With recent talks about Gail Kim coming out of retirement to wrestle Mickie James in Impact, we look back at her ill-fated run in the WWE. The TNA legend is one of the most important wrestlers in North American history, but her time under Vince McMahon left much to be desired and saw her quit the company in spectacular fashion.
However, first we must look at her debut in the company and how Gail Kim’s first WWE match went.
Gail Kim’s WWE Debut
Gail Kim’s televised WWE debut was a seven-woman battle royal on the June 30, 2003 episode of Raw with the WWE Women’s Championship, then held by an injured Jazz, on the line. The Canadian star was up against a number of legends like Trish Stratus and Molly Holly in the match, and many didn’t expect her to have any chance at all.
However, she shocked the world in her debut by last eliminating Victoria to win the match and the WWE Women’s Championship. She was a fan-favourite, with her Matrix-inspired outfit and gimmick a big hit with the crowd. She held the belt for four weeks, before dropping it to Molly Holly, the woman who had helped get her hired the year prior.
Gail Kim was introduced to Molly Holly in 2001, being recommended to sign for the company by fellow pro-wrestler Jason Sensation. After sending in videos of her work to the WWE offices, Kim signed for the company in October 2002 and began training in Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE’s developmental promotion.
After eight months of training and wrestling on house shows, she was called up to the main roster with a series of Matrix-Style vignettes. This led to her eventual debut which saw her manage something very few women have ever done before or since – winning a championship on her first night in the company.
However, it was all downhill from there. She was released by the company a year later, as part of wider budget cuts, and promptly moved to TNA where her rivalry with Awesome Kong would produce some of the best women’s matches ever seen. These would lead to a return to the WWE in 2008, but it would end just as badly as her first run.
Gail Kim’s Last WWE Match
In her second run with the company, Gail Kim’s last WWE match was in a Divas Battle Royal, with the winner becoming the number one contender for the WWE Divas Championship. The match was a star-studded affair, featuring future legends like AJ Lee, Kaitlyn, Maryse and The Bella Twins.
The match featured one of the funniest eliminations WWE has ever seen. The women were all battling for a chance to take on Kelly Kelly for her Divas Championship. The winner of the match was always meant to be Beth Phoenix and the women had been instructed to be eliminated in a certain order at a certain time.
Gail Kim was instructed to be thrown out within a minute of the match starting. Being sick and tired of the way she was treated in the company in her three year run in the WWE, she had simply had enough. After a brief encounter with Alicia Fox she simply fell to the ground and rolled under the rope, eliminating herself.
Note: In the “Divas Era”, in the female battle royals you did not have to be thrown over the top rope to be eliminated. You only had to leave the ring by any means.
Gail Kim later posted on her Twitter page that she was quitting the company immediately. However, WWE did not grant her release straight away, and instead waited until the expiry of her contract on September 30th, 2011. She would immediately return to TNA and put her horrible experience in the WWE behind her.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.