Gail Kim spoke with the Sporting News on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:
Why the WWE women’s division veered away from focusing on wrestling during her second run (2008-2011) and how that changed to what it is currently:
“My honest opinion, and this is only my opinion and I don’t know this as fact, I just think Vince McMahon did not like women’s wrestling. With this whole revolution that happened in WWE these past couple of years, it’s because of the fans. Remember they were saying ‘Give Divas a Chance’ that it got to the point where Vince is like OK, I’m going to give them a chance. It was really truly Hunter [Triple H] who created all these great girls in NXT. It wasn’t Vince. It’s almost like, thank God Hunter did it so that Vince could see the reaction that these girls were getting in NXT. Then it was OK, let’s jump on the bandwagon and let’s make it happen. I think he was never a fan of women’s wrestling whether he had talented girls or not and he didn’t want to watch that. When I was there, they really didn’t want us to do things. Even to do a superplex off the top rope, you had to keep it quiet until it happened and hopefully get approval from the agent. He would say do it and I’ll take the heat for it. It was just insane to me. To me, I always just feel like why would you hire a talent and not use them to the best of their ability? That’s the confusing part for me and that was the most frustrating part for me. But I just chalked it up to I was in that company at the wrong time.”
Sparking the women’s revolution:
“Honestly, recognition is nice obviously, but just being part of that change was a very magical time in my life. It was such a great satisfaction just having that women’s division become a success overnight and something that you fight for for so long. But most importantly, to have it from your peers. I feel like my peers know that and that was always the most important for me. Of course, you want the fans to recognize all of that. And when I meet fans one-on-one, they always talk about how they loved the feud with Awesome Kong and I. I still hear that to this day so that in itself is great for me.”
Why things worked so well with Awesome Kong:
“I don’t know. After that, I never thought there would be another magical moment again and I was lucky enough to have that with Taryn [Terrell] too. I feel like I have chemistry with every girl but I don’t know what happened with Awesome Kong. I never even saw her work before our very first match. I just heard so much about her and then we brought in this whole women’s division. She was my very first match with all these girls on board. I remember her coming out and thinking ‘whoa, she’s scary!’ I was legitimately scared. We just had a great chemistry and a mutual respect after that. I think when you have a mutual respect at that level and she’s OK with taking it as hard as I can bring it. …She would say you remind me of my Japan days. For me, I just felt like with Kong, the David-Goliath feud, I had to bring it. She took it. Same with Taryn. She was never afraid to go to that level. There are times when girls just don’t and that’s OK with me. I always change my style with each girl but if there’s a girl that’s willing to go to that level that I want to go, I feel like that’s the difference.”
You can read the full interview by clicking here.