Gail Kim is happily retired but that hasn’t stopped people from asking if she’d consider stepping back into the ring.
During a recent interview with WrestleZone, Gail Kim looked back on her work with IMPACT Wrestling as an in-ring performer. One match, in particular, was her final Slammiversary appearance, which was a three-way match for the TNA Knockouts Championship against Sienna (Allysin Kay) and Jade (Mia Yim) at the 2016 event. Asked if she had any vivid memories from the match since it was her final Slammiversary, Gail said she actually didn’t and chalked it up to just working so much and having it be a “wrestler thing”.
“I have such a bad memory from wrestling. It’s not I think people think it’s an excuse, but it really is not. I have certain vivid memories of my career. I’ve had so many matches. It’s just really hard for me to even remember. A lot of them are blur to me. I significantly remember more singles matches, to be honest, because it’s that one person in that focus. I don’t remember a lot of tag matches or three-way matches, and also if there wasn’t a significant story necessarily to all of them, I don’t have great vivid memories. It’s crazy,” she stated. “I’m just getting my memory back now from not being in action. Yeah, it’s a wrestler thing.”
Gail Kim said the same is true even for her matches with Awesome Kong, who is arguably the opponent she’s most remembered for working with. Gail said that there are certain moments she remembers more than others, including one time when Kong threw her back out before a match.
“I always tell this story because of the bond we had after we created so much magic. Her back was out and she still wanted to perform because that’s just who she was. And I said, ‘Are you okay? Are you sure you’re okay? Because if you’re not and we’re out there and you seem out of it, I’m going to slap you in the face.’ And she said, ‘Gail, we just have that relationship. Just go ahead and do it. If I look out of it, just slap me in the face.’ So I have little memories like that, things that fans may not have seen, but in terms of matches,” Gail noted, “there’s not many that I’m very vividly clear on.”
And then if you're so inclined jump over to AXS to watch a replay of IMPACT Rebellion – where you should definitely watch the Gail Kim vs. Tessa Blanchard match if you haven't seen it. pic.twitter.com/0NbKXh3VYo
— Garrett Kidney (@garrettkidney) October 8, 2019
Asked if it was the same for what’s known as her retirement match against Tessa Blanchard at Rebellion in 2019, Gail said she has much more vivid memories of that one because it was her final one, and it gave her closure.
“I think a lot of us soldiers don’t get that opportunity to close that door the way that they want. And so I was just always a perfectionist in terms of my performance. And the previous retirement match, there was no story involved. It was kind of thrown together and it was a three-way match in Canada [at Bound For Glory 2017]. So I didn’t close my career the way that I wanted to and the proper way,” Gail said. “When I saw Tessa Blanchard performing within the company and me as a producer, I said to Scott D’Amore, ‘I want to come out of retirement and close that door properly’.
“I had a lot of guidelines in terms of what I wanted out of that. I wanted the proper story. I wanted people to be invested in that story. And so they did take the two months minimum to build it. And I said one match because my back and they obliged all my requests,” Gail explained, “I couldn’t have asked honestly, match quality-wise, story-wise, for anything better.”
Gail Kim has done several interviews since retiring about finding closure in that final match, also noting that she has considered her health as well. Asked if time has allowed requests for her return to slow down, Gail said that she does still get offers to return, but doesn’t miss the ring and doesn’t want to spoil what she considers a perfect sendoff.
“People still ask. I actually got a formal kind of inquiry recently as well. [IMPACT] has asked me in the past to face Deonna [Purrazzo] and things like that. But for me, I value my career and hold it dearly, so I don’t want to ruin the status. I was okay with the last match. I was great with it, and so do I go back — in my crazy perfectionist mind — and ruin that? So it would take a lot,” Gail said. “It would have to be the perfect opponent. It would have to be the perfect situation for me to be able to put my back at risk again because I have no disc in my L4 or L5. I work very hard on the daily to have a normal day to day life.
“If I did come out of retirement, then there’s a high percentage of a back surgery, and I don’t want to go through that again. So it would have to be something quite impressive for me to come out of retirement because I get satisfaction from helping the women grow in the division,” Gail stated. “I really, truly feel like I don’t miss the ring because of that. So I’m so grateful that I don’t miss the ring. To be honest, I was deathly afraid of that, as all athletes are. So if I’m feeling happy and healthy, why would I?”