Four-time TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim took some time out for an exclusive interview and responded to a number of questions including how she began wrestling, the toughest opponent she's faced, the recent Bound For Glory pay-per-view and the return of the six-sided ring.
How did you begin in an industry extremely male dominated?
I was always a fan when I was growing up. I didn't think about it being male dominated. I just knew that I had a passion and I was going after my dream. It's actually funny because now I get on more with the guys. The roaster is like 80% guys and 20% girls but everybody is like family to me.
Was there a female wrestler you admired at the time you were making your breakthrough?
Before I got started, I loved Molly Holly because I rate the sport side of the business most of all. She was great in the ring. She didn't wrestle like everybody else. There were athletic girls but to me you could tell she was much more fluid. I wanted to be like her in terms of in-ring ability.
When you began your first stint with TNA back in 2005, did you imagine there would be such a great Knockouts division seven years later?
I just knew I wanted to wrestle and I wanted the company to have a women's division. Never did I imagine that we would have such a great and talented amount of girls. I love our division now because everybody has something different to offer.
Who has been the toughest opponent you've come up against in TNA?
The toughest physically I would say is Taryn Terrell. I worked with Taryn in WWE and there we never really got to showcase what we could do. We never really developed a women's division to what we have here. I never knew what to expect from her. She told me she loved physicality but I've never met anybody who wanted to go to that level. That was the first time in fourteen years that I was blown away. We've had a great chemistry since we started wrestling each other regularly.
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You unfortunately missed Bound For Glory through injury but what match interested you the most?
It was special to see The Great Muta wrestle. I was actually interested at seeing the Knockouts compete so I had my eyes on Havok taking on Velvet Sky. Havok just recently injured me so I was interested to see what happens there.
TNA is putting heavy emphasis on expanding its international image. What was your view on taking Bound For Glory to Tokyo?
I think it was a great idea. We've never done a pay-per-view in Japan before. I know from my experience that the fans are different because they clap more and are less rowdy than in the United States. So it's always interesting and it translated different on television. I think real true wrestling fans appreciated the idea. Wrestling is huge in Japan so to see a different style matched with the American style was great.
Did you ever watch Japanese wrestling before turning professional?
I did. I love it. When I was training, I used to watch Japanese wrestling to learn ideas and to try and incorporate it in the style I have now.
Team 3D made history by becoming the first tag-team inducted in TNA's Hall of Fame. Do you sense you could be the first Knockout inducted in the future?
I hope so. You never know. I would be deeply appreciative. I would want to finish my career first and then have that happen because that would be a sweet ending. But we're not talking about the end of my career now!
The likes of Ethan Carter III, James Storm and Austin Aries have all publicly opposed the return of the six-sided ring. What are your thoughts on bringing it back?
People don't like change. I was fortunate enough to wrestle in that ring before so I knew it was going to take time to get used to. We're still getting used to it. But honestly, we left it to the fans and it was certainly an overwhelming decision. I think it makes us different but at the beginning when we got it back, we could feel it physically on our bodies. Luckily, we have a great ring crew and we addressed the issue by working on it for us. It's great now and it's just a matter of getting used to where you are in the ring. I honestly think in a couple months nobody will realise.
When you return from injury, what can we expect from you?
I definitely just want to make magic. I had that with Awesome Kong at one point and I thought it would never happen again until Taryn. I'm just happy with what the Knockouts have done in the last couple years looking back. I feel we're in such a strong position right now and the fans love what they're seeing. I just want to see us steal the show and that's my aim for the next few years.
Gail Kim will be part of TNA'S UK Tour in January 2015.
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