Gail Kim has achieved enormous success through her time in IMPACT Wrestling.
Ahead of IMPACT Wrestling’s 20-year anniversary celebration at Celebration, Gail Kim spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard. There, Kim looked back on her memorable battles with IMPACT Hall of Famer Awesome Kong and Taryn Terrell. After her famous rivalry with Awesome Kong, Gail Kim noted her eagerness to have another “magical moment” within the Knockouts Division.
“Awesome Kong was obviously, I think as a performer, as a wrestler, you always look for those magical moments, as we call them. They’re very rare and sometimes some people are lucky to have just one. So I was always striving to have that next one after Awesome Kong, and I honestly didn’t know if it would happen. It really is an alignment of the stars in terms of your opponent and your chemistry with them.”
Gail Kim shared that she did find exactly what she was looking for with Taryn Terrell, her opponent in a Last Knockout Standing match at Slammiversary XI in 2013.
“When Taryn came along, we knew each other from Smackdown and WWE previously, but she really wasn’t utilized as that talent. She always did want to wrestle, but I think she was seen as this pretty face. She was a general manager of ECW. So when she came into the company, she hadn’t been in-ring action for a while. So they slowly built her the way that it should be done and got her comfortable back in the ring. They decided to have us work together.”
“I always try to play to my opponent’s strengths, and I knew she always wanted to be very physical. She always expressed that backstage. I was a very physical being as well. She just had that trust within me as well, which you absolutely need when you’re in the ring with someone else. I just knew her strengths as she was a stunt woman outside of wrestling and she loved that as well. And so I knew she would step up to that next level with me, which you don’t get to meet too many people that will go kind of balls to the wall, as you call it, with you.”
“She absolutely did. So that day, I feel like people just really didn’t have many expectations out of this match. And so we just went for it and we couldn’t have asked for anything more in terms of fan reaction, pure reaction. It was definitely a magical moment.”
Gail Kim noted that they followed the Last Knockout Standing match with a ladder match on TV, and they asked for a different stipulation so it wouldn’t be compared to the first bout.
“That was supposed to be another last Knockout standing match, and because the company loved the first one so much, they said, let’s do it for our TV audience’. And I said, ‘No, we just absolutely cannot.’ I didn’t want it to be compared because it was the same type of match. So I asked her, ‘Would you like to do a ladder match? You know, are you in?’ And she said, ‘absolutely, whatever you want.’ So it was a literal begging of two, the management separately of each person to say, please, let’s can we do this ladder match? Because we don’t want to have to top that type of match and have it compared. We just want to create another magical moment. Eric Bischoff was there at the time and he said with that much passion, how can we say no? And so we’re just so fortunate that we were given that ball and was able to run with it. And Slammiversary obviously was that Last Knockout Standing Match. So those are my memories of Slammiversary and just obviously so dear to my heart.”
Kim went on the praise Terrell’s passion and work ethic, noting that Taryn wanted to prove herself and showed her passion for the business. Kim said all of the women had something to prove back then and she feels like it’s a never-ending battle trying to get on an equal level with everyone else.
Check out the full match between Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell at Slammiversary 2013 below: