Wrestler of the Day – February 20: Gail Kim

We’ll head back to Canada for someone a bit better looking than Jacques Rougeau: Gail Kim.

Gail signed with WWE in 2002 and debuted in a battle royal on June 30, 2003. There was actually dome hype for her debut with vignettes reminiscent of the Matrix.

Womens’ Title: Battle Royal

Jazz, Jacqueline, Trish Stratus, Victoria, Gail Kim, Molly Holly, Ivory

Jazz is defending but injured coming in, hence the need for the odd method of defending the title. She’s still able to slam Ivory down but gets kicked in the head by Victoria. This is one of those matches where you can barely call anything because it’s such a big mess. Ivory is quickly thrown out and Jazz lays down because of her injuries. Molly and Jackie are the only ones left on their feet as Jazz is walked out of the ring, apparently eliminated.

Victoria dumps Molly and Jackie and we’re down to Trish, Victoria and Kim. Trish kicks both girls down but Victoria catapults Gail into Trish for the elimination. They go back and forth for a few seconds until Gail counteres a powerbomb into a hurricanrana for the elimination and the title.

Rating: D. The match sucked, just like you would expect a seven Diva battle royal that lasted four and a half minutes to, though the girls looked good in their outfits. You can’t as for a better debut for someone than this and the match quality rarely mattered for the Divas anyway. The fans didn’t mind Gail and that’s not bad for the girls.

Gail would lose the title in a month to Molly Holly, only to join up with her almost immediately thereafter. Molly and Gail would form an alliance over their jealous of Trish and Lita’s popularity, leading to a tag team match at Unforgiven 2003.

MollyHolly/GailKimvs. TrishStratus/Lita

This feud is more or less about Molly and Gail being jealous of Lita and Trish being insanely popular. Standard stuff to put it mildly. Molly is Women’s Champion here and is actually looking good. Lita was out for almost a year because of a broken neck and now wears khaki shorts. Yep she’s gorgeous. The non-famous girls jump them early and that doesn’t work at all.

This is Lita’s return match. Oh seriously who do you expect to win this? You have two girls that are about as middle of the road as possible and the first two women to main event Raw. Lita and Gail are the actual starters and Lita nips up as we hear about King having a vasectomy. Molly hooks a Dragon Sleeper on Trish which works about as well as you would expect it to. Gail is gorgeous. That’s all there is to it.

Now Gail does a Dragon Sleeper. Trish walks up the turnbuckles and backflips into a reverse DDT. FREAKING SWEET. Molly looks good as a brunette and in blue. Trish manages to beat up both girls on her own since Lita is bleeding from the mouth. Lita gets the mostly warm but partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers tag. Trish knocks Gail to the floor and Lita hits the moonsault to get the win which was about as predictable as you could expect.

Rating: D+. This was exactly what you would expect here. Lita was indeed a huge deal as she and Trish were just flat out awesome around this point but the injury took her out for over a year. This was nothing more than a welcome home match and it did exactly what it was supposed to do: announce that Lita is still awesome.

Gail would get injured a month or so later before returning in spring of 2004 and being placed in a fourway Womens’ Title match at Bad Blood 2004.

Women’s Title: Trish vs. Lita vs. Gail Kim vs. Victoria

All four are too hot for words with Trish somehow possibly being the fourth best looking at the moment. Victoria is champion here. Trish vs. Lita never gets old especially when later this year they main evented Raw. That’s saying a lot and I don’t mean it was the last match and then there was a big angle to end the show.

I mean Trish vs. Lita for the title was the last thing you saw to end the show and it was built up all night. It was a very cool moment and I completely bought into it. Gail gets an AWESOME hold on Victoria. More or less it’s a headscissors combined with a crossface combined with an armbar but cooler than it sounds. Lita and Victoria botch something and we have no Trish for a long time, signaling that she’ll be winning. Yep there she is to roll up Lita for the title out of nowhere.

Rating: D+. They all looked hot and that’s about all there is to talk about here. Other than that it was just your run of the mill Divas match but with four girls that could actually work which is the best case scenario. Gail being back helps and the girls are actually becoming more than eye candy around this point.

Naturally since the division was starting to take off, it was time for Gail to be released. After a year on the indy scene, she debuted in TNA as the new valet for America’s Most Wanted. Her singles PPV debut was at Hard Justice 2006 against Sirelda.

Sirelda vs. Gail Kim

Gail is looking great tonight. She jumps Sirelda to start but gets powered into a corner and slammed ala Ultimate Warrior. Sirelda loads up a chokeslam but Kim easily escapes. She guillotines Sirelda on the top rope and a knee drop gets two. The fourway tag is officially announced as canceled. There’s a Tarantula from Gail but her high cross body misses. A bad looking World’s Strongest Slam gets two and Sirelda loads up a superplex. Gail knocks her back and hits a bad Blockbuster for the pin.

Rating: D-. This was really bad but Gail looked smoking out there so I’ll give it some points for that. Sirelda wasn’t around long and given how awful she was in this match I’m not really surprised by that. Nothing to see here and I think this ended the mini feud between these two. If it didn’t then it should have.

Gail spent a few months out of the ring as a valet before facing Jackie Moore in a cage match at Lockdown 2007.

Jackie Moore vs. Gail Kim

Gail does look good in those little sky blue shorts. They start fighting on the ramp and Jackie takes over, sending Gail on top of the announce table. Gail gets water poured on her and they haven’t been in the cage yet even though the bell rang. Ok now they’re inside (with a nice view of Gail on the way in) and the fans do not seem to care. Gail goes to escape about 20 seconds after they’re in but Jackie continues to be annoying by making this continue.

Jackie takes over and I always wonder why she had a job. Either way, the American hits a German on the Canadian but Gail pops up anyway. They exchange worthless attempts to go up and Gail gets a sunset flip for one. I think Gail gets sent into the cage but it really wasn’t clear. Gail goes up and hits a dropkick and both of them are down. Kim gets up and goes for the door, resulting in a brawl on the apron with the door open. Gail slams it on Jackie’s face but stays in. Gail goes up and jumps off with a cross body (hitting Jackie square in the face. At least she couldn’t make Jackie any uglier) for the pin.

Rating: D. This was rather bad and not just because I can’t stand Jackie Moore. The cage slamming onto Jackie’s head did make me smile but anytime someone beats her up it’s a good thing. The cross body was bad looking, because that could have been a bad injury to either of them. Still though, bad match.

The Knockouts Division was starting to take off and it was clear that a title needed to be established. Since a regular tournament is too basic in a Vince Russo company, we got a gauntlet match for the title at Bound For Glory 2007.

Knockouts Title: Gauntlet Match

This is a ten girl match where you have a regular gauntlet but it’s over the top until we get to the final two. Yep we’re having two battle royals. Kong debuted at Impact so she’s brand new here. We start with Ms. Brooks and Jackie. Good night WHY DOES SHE ALWAYS STAY AROUND? No one cares about her at all and she was always there. Quit shaking your freaking chest because NO ONE WANTS TO SEE THEM.

Brooks gets a big boot to the side of the head of the annoying one but gets caught in a German suplex. Shelly Martinez is in third. Oh…these girls can’t do much. Kong comes in fourth and it’s on. Dang Brooks and Martinez have some nice boobs. Kong takes like 40 seconds to get to the ring out of a minute.

ODB comes in fifth as Jackie puts out Brooks but Kong just goes off, getting rid of Jackie (GO KONG!) and Martinez. Angelina Love (Angel Williams at this point) has the music, the boobs and the stage pose already as she’s 6th. Christy comes in and is still amazing looking Kong beats the tar out of her with a rack where Christy’s feet almost hit her head. A Batista Bomb hits as Gail Kim is eighth.

Everyone gangs up on Kong as the medics take out Christy to eliminate her for the most part. The three in the ring get rid of Kong whose shirt flies up and we get a boob shot as Talia Madison (Velvet Skye) is ninth. Roxxi who is a voodoo chick with hair at this point is last. Love apparently went out off camera so we have four left: Roxxi, ODB, Gail and Velvet.

Gail puts out Velvet as we get a GREAT back shot of her. ODB is out also and we have our one on one match. Gail gets an insane looking submission hold on Roxxi which was like a sideways Octopus Hold. Gail looks sexy in those shorts to put it mildly. They really make her figure look good. Roxxi botches a jackknife pin for two. Gail hits Finlay’s Celtic Cross to end it and win the title.

Rating: C-. Again, is there a reason to mix things up like they did here that I’m just not getting? Why not have an actual tournament rather than this weird hybrid thing? It wasn’t bad I guess but at the same time this just didn’t work like they wanted it to. This could have been a lot better as a simple one on one match but this just didn’t do it for me like they wanted it to. Not horrible though.

Speaking of Russo, we’ll take a look at Sacrifice 2008 and another of his ideas. It’s a battle royal, but the final two remaining get to have a ladder match. The winner of the ladder match gets a Knockouts Title shot but the loser gets her head shaved. For no reason given, Gail Kim can’t have her head shaved so if she makes the ladder match, it’s the last person out of the battle royal’s head getting shaved. Again, this is why people complain about Russo booking.

Knockouts Battle Royal

Velvet Sky, Angelina Love, Rhaka Khan, Salinas, Christy Hemme, ODB, Roxxi Laveaux, Jacqueline, Traci Brooke, Gail Kim

For absolutely no apparent reason, Gail cannot have her head shaved so if she makes the ladder match, the last person eliminated from the battle royal has her head shaved instead. I’ll give Vince Russo 10 bucks to explain his own stories. Roxxi puts Salinas out (not over the top) less than 30 seconds in. Velvet does some fighting from the apron and yeah it’s only there to have a nice shot from behind her. She’s out a few seconds later.

Traci is gone and the fans chant for ODB. Khan puts Christy out. They’re going out so fast that you can’t really keep track of who is still in there. Jackie and ODB double team Khan and Love joins them to get rid of the tall one. Jackie and ODB go out within seconds of each other and Angelina is out at the hands of Roxxi to put us down to Roxxi and Gail.

Gail Kim vs. Roxxi Laveaux

This is a ladder match and if Roxxi wins, Angelina’s head is shaved. This is officially the same match so I’ll rate it all together. The fans all cheer for Roxxi because Angelina isn’t a nice person. Gail sets up the ladder and goes up quickly but Roxxi makes the save. I see no point whatsoever to this being a ladder match but it’s TNA so what difference does it really make?

Gail puts the ladder in the corner for no apparent reason. She gets taken down and Angelina throws in a ladder of her own. Gail does look good in those TINY shorts. She powerbombs Roxxi off the ladder and might be busted a bit. Angelina interferes again and gets dropped by Roxxi. Roxxi gets a SICK spinebuster to Gail onto the ladder and here’s Angelina again….and she’s gone already. She and Velvet shove Roxxi off the ladder and Gail gets the contract.

Rating: D. Well let’s see. The matches combined to take about 8 minutes, the eliminations were pedestrian and nothing particularly interesting happened. On the other hand, Gail showed off a lot of skin and the other girls looked good too so we can’t call it a total loss. Again though: why was it a ladder match? Can someone explain that to me?

Despite Gail being near the top of the division, her contract was allowed to expire and she went back to the WWE in early 2009. Not a lot happened for her though so we’ll skip ahead to the fall and Bragging Rights 2009 for a battle for brand supremacy.

Michelle McCool/Natalya/Beth Phoenix vs. Melina/Kelly Kelly/Gail Kim

Beth in blue is an amazing sight. This was when Michelle got really hot really fast. Look at the rosters. Who do you think is going to win? Beth and Gail start. Can’t believe I’m typing this but DANG at Michelle. All three Smackdown girls have been in there in less than a minute. Kelly tries a sunset flip. It’s bad.

This is just painfully uninteresting as there is less than zero chance for Raw to win two in a row. I mean the match is ok, but people just couldn’t care any less as there is zero drama. Crowd is more or less dead too. Glam Slam ends Melina for the pin.

Rating: W. As in who cares? Like I said, the idea that THIS was going to decide the cup and not the big tag was just ridiculous and it crippled the match. Also the match was just generic. This could have been any other Divas match which really shows how bland the division is at this point.

One of the few high points for Gail in the WWE would be making the finals of a tournament for the vacant Divas Title against Maryse on February 10, 2010.

Divas Title: Maryse vs. Gail Kim

Gail Kim is incorrectly called a two time Womens’ Champion. Gail slides to the corner to avoid a charge from the blonde and gets two off a bulldog. Maryse comes back with a kick to the face for two of her own but gets rolled up for another near fall. Kim goes up top but completely misses a top rope cross body to put both girls down. A victory roll doesn’t work for Gail and a quick DDT gives Maryse the title. This was nothing.

Gail stuck around for several more months until an interesting incident took place on August 5. It was a battle royal (shocking) and Gail was told to be out in the first minute. No one was able to do it, so she got out of the ring herself. This didn’t exactly look right and WWE took her off TV as a result and let her contract run out. It was back to TNA where she would team up with Madison Rayne to challenge Tara and Miss Tessmacher for the Knockouts Tag Titles on November 3, 2011.

Knockout Tag Titles: Tara/Brooke Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim/Madison Rayne

 

Time for the monthly defense of the titles. Brooke’s outfit is designed like a Texas flag for some reason. She and Madison start us off but it’s off to Tara quickly. The arm work begins as the champions are tagging fast. Gail comes in and is all dominant and evil for a bit. Tessmacher’s corner hijinks don’t really work this time. Gail beats on Brooke a bit more until it’s a hot tag to Tara. Everything breaks down and there’s the Widow’s Peak. Karen Jarrett has the referee though and Eat Defeat gives us new champions at 5:05.

 

Rating: D+. It’s not like anyone cares about the belts, but this is what you do with the titles here as they’re actually having a division wide angle going on. Karen is evil and trying to have her girls get the titles. It’s not particularly interesting but a dull story is better than a repetitive one on a treadmill like the Divas have so this was fine, just not that interesting.

This is of course TNA, so why give her one title when you can give her two? From ten days later at Turning Point 2011.

Knockouts Title: Gail Kim vs. Velvet Sky

 

Brawl to start and I really can’t complain about seeing Velvet in shorts like those. Gail is knocked to the floor and Velvet totally misses a baseball slide but Gail sells it anyway. Back in a crossbody gets two for Sky. Kim takes over and here’s Karen on the ramp as the fans chant what sounds like Sloppy Seconds. Gail hooks an abdominal stretch and Velvet fights back with nothing significant.

 

I’m sorry if I seem totally out of it here but I have zero interest in this show for the most part. Eat Defeat is blocked into a facebuster by Velvet but Karen distracts as Madison comes in to lay out Velvet. That only gets two and Gail goes up, missing a missile dropkick but managing a rollup with tights for two. Madison cheats again and Eat Defeat gives us a new champion at 5:54. Really?

 

Rating: C-. The match was ok but the cheating got old fast. Also, they really took the title off Velvet that fast? I’m really kind of surprised by that as I would have thought they would build to Velvet vs. Angelina in the big showdown that has only kind of happened so far. Not great and not bad, but Velvet in blue is always a good thing.

Gail wouldn’t do much in 2012 so we’ll jump to Genesis 2013 and another gauntlet match for a future title shot.

Knockouts Gauntlet Match

Winner gets a title shot at some point in the future. We start with Gail Kim vs. Tessmacher and they trade rollups to start. Tessmacher can’t hit her Stinkface and Kim clotheslines her down for two. Gail goes up but gets crotched, allowing Tessmacher to hit an X-Factor out of the corner for two. That means nothing though as Gail makes her Eat Defeat for the first elimination.

Next in is ODB who stops a charging Gail on the ramp. Back in and Kim gets spanked because that’s what happens in women’s wrestling. A splash crushes Gail and there’s a bronco buster to hammer in the point. They trade rollups and Gail avoids having her face rammed into ODB’s crotch before rolling her up with tights for the pin.

Mickie James is in next and she takes Gail down quickly, only to get caught by a running shoulder in the corner. A neckbreaker puts Gail down as do an enziguri and a flapjack. We head to the floor for a headscissors from James before heading inside where Gail molests the referee. A rollup on Mickie with another handful of tights gets another pin.

Velvet Sky is the last chick in this so she can beat a weakened Gail which is supposed to make us care I guess. I can live with Velvet in a catsuit though. Gail sends her into the barricade but poses on the ropes instead of covering. A cradle gets two for Gail but she gets caught holding the ropes. Sky hits her sitout Pedigree for the pin at 12:00. Gail had her foot under the ropes so I’m sure a triple threat is coming.

Rating: D. I can’t stand gauntlet matches for one reason: they’re nothing but a collection of short matches that don’t have time to develop at all and usually result in a bunch of stupid finishes. On top of that, this was your usual worthless female wrestling with stupid moves that are supposed to be sexy but come off looking completely stupid. I’m sure a triple threat match is coming because that’s how wrestling works.

The next big story for Gail was a feud with referee Taryn Terrell, due to Taryn allegedly costing her matches. This let to a last Knockout standing match at Slammiversary 2013.

Taryn Terrell vs. Gail Kim

Gail attacks in the corner to start but Taryn comes back with clotheslines to take over. Gail puts on an octopus hold but lets it go early and only gets a six count. Kim goes to the floor for a chair but has it kicked out of her hands. Some hair drags keep Gail down for a few moments but she manages to get the chair up to block a high cross body. Gail is up first and goes after the knee for a bit before wedging the chair between the ropes. Taryn blocks a ram into the chair but gets caught in the Figure Four around the post.

Terrell is up at 8 and dodges Gail’s charge into the corner, sending her head first into the chair in a SICK looking crash. That only gets eight so Taryn puts her in the Figure Four around the post for eight more. Taryn misses a charge and lands on the ramp for nine, only to be caught in a legsweep onto the ramp for nine more. Gail tries a piledriver but gets reversed into a bulldog off the ramp to put both girls down. Taryn beats the count for the win at 9:18.

Rating: B-. This was the best Knockouts match in YEARS. The bulldog off the stage was a bigger spot but the missed charge into the chair should have been the finish. It looked MUCH more painful and I thought Gail was out cold. Still though, very entertaining match and I was really impressed with Taryn here. I’d bet on her vs. Mickie at BFG for the title in a veteran vs. underdog title match.

Since that was so awesome, the only solution was a rematch about a month later in a ladder match. From July 11, 2013.

Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell

This is a ladder match with the winner getting a title shot at some point in the future. Taryn throws her out to the ramp to start and spears her through the ropes for good measure. The first ladder is brought in and rammed into Gail’s ribs in the corner. Taryn dropkicks the top of the ladder to drive it further into the ribs as Taz is back on commentary. Gail’s cross body is kicked out of the air and the ladder is set up in the middle of the ring. Gail sends her into the side of the ladder to take over but can’t hook the figure four around the post.

Back from a break with both girls climbing and slugging it out on top. They both fall down and land on the ropes with the ladder nearly crushing Gail’s skull in the process. Taryn shoves the ladder face first into a charging Gail but her leg is tied up in the ladder. Taryn has to find a replacement but Gail gets up and climbs, only to be pulled back down by Terrell. The other ladder is bridged between the ropes and the standing ladder but Gail gets off before Taryn can crush her against the bridge.

Gail puts the figure four on Taryn inside the ladder but both of them climb up anyway. Taryn chokes Gail off the ladder and shoves her to the mat, but the knee won’t let her stand high enough. Instead Terrell dives off the ladder with a cross body and both girls are down again. They both climb onto the bridged ladder with Taryn being thrown to the mat again in a big thud. Terrell is up first and hooks a dragon sleeper, but Gail TIES TARYN’S HAIR AROUND THE ROPES. Gail climbs the ladder to get the shot at 15:10.

Rating: B+. Solid match here with a creative ending. The match was so good that it makes me get over Gail getting ANOTHER title shot which I don’t think anyone wants to see. Taryn is showing good promise in the ring which goes along with her looks. I liked the last man standing match better but this was certainly good stuff.

We’ll close it out with a win, from Bound For Glory 2013.

Knockouts Title: ODB vs. Brooke vs. Gail Kim

ODB is defending. Brooke looks GREAT in a leather version of her usual attire. Gail is knocked to the floor to start with Brooke taking over on ODB in the corner. Brooke gives her a Stink Face but ODB pops up and sends her into the corner for a Bronco Buster. Gail comes back in, only to be knocked back to the floor a few seconds later. Brooke works on ODB’s back and gets two off a quick neckbreaker.

Gail pops back up and grabs the figure four around the post, only to have ODB make the save with her chest. ODB chops Brooke but gets rolled up for a quick two. Off to a half crab on Brooke but Gail makes another save. The challengers both go up but have to shove off a double superplex attempt, followed by Gail hitting a missile dropkick on ODB. Brooke adds a top rope elbow (WAY too popular of a move tonight) for no cover.

Back up and ODB gets two on Gail via a delayed vertical suplex. The referee gets taken out as ODB somehow gets both girls up in a fireman’s carry at the same time. Brooke falls off but ODB slams Gail onto her….and here’s Tapa. She runs over ODB and takes her out, only to powerbomb Gail on top of ODB for the pin and the title at 10:33.

Rating: D+. This could have been on any given Impact and that’s the problem with this show: nothing feels special at all so far. Gail is champion again. So? She’s been champion before, just like everyone else in the division. Nothing to see here other than Brooke looking great.

Gail Kim is a good example of a talented worker whose looks helped her out a lot. She looked great in a tiny pair of shorts but could also work a solid wrestling match. The interesting thing is people remember has as being champion quite often but she only held it once in WWE and three times in TNA. Solid worker, but a step below the other top girls who came before her.

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2 comments

  1. Dark Grin says:

    No Gail/Kong matches? Those are my favorite female matches of all time. Even moreso than Trish/Lita.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yeah I probably should have put one in. I had a lot from that period in TNA though and I can’t let these go on and on forever.