Gail Kim On Facing Mickie James: “I Would Do It Because That’s How Much I Respect Her”
Gail Kim is open to coming out of retirement to face Mickie James and other dream opponents.
This year’s Hard to Kill, which took place at Center Stage in Atlanta, was a memorable one. Fans from all over the world traveled to see what might have been Mickie James‘ last rodeo. The Title vs. Career match between James and Jordynne Grace had everyone on the edge of their seats. James became the brand-new Impact! Knockouts World Champion as the referee counted to three. Legends like Raven and Tara were present to support what might have been James’ final match in Impact! Wrestling.
Seven-time Knockouts World Champion and IMPACT Hall of Famer Gail Kim watched the exciting match from afar. Kim smiled and praised the Hard to Kill main event as she came on screen with WWT Editor-in-Chief Driune Santana.
“Mickie and Jordynne really delivered. The number one thing I consistently heard from fans across the board was that they were so emotionally invested in that match. Not only did they deliver on the main event, but it was also just so emotional. No one really knew how that was going to turn out by the end of the night. They delivered in every way. It was such an emotional night from beginning to end.
We’re all talking amongst ourselves, and we’re like Lisa, who’s crying. That means Mickie’s going to retire. So, I’m glad we kept everyone on the edge of their seats. IMPACT! Wrestling has done an excellent job of telling stories through the talent on display, from the X Division to our World Champion to our tag teams. I’m just really proud of this roster right now.”
The question of whether Gail Kim would ever come out of retirement is very slim. Everyone wants to see Kim wrestle one last time and face many women wrestlers today. Kim is no stranger to being in the square circle with Hardcore Country, as these two have known each other for a very long time. However, if the opportunity presented itself, would Gail Kim accept a match from James?
“I knew her when she was Alexis Laree on the indies when she started out before her first run at TNA, and some people may not even know about her because they might have just picked her up from WWE. Mickie has seen and worked for almost every company. I have nothing but respect for this woman, and to see her progress over the 20 years that I’ve been in this business has been incredible, and to see her accomplish things that we both share, like supporting women’s wrestling and doing Empowerrr, was such an honor.
For her, we’re all kind of thinking the same thing. Let’s have an all-women’s show, and I’m just so happy that she did it. I got to be a part of it all, and that was a killer night. Who knows what’s going to be in the next phase of Mickie James’s career? She’s not done yet, obviously, and the rodeo is not over. So, whether she wants to keep on wrestling or whether she wants to do anything beyond that and help women’s wrestling behind the scenes, I see success for her in every which way.
She mentioned that one night she was like, “Why don’t you come out of retirement?” Listen, Mickie, if you really wanted me to, I would do that because that’s how much I respect her, but we’ve had many matches together. So, I would do that for her if she wanted to. Of course, I get froggy every once in a while, and I miss it. So, if there was a dream opponent out there, you never say never, but I’m convinced that a lot of things have to fall into place, such as the right opponent, the right time, and the right storyline.”
The evolution of women’s wrestling has changed over the past decades. Women progressed from valets to holding gold to main-event PPVs and live televised shows. According to Gail Kim, the success that comes with evolution is more opportunity.
“It’s just the companies in terms of who the leadership is and giving the women the opportunity; without the opportunity, we can’t perform and show the fans what we’re capable of. From what I recall back then, when we were just pleading for the opportunity, that was pretty much the extent of the fight and struggle. When I started wrestling, I was inspired by the small group of eight women, and then our generation inspired another. Now you can see that the number of women wrestling is incredible. It’s just that there’s so much talent to choose from; it wasn’t like that back then when I was trying to work the indies and try to find another girl to wrestle with. That’s why Tracy Brooks and I were married to each other on the road because there weren’t that many girls to wrestle with.
Now, you could wrestle with 20 other girls and go to a state and have that opportunity. We didn’t have those choices back then. Women are a draw; women can capture the attention of the fans, keep it, and get them emotionally involved. As they were saying, that’s the most important thing, I think, in wrestling: really capturing the hearts of the audience and making them feel some type of emotional attachment to you, and I think we hit a home run.”
The women’s wrestling division at IMPACT! is among the best in the world. Each week, they showcase their division in the most effective manner possible. The Knockouts division match’s caliber is on par. Deonna Purrazzo, Tasha Steelz, Savannah Evans, Gisele Shaw, Alisha, Masha Slamovich, and Killer Kelly are all great to watch. As the reigning Knockouts World Tag Team Champions, The Death Dolls (Taya Valkyrie, Rosemary, and JesSICKa) have controlled the tag team division. Kim would like the Knockouts tag team division to continue to expand, however.
“I love the trajectory that we’re on. I think the company does an amazing thing in terms of using all the women in some type of role where we have multiple matches. So, I like to just keep going in that direction. The main thing is that I want to grow the tag-team division. I think that’s where we can use a little bit more work and create more opportunities for some talented women out there.
We’re constantly looking at new talent to add to our roster, and I think we’re going to do that in the next, as you’ll see later when we’re going to look to cement or even make our division even stronger than it is. I would say my next main goal is to have that superstar joint knockout pay-per-view, and I would love an all-women’s pay-per-view again. I think the fans lately have been asking for it. Also, I want to do something cool. Something different.”
With IMPACT! Wrestling welding is impossible to predict. However, this year, they are increasing the level of competition within the company. Check out the full interview with Gail Kim above.