In her 17 years (and counting) as a professional wrestler, Gail Kim is a six-time Knockouts Champion, in addition to holding the WWE Women’s Championship. She was the first female inductee into the Hall Of Fame of TNA Wrestling — now known as IMPACT Wrestling — and has held the No. 1 spot on the PWI Female 50. Simply put, if Gail Kim is not the greatest female wrestler of all time, she is certainly one of the top female wrestlers to ever step into either a four-sided or six-sided ring.
This year’s Bound for Glory — IMPACT Wrestling’s premier annual event — will take place at Ottawa, Canada’s Aberdeen Pavilion. At Bound for Glory, Kim will be part of a four-way match for the Knockouts Championship, alongside Allie, Taryn Terrell, and champion Sienna. Following the November 5 show, IMPACT will be sticking around the Aberdeen Pavilion for television tapings from November 6 through November 10.
Kim, who is notably married to celebrity chef Robert Irvine, spoke to me on behalf of the Inquisitr about her life both in and out of the ring. Even if she is rumored to be at the end of her career as a wrestler, Kim explained how and why she may not be done with the wrestling business. Follow Gail Kim on Twitter via @gailkimITSME, while more information on this year’s Bound for Glory can be found at www.impactwrestling.com.
In terms of your career, as a Hall of Fame talent, is there anything you’re still hoping to accomplish within your career?
Gail Kim: I’m just so happy with everything I’ve accomplished. I think the icing on the cake would be retiring right and being happy with how I go out. I’ve always prided myself on the quality of matches I’ve put out and my performance level. I’m a perfectionist, so I don’t want to put too much pressure on that last match. But ideally, if I could have a magical match on my way out, that would be a perfect ending.
Once it’s over for you – and I’m not going to ask when that is – do you have an ideal life that you’re looking to live?
Gail Kim: The ideal life for me, and I think everyone, is balance. A lot of fans have asked me, “Will you ever go back to WWE?” Obviously, it’s past that point now, but WWE was a company you had to give your life to. Literally, it’s very difficult on relationships, marriages, families… I’m 40, almost 41, I’m at a time in my life where I’m so grateful that I get to do what I love on a schedule that is great for me, my husband and my family, and I get to travel and see the world. You only live once. I feel like I’ve gotten so much out of wrestling and learned so much, and now I get to enjoy it.
Is there anything related to wrestling, besides that last match, that you’re still hoping to accomplish? Or you’re just happy with how everything has gone?
Gail Kim: I’m really happy with how everything has gone. Obviously, before I retire, I’d like to win the title one more time. For me, I’ve already started a role as a producer for the girls. My next thing is building a legacy to helping the Knockouts Division get to that next level. If I can’t perform in the ring, I want to contribute outside of the ring for the women.
Be on the lookout for pre-sale codes coming in the next few days… pic.twitter.com/1QznSor3zr
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 25, 2017
When not busy with your career, what do you like to do for fun? Any surprising hobbies?
Gail Kim: Surprising? Maybe I’m boring. (laughs) As I’ve said, I’ve traveled so much between my job and with Robert, and that’s something I want to continue to do. I want to see places I’ve never seen. I want to experience culture, food, and just seeing the world.
For example, every Christmas, we used to go away and people would pick destinations that were beaches, which is fine and everything. For me, I don’t even want to waste time on a beach. I want to experience life. I’ve always been one of those people where if someone gives me a challenge, I just can’t say no. I don’t want to regret that decision ever. I’m just one of those people that say, “I’ve got to do it.”
So it sounds like there isn’t a big difference between who you are as an in-ring performer and who you are outside of wrestling. It sounds pretty in sync.
Gail Kim: Yeah… When I first got into wrestling, I always knew I just wanted to be the best wrestler in terms of the sport of wrestling. When I got to WWE, they really pushed that you have to have a character, and most of the time you do have to have a character to separate yourself from the rest of the wrestlers. But fortunately, I was in a time of women’s wrestling when they kind of killed women’s wrestling at one point, so I had something to fight for, which is truly me.
I truly was passionate about women’s wrestling. I truly believe there is a place for women’s wrestling. No one else was fighting for it at that point, so I was lucky to be in the right position in that company which gave me the opportunity. There are other people who were told, “Oh, you have to be this,” but it never felt natural to them. It wasn’t who they were. But I feel like if you always stick to who you are truly, you will find success.
In closing, Gail, any last words for the kids?
Gail Kim: Truly, wrestling is the one thing in my life that gave me the most confidence. I knew I wanted to do it, so I set my goals on that and always believed I was going to make it. I never told my parents, because they were traditional Korean parents, that I got into wrestling. I was in college and took my tuition money and pursued my dream. I said I would never tell them until I knew I was going to make it, but I always knew I was going to make it. (laughs) It came true. I truly believe it is all in your mindset and then chasing after it.
— Gail Kim-Irvine (@gailkimITSME) September 11, 2017
[Featured Image by Impact Wrestling]