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Ten favorite Gail Kim moments in TNA

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Gail Kim has been in the wrestling business for sixteen years now and for much of that time, she has devoted her talent to TNA and their Knockouts division. As the inaugural TNA Knockouts champion, a ring veteran and leader in women’s wrestling, it should come to no surprise that Gail Kim would have the distinct honor of being the first woman inducted to the TNA Hall of Fame. In honor of Gail’s induction to the TNA Hall of Fame this Bound for Glory weekend (where she will also be competing for the Knockouts championship against rival Maria Kanellis), we take a look back at some memorable moments from Gail’s prestigious TNA career.

1) Managing America’s Most Wanted

In the heydays of TNA, Impact would only have an hour of programming but that didn’t stop Gail from making the most of what was given to her. At a time where TNA weren’t able to produce a fully established women’s division, Gail was brought in to take on the manger role for America’s Most Wanted (James Storm & Chris Harris) and was an eminent factor to the team’s successful NWA Tag Team title run in their feud with AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels. Gail would regularly interfere in the series of match ups between AMW and Styles/Daniels but all that changed at Slammiversary 2006 when a “neutralizer” was brought in to take care of Gail. That neutralizer would go by the name of Sirelda and the one-on-one match between both these women wasn’t exactly spectacular, this period allowed Gail to stand out with some big names from the very beginning of TNA.

2) Feud with Jacqueline

Even after Gail parted ways with AMW, she managed to keep herself occupied on television when she entered a feud with Jacqueline. At a time when TNA were still without an official women’s division, there was a sense of pressure on both women to showcase what they were capable of doing. Luckily for fans, both women delivered and passed the test that was in front of them with flying colors! Whether it be in the first ever women’s six side of steel match or a street fight (where Jacqueline had her front teeth knocked out, yet managed to finish the match) this feud, along with gimmick style matches, served as a launching pad for the eventual Knockouts division.

3) Gail Kim crowned the first Knockouts Champion at Bound for Glory 2007

By the time 2007 rolled around, TNA were in finally in a position to hire enough women to start their Knockouts division. With a group of female talent in place, it was time to introduce a new title and champion. As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Gail Kim won the right be called the inaugural Knockouts Champion when she outlasted nine other women at Bound for Glory 2007 in a gauntlet match. Gail referred to this as her moment of glory, as it was a payoff to the many years of hard work. As we would later found out, Gail would go on to win the Knockouts title on numerous occasions.

4) Feud with Awesome Kong

You can’t talk about Gail Kim or reflect back at her career without mentioning Awesome Kong! Kong proved to be Gail’s biggest and toughest challenger to date and you can look no further than during Gail’s first reign as Knockouts champion. In what was a seen as a David vs. Goliath feud, the two Knockouts had matches that were of pure physicality and passion that sometimes, it felt as though their rivalry went beyond the Knockouts title. Considered one of TNA’s strongest rivalries ever (male or female), the Kong/Gail saga consist of the two being able be the first Knockouts to main event an episode of Impact, have hard hitting brawls, joining forces to defeat a common enemy and even square off at Bound for Glory. However, it arguably considered the strongest bout between these two came to us at Final Resolution 2008 when they battled under no DQ rules.

5) Return to TNA

After a second run with the WWE, Gail Kim would make her return to TNA with a new cocky heel attitude. During an in-ring title ceremony by then Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky, VP of the Knockouts Karen Jarrett introduced Gail back to TNA, revealing an allegiance between Karen, Gail and Madison Rayne. The trio would take control over the division for months time, with the returning Gail climbing back at the top of the mountain when she recaptured the Knockouts title (holding on to it for an impressive 210 days) from Velvet and managing to pick up some extra gold alongside Madison when they defeated the team of Brooke and Tara for the Knockouts Tag Team titles.

6) Feud with Brooke

I would never have been able to grow and exceed the limits that I have now without wrestling Gail Kim”. These were words that Brooke used to describe her feud with Gail and really, it is easy to see why. In the year 2012, which was also the same year Gail was ranked number one for PWI’s Female Wrestler, Brooke had her sights on Gail Kim’s Knockouts title, vowing to be known more than just another pretty face in the division. Though Gail was stayed true to her clever veteran persona for much of the feud, she also brought out the best in Brooke: giving fans an underdog to root for when their big payoff match at Slammiversary came about, which resulted in Brooke coming out on top in her home state of Texas.

7) Feud with Taryn Terrell

Much like her feud with Awesome Kong, there was a special kind of “magic” when Gail and Taryn got in the ring. Taryn was initially brought in as a referee for the Knockouts but overtime, she began to have that hunger to compete as a regular in-ring competitor. There were those who doubted Taryn’s skills but, as was with the case with Brooke, Gail brought out the best in her opponent; a gift that almost seems embedded in Gail. Their highly praised Last Knockout Standing match at Slammiversary 2013 saw Taryn prevailed and be taken as a more serious athlete. Gail was able to even up the score in another physical style ladder match weeks later, leaving fans wanting to see more from these two! Fans were able to see this feud relight a few years later, only this time, with face and heel turns reversed.

8) Last Knockout Standing Match with Angelina Love

Angelina Love and Gail Kim are both founding members of the Knockouts division. While they’ve crossed paths many of times, trading title reigns in between, one match that truly stands out from the rest of them has to be their Last Knockout Standing match. During TNA’s shows in the Manhattan Center in the summer of 2014, Gail was able retained her title over Angelina in a very physical match when she hoisted Angelina over her and drive her onto a pile of chairs to for the count of ten count; demonstrating the sacrifices Gail is willing to take in order to get the job done.

9) Hanging with the X-Division

Gail is never one to shy away from any opponent that is thrown in front of her. When the opportunity to square off against some X-Division stars at TNA’s One Night Only Joker’s Wild III, Gail went in to battle headstrong. Teaming up with Sonjay Dutt, she took on the team of Tigre Uno and Manik; who were, at first, hesitant to get physical with their female counterpart of an opponent. They would soon see that Gail had the speed, endurance and moveset to keep up her fellow Superstars; going as far as hitting an Eat Defeat on both of her opponents to help secure a win for her team. With Gail having pretty much done everything she can in the Knockouts division, a run over at the X-Division doesn’t sound too bad of a new venture does it?

10) Serving as a judge on British Boot Camp 2

When asked by Ring Rust Radio what her plans are after the time comes for her to retire, Gail responded by saying: “In terms of future plans, I would like to work behind the scenes and help the girls build their division even more. I want to see the next generation be as successful as I was.”

The second season of TNA’s British Boot Camp was announced in 2014 and with the announcement came along Gail Kim’s name, who was being brought in to serve as one of three head judges alongside Samoa Joe and Al Snow. During the season, she traded in her wrestler hat for a talent judge hat, scouting over the UK and sharing her knowledge with some of the talents the UK had to offer, including the likes of Viper, Nikki Storm, Kasey and Leah Owen and Kay Lee Ray (whom she would later have a one-on-one match as part of the season’s final test). When that time comes for Gail to hang up the boots and retire from the ring, we can be assured that she already has some record of looking over the next generation of wrestling stars and guiding them as a trusted mentor.

While a very big dark cloud remains over TNA at the moment, with raising concern and questions as to what may or may not hold for the company’s future, one thing that can be said is that Gail has been a rock for TNA and the Knockouts division; through the good times and the bad times.

For that, Diva Dirt thanks and honors Gail for all her work and dedication that she’s put in to the business. Congratulations on your TNA Hall of Fame induction and all of your richly deserved success Gail!

What are your some of your favorite Gail Kim moments in TNA?

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