With almost 20 years in the business, Gail Kim has been a part of many different eras in women's wrestling. The current era of the Women's Evolution was coined by WWE, but it is being used as a source of inspiration and empowerment by female wrestlers throughout the world.
That includes the Knockouts Division in Impact Wrestling which Kim is in charge of as its producer and agent. Impact's VP, Don Callis, recently stated that he sees the Knockouts Division moving into a sexier direction, and Kim discussed that with us on the latest edition of our WINCLY podcast.
"I know people are going to be surprised to hear me say this because they think I'm such an advocate for women's wrestling… But I truly believe that the best time in wrestling, for me, was when I first got into WWE and they had a strong women's division and they also had girls who strengths weren't in the ring and were more for entertainment," said Kim.
"I think that giving that balance to fans is the most successful formula that you can have because you get a little bit of everything to everyone. So I don't disagree with [Callis]. I think there's room for everything."
One of those Knockouts who is used more for entertainment than wrestling is Scarlett Bordeaux and Kim says she's a fan of Bordeaux's character.
"I think the fans are reacting in a positive way to Scarlett because she's the one girl that really stands out because she's not part of the Knockouts roster in terms of the wrestling division," stated Kim. "But she's still a prominent character on the show. She can wrestle, but that's not her role for now and it's good to give her a little bit of diversity."
Callis is part of the new regime in Impact Wrestling which has undergone many organizational changes over the years. Kim discussed if she likes the new regime and how it compares to ones in the past.
"I love it," said Kim. "I've seen this company go through so many ups and downs that I'm never really worried even when fans think we're going out of business. So, my concern was I always felt that, is there supposed to be one leader? In my mind I thought, 'what's going to happen when we have four leaders? Five leaders?'"
Kim said she was worried about egos and a power struggle with so many people in power in Impact, but it's been the complete opposite.
"It really has been a family again and everyone gelling. No egos. No power struggle. Just people wanting to make this product great," stated Kim.
A big topic of conversation about Impact recently has been there move to Pursuit Channel. Many fans aren't happy with the change with the main reason being that Pursuit Channel isn't available in many homes.
"I think that's the only downfall – to find us," Kim said of the move to Pursuit. "In terms of us with the company, nothing's going to change and we're just gonna keep doing what we're doing which is turning the product around and entertaining fans. Hopefully we'll add some more talent this year and everyone we've added so far has been great.
Kim mentioned turning the product around and that's in reference to many fans being frustrated with Impact in recent years. Kim thinks the company has turned the corner in that regard, but she also admits that it was hard to ignore the fans' complaints.
"At one point, it was just all so negative where everyone just wanted to hate us," Kim said of the fans' frustrations. "As a performer, I was like why is everyone being so negative? It's nice to hear mostly, if not all, positive [reactions] and everyone is appreciating our efforts."
Kim also has her own frustrations with the current state of women's wrestling and specifically WWE's approach to it. WWE is signing women left and right and placing them in NXT or the Performance Center, which is great for them, but bad for everyone else.
"WWE is basically scooping up all the talent and making it really difficult," revealed Kim. "They say they want competition and like competition, but I don't believe that. They are trying to make this a monopoly."
Kim says she isn't a fan of that approach as it drowns the talent when they are all in one place in WWE's developmental promotion.
"I don't think that's proven to be a successful formula. You should let people do it the old school way and let everyone chase after their dreams and give them good-money contracts instead of giving 50 low-money contracts. I think this way they're doing it is not great for the talent out there," said Kim.
In Gail's full interview on Wrestling Inc's WINCLY podcast she also discusses her role backstage as an agent for Impact Wrestling, working with the new management team, Austin Aries controversial tweets about Taya Valkryie and more. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc Audio on iTunes to get the latest episodes of the WINCLY as soon as they are released. You can listen to the WINCLY episode featuring Gail, as well as Crowbar and Brian Cage, in the embedded player below: