By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring The Belle interview with Gail Kim
Interview available at Ring The Belle Youtube Page (or below)
Thoughts on WWE’s treatment of Asian talents: When I see thee talented people like [Asuka, Kairi Sane, and Io Shirai] get hired, I do get worried for them. I just know what kind of talent they have, and it wouldn’t make sense to utilize their talent to the utmost degree, I mean that’s how you make your money right? I am worried about the stereotypes in the business because normally, not in all cases, but in a lot of cases, you see a lot of the ethnic minorities being grouped together because they really don’t know what else to do. When I was in WWE, they would always ask me, “do you speak Korean?” I was like, are they trying to make me go into that stereotypical role? Because that’s not me. I was born and raised in Canada.
Racism and stereotypes in WWE: I do think there’s a lot of racism a stereotyping. This is not an excuse for Vince, but I think it’s just ignorance. I think people with that kind of beliefs are raised that way, but it’s a different world now. So I hope that he’s listening and then he changes stuff. I think in his mind he thinks that if he hires people of ethnicities, then he’s not racist. But it’s not. it’s more than that. I truly believe that in his mind, he doesn’t think someone of color could be his face of the company which I disagree with. If you connected the audience in some way, you can be at the top.
How she found success outside of WWE: I always just kind of let my heart lead me. I know you can’t always do that because it’s business. But I always knew what I wanted to do, and I felt like my clock was ticking. So I got out of [WWE] to do what I wanted to do and that’s how I found success.
Seeing Awesome Kong/Kharma for the First Time: I had never seen her before work. I had never seen her come out in her gear. And she terrified me. If you go look up the match on YouTube, you’ll see me mouth the words “oh shit,” because I was terrified.
Thoughts on her matches with Awesome Kong in TNA: At that time, women’s wrestling, in general, was pretty much dead. Us doing this just in itself, to have the women wrestle and to have different types of women wrestle. Kong was not the usual woman that you would see in wrestling. it was just so different at that time that it made us stand out.
Reuniting with Kharma in WWE: I didn’t know what to expect because, to protect my career and be proud of my career, I was afraid of how the company was going to handle our history. Whether WWE was gonna have us wrestle. Because they never utilized my talents in the ring, so I was just afraid of them ruining our history. That never happened, thank God.
Charles Robinson Telling Her to Be Happier When She Won Her First WWE Women’s Championship: I remember when I won [the title.] Because I had never really been a babyface in the Indies, the referee is telling me “be happy, be happier!” I didn’t know how to react. I think I was just more shocked, and they were telling me to go and celebrate more.
The origin of Matrix character on her first run with WWE: They said, “we’re gonna go film some vignettes for your debut.” They showed it to me and dress me for it, but never explained it to me. About a year and a half in [my career in WWE,] I remember one of the writers coming to me and saying, “we never really talked to you about your character, did we?” I never really understood it. But I was so green that I was just trying to do what the company told me to do. It’s funny that this whole look is where I ended up at the end of my career. That’s very similar. I think that they got who I was supposed to be. But I wasn’t ready for it, and they never really explained it to me. AndI never got to really let it develop naturally.
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The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...