of the things that they’ll acknowledge about me is that I like to be physical and I’ve become more aggressive. I think each one of them (Ron, Rob and Dave) you’ll see a part of me when I wrestle.”
On her initial run with TNA and the decision to be aligned with America’s Most Wanted: “He (Scott D’Amore) said we want to build the women’s division and but the only thing is we only have an hour of programming and realistically it won’t happen for a little while and he said we want to bring you in and we want you to manage and they wanted to give me a prominent role, this was Jeff Jarrett and America’s Most Wanted and I said oh, I’d love to do that and I did that for over a year and that was really fun. All the guys in that company were always so supportive of the women including women. Sometimes you may see back in the day women come down there and really do nothing and hope to be a part of and get camera time. They always included me and then eventually me just having a passion for the sport of wrestling was very hard for me to just stand on the outside and watch the guys do what I’ve loved and eventually I said, ‘you know guys’ you said that you wanted to have a women’s division and I’ve been waiting and you know I just can’t wait anymore so luckily Jeff (Jarrett) said can you work with Jackie Moore and I said yeah, absolutely.
I can work with whoever you want me to work with she’s absolutely amazing and the toughest women I’ve been in the ring with so we just had some amazing catfights as you would call them, physicality and people loved it and people were like oh, holy crap these girls are beating the crap out of each other and so just went slowly with Jackie and brought in Jamie D from the Independents and they would bring in girls slowly one at a time and then all of a sudden they said they wanted to bring in a title and bring in 10 girls and it was just a success overnight virtually and it just happened so perfectly I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
On whether or not TNA iMPACT! Wrestling capitalized on #GiveDivasAChance: “I don’t think it’s ever really changed. The true wrestling fans that watch TNA Impact, I think they’ve always known. I don’t want to say they take it for granted in anyway but they always just know that TNA and Impact Wrestling are going to give them women’s wrestling. It’s almost like they want to see it in the WWE and this is why they are so vocal as well. I don’t know if anything really changed. I think we’ve always been strong with women’s wrestling and I think the fans have always known that. I think that’s a lot of the reason why they would tune in from the feedback I get from it through social media or meeting fans or that’s one of the things that I think that they love is that they would always say Impact Wrestling treats the women really well and one of the reasons they love watching it is because the women’s actually wrestle. I’m just glad when I was fighting for us to wrestle I would always have people tell me Gail, women’s wrestling is for the bathroom breaks, you know they really don’t want to see it. I would get discouraged a little bit but I was very adamant so I’m glad that we girls proved them wrong.”