Gail Kim is looking forward to what’s in store at Slammiversary.
During a recent interview with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard, Gail Kim looked back at her in-ring career and history at Slammiversary. IMPACT is celebrating its 20-year anniversary this year, and Gail was part of some of the company’s most memorable matches at the event.
Gail Kim spoke about her battles with Awesome Kong and Taryn Terrell, among others, and noted how the Knockouts had to fight for opportunities back then. She said it’s a bit easier today, pointing to the depth of the current roster as well as the “firsts” that they continue to check off, before calling the first-ever Queen Of The Mountain match a “great step” for the women getting to achieve even more.
“I feel like nowadays it’s much easier. You see a roster of almost 20 women right now in our company and everyone being utilized because everyone’s great, everyone has a valued position within the company,” Gail said. “Queen of the Mountain [is coming], now we’re doing another historic match. [The Knockouts] just did their Ultimate X match, and I don’t think there was any doubt in terms of what they could achieve.”
Gail Kim noted how the women originally pushed for the Ultimate X match, but Queen Of The Mountain was something that the company didn’t wait for them to ask for.
“The structure was up for the guys one day and the girls were like, ‘Can we have one? Look, we can climb it. We’re going to prove it.’ So Scott D’Amore was watching and he’s like, ‘well, maybe.’ So they gave that match to them and it was just great. So when Slammiversary came along, I mean, the girls didn’t even have to ask for it,” she stated. “The company just said, ‘We’re going to give them Queen of the Mountain’, because King of the Mountain has been such a staple within our history for the men. So it’s a great step.”
— Michin 미친 (@MiaYim) June 16, 2022
One of the participants in the Queen Of The Mountain match is Mia Yim, who returned to IMPACT in May. Yim previously said Gail Kim was one of the main reasons she came back to the company, citing their friendship and knowing that Gail was a solid leader. Gail spoke about being an advocate for the women’s locker room, explaining that she wants to give everyone the same chance she had to shine as a performer.
“I can really identify with her, the Deonna Purrazzo’s of the world as well. The people that maybe felt like they had so much talent to give and maybe weren’t given the opportunity. So, I worked with Mia, I’ve been in the ring with Mia. I knew what she was capable of. Sometimes people don’t get opportunities in other companies, and so she was there for years. I knew maybe her confidence wasn’t at the highest it could be, because that can happen. If you’re not being utilized, your confidence can go down,” Gail explained, “and I just wanted her to really believe again how talented she was and what she was capable of and that people could value her. And I wanted her to have a run as her being her authentic self. And I feel like IMPACT Wrestling does such a great job at people being able to be themselves the best form of themselves when they perform and given that platform to show all the fans what they’re capable of, just like I had the chance.”
Gail also previewed the main event between Josh Alexander and Eric Young, comparing the title fight to a “clash of generations”. Gail also noted that Slammiversary has been full of surprises the past few years, but she said she wants to be in on the fun when it goes down on June 19.
“I’ve known [Eric Young] my whole career and that guy, he embodies TNA, the past of TNA and the current IMPACT as well. And Josh is one of the best technical wrestlers in the world right now. It’s almost like a clash of generations, kind of like Tessa Blanchard and myself, but Eric Young still has it,” she stated. “I just know it’s going to be really competitive. I want the girls to steal the night, and I’ve already put that pressure on them. But you never know because of Eric Young and Josh Alexander.
“I’m actually really looking forward to seeing who all the mystery opponents are going to be, because we haven’t announced a lot of those. And I was telling everyone in past interviews, I don’t even know some of the opponents. So I was asking creative for weeks, like, ‘who are we bringing in? I want to know’. Then they wouldn’t really tell me. And then recently I said, ‘You know what? I want to be surprised’, because I think that’s a lost thing in terms of our business right now,” Gail noted, “is being surprised and the excitement it brings. So I’m excited to see who’s going to be there and the reunions we’re going to have.”
Slammiversary takes place on Sunday, June 19; check out our full video interview with Gail Kim at the top of this post.
Echos of the past still reverberate in our hearts.
Join us at #Slammiversary on June 19th – 20 years to the day since our very first event – as we celebrate 20 years of TNA and IMPACT Wrestling.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 20, 2022