Exclusive Interview with IMPACT star Gail Kim
Kim also addressed who she would like to wrestle if she could, past or present.
“Gosh, there are so many good girls right now,” Kim said. “I get this question all the time. I’m wrestling Tessa on Sunday, so that’s one. There’s the Charlotte Flair’s, there’s the Sasha Banks, Asuka, you know.”
“There are so many girls right now that are so good, which is a great sign for women’s wrestling. I used to tell everyone because they’d be like, ‘One more with this person, one more with this.’ If I did that, there’s always gonna be another girl that’s amazing. You gotta cut it loose at some point.”
We also asked to talk about the top three upcoming female wrestlers. She named several and asked who I liked. We both agreed on Kairi Sane and Asuka.
“Okay. I want to see what Kairi Sane and Io [Shirai], they’re just being brought up and everything and Asuka obviously is very talented,” Kim said. “We’ve seen a lot of her too, but I just hope that they’re utilized in a proper way and I would love to see what they do as single competitors. I love seeing …., I think that they’re amazing, so there’s three right there. There are a lot of girls, I go to a lot of seminars now and a lot of independent shows where it’s all-girls shows and there are so many girls. I really couldn’t even just name three. There’s a lot.”
There has been an drastic shift in women’s wrestling over the past couple of years, especially in WWE. Gail this to say about the evolution of women’s wrestling from when she first started:
“I’m so happy. We’ve made so many strides to get where we are. I wish it had been faster, but hey, I’m happy it’s happening. I think we’re still not where we need to be. I think of course, the girls main event of WrestleMania, which was an amazing opportunity and great step towards where we need to be. But I would love to see—and I don’t think a lot of people know because when it comes to salary and things like that, that might be a touchy subject where people don’t talk about it publicly.
‘I would love to see the women one day getting paid equally to the guys in terms of where they stand on the card. If you’re gonna be the main event in WrestleMania, I hope you’re making the amount that John Cena made when he main evented. I don’t think that’s happening right now, all across the board, all areas, and all companies and that’s what I really want to see happen for the women.”
She also said that she loved the fact that women headlined WrestleMania and the finish, but she admitted she didn’t see the whole match.
“The negative I guess, is I think that it kind of set it up for failure in a way. Because it was the first year, from what I understand, that there were seven hours of wrestling that night,” Kim said. “A pre-show, so much stuff. Just knowing as a wrestler and as a performer, knowing how fans react after maybe two hours of wrestling, they’re tired. I can’t even imagine seven hours of wrestling.”
“Then they have the main event and it was showing everybody. I’m happy that they were in the main event, I don’t know about how the show setup went, I wouldn’t agree with that. I’m happy Becky got her moment because I feel like she’s the girl that brought over on her own and the fans demanded it and she made strides that people probably never thought that she could. Kudos to her for that. I can’t really comment on the match because I didn’t see it.”
John Oliver presented a report right before WrestleMania 35, which was a hot topic among the wrestling community. Kim shared her thoughts on the segment.
“I loved it. I just loved it. It’s hard and I’ve had this discussion with a lot of people because I am very vocal and I am opinionated. I don’t have a desire to go back there,” Kim said. “There’s not many people who can speak up. Even if you don’t work for WWE or a major company, you don’t want to burn any bridges.
“Whether you disagree with them or agree with them, or whatever it is, people are afraid to talk. Our business is very small in that respect. There’s not many places to go. Unfortunately, the fans that are die-hard that follow certain companies, they always see that talent speaking up as bitter and that’s not always the case.”
“It took a long time for me to be able to feel brave enough to talk about things. It took almost my entire career to feel brave enough, to be able to say things. When John Oliver, who is an outsider, who people recognize and trust his voice, that’s a relief to us and help to us that there are other people that actually notice and care about how we’re treated. It was very nice to see that I was really glad he did that.”
There have been many rumors that Sasha Banks is unhappy with WWE because they didn’t tell her or Bayley they would be dropping the women’s tag titles to The Ilconics until the day of WrestleMania. Kim expressed her thoughts on the whole situation and why she always sides with the talent on these types of situations.
“I got asked this question earlier,” Kim said. “I’m always gonna take, most of the time, the side of the talent. In this situation, I still am, just like John Oliver brought up about the independent contractor status. In other note, with Impact Wrestling, I am considered part-time. Most of us are considered part-time, we don’t have a schedule like WWE.”
“When you work a schedule like that, I truly believe you shouldn’t be an independent contractor. You should be an employee. So, when you are an independent contractor, you should be able to take other jobs. But there are a lot of loopholes and everything.”
“This is a certain downside. I think that if someone’s unhappy and wants to leave, just let them go. It’s not like they don’t have a million other wrestlers. Why would you want to have someone that’s miserable working for you, because they’re not gonna perform the way that you want. There’s no winning situation out of that, I don’t think.”
Don’t miss Gail Kim’s return to the ring at Impact Wrestling Rebellion this Sunday. The event will stream live on Fite.tv at 7 PM CST.