Awesome Kong reflects on her time in TNA.
On a new episode of Insight with Chris Van Vliet, IMPACT Wrestling Hall of Famer Awesome Kong discussed her long-standing rivalry with Gail Kim and their influence on women’s wrestling. The entire experience led to her asking for a raise to make “1/10th” of what Kurt Angle was getting paid.
“That was a spark to the inferno that is women’s wrestling. They are not just women but they are workers now doing the deal. No more popcorn underwear matches. They used to put us on second so that the people could get their popcorn. The women are now demanding and getting more respect. Outside of Gail and I and our program being successful, I’d like to say I had a lot of influence in women advocating for themselves, because in TNA I would not keep my mouth shut. I just couldn’t understand some of the things that were going on, that’s backwards.
“You can’t tell me that when Kong and Gail are on TV, and you are telling me that the numbers are spiking every night, you can’t tell me that I am not worth x amount on paper. For example, they would put you through the gauntlet and the maze of asking for a raise or to implement change. One of the times that I asked, I found out what Kurt Angle made. All I was asking for was 1/10th of what he’s making. You look in my eye and tell me that I am not worth 1/10th of Kurt Angle, if you can’t then pay me that, one or the other.”
When it came to leaving TNA the first time, the former Knockouts Champion said several things were at play.
“There were a lot of different aspects that would snowball. It was mainly the attitude of that I couldn’t go anywhere else. I can’t remember word for word, but it was along the lines of if you quit, then don’t think that you will be on Raw on Monday, because they ain’t interested. But that wasn’t the point to me, I made big cheddar in Japan. Tokyo ain’t cheap, and Kia was living large in Japan, that kind of burned me up. When I left, I had $70 in my bank account, and they owed me money. They thought that if they starved me out, then I would shut up. But no I am from California, I will sell oranges on the freeway to make my cheddar. I will pluck some hair off of dogs and make me the finest wig! Don’t play with me and think that you got me over a barrel because of some money.”
Ultimately, Kong is “feeling blessed” after a 20-year career with time spent all over the world in Japan, TNA, WWE, and AEW.
You can check out the interview in its entirety embedded below: