Gail Kim is the first-ever Knockouts Champion, a Hall of Famer, and is among the most accomplished wrestlers in Impact Wrestling history.
Kim came on Bowks Talking Bouts to discuss Impact Wrestling’s twentieth anniversary and this stacked Slammiversary 2022 card on June 19th. An event headlined by Josh Alexander defending his Impact world title against former champion/ promotional stalwart Eric Young.
Excerpts from our chat are below.
Being involved in the announcement of Impact Wrestling’s first-ever Queen of the Mountain match
“King of the Mountain has been staple within TNA history, Impact history. So it just made sense. Just a couple months ago, the girls did their very first Ultimate X match. That was history in itself. Now they get to go on to the next thing. It just seemed like a natural progression. Even with the Ultimate X match, it was the girls really fighting for it and Scott (D’Amore), I remember they had the setup for the Ultimate X for the men at a TV taping one day. The girls were like ‘well, we want to do it too’.”
“Scott just watched each girl kind of prove themselves by climbing that structure. I was just standing there watching and was like ‘this is amazing’. These girls are fighting for what they want just like I did. Scott and the creative were like yeah, let’s do it. They had a lot of pressure on them but they delivered. Now obviously, it wasn’t even a doubt in creative’s mind to do this Queen of the Mountain match for such a special occasion like the twentieth anniversary. All the girls, all former Knockout world champions. I just saw the graphic the other day and I got chills.”
Gail Kim continued, “I was like oh my gosh, these girls are going to kill it. They’re all five fierce competitors. I really don’t know who’s going to win in this. I just know I already put the pressure on them. Was like, we’re going to steal the show. That’s the pressure. I want them to raise the bar and just step up. Walk away being the best match on the show.”
Kim’s most standout Slammiversary moment as an in-ring competitor
“For my personal self, I think I’ve blocked out everything else. You only have certain magical moments in your career. Definitely it would have to be Taryn Terrell, Last Knockouts Standing in Boston. It was just one of those matches where I think not a lot of people expected much. I knew Taryn’s strengths. She actually did stunt work outside of wrestling. She was just a very physical being. My whole career, I just always wanted to play to my opponent’s strengths. That night was truly magical. To this day, one of my favorite matches in my career.”
Gail Kim continued, “I always tell the girls, listen. Nowadays I’ve heard wrestlers say they work for just on social media. Where they just want to see a little replay of a move. I’m like what are you doing? You don’t work for moves and a little highlight. You want to work for lasting memories. Where fans ten, fifteen, twenty years from now will say do you remember that match? The fact that people can still come up to me and say that they love that match from 2013, it’s incredible. To have those lasting memories for myself and for the fans.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.