“Right now I’m on a little hiatus,” she said, “I told myself I’d take a little break. They [WWE] didn’t let me quit so I was forced to take a break!”
That’s a direct quote from Gail Kim‘s interview with the One Sided Ring podcast last week (released for free on the day after she did her iPPV live shoot interview), which has been abridged by The Sun in a two piece article, found here and here. As we found out this week, that “little break” was only going to last a another week, as on Tuesday’s post-Bound For Glory Impact Wrestling tapings, Kim returned to TNA, attacking new Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky and aligning herself with Knockouts VP Karen Jarrett and Jarrett’s biggest supporter, Madison Rayne.
This has been on the cards for some time. Following her quitting WWE in August (which saw her bow out of the promotion by eliminating herself from a battle royal on a live episode of Raw – something that she has since admitted was “childish”), there has been talk about her returning. During her live shoot and podcast interview, Kim was very careful to not bury TNA, while launching both barrels at WWE, as it’s very clear that it has no clear direction for their women, and went as far as to say she will never return.
Click after the jump to see the video of her return to TNA.
It looks like Gail is being spearheaded to be Velvet Sky’s first challenger for the Knockouts Title, and the two will probably clash at Turning Point on November 13 with the belt on the line. It also appears that the premise for the programme is that Kim considers Sky a “joke” of a champion, and is presumably going to go for the title to restore some dignity and honour to it.
Quite honestly, it would be best for Kim to lose that title match at Turning Point, should it happen. Having her come in after being away for three years and winning the belt from brand new champion Sky after a one month reign would cut the legs off Velvet completely, and just validate her claims that she’s not worthy of being the titleholder. Kim should know that it wouldn’t be the best plan either, as when she an Awesome Kong fought over the belt in late 2007 and early 2008, Kim was successful in her first two defences – the first was a DQ win, the second was by pinfall – before eventually falling to Kong on January 10, 2008’s episode of Impact. TNA may have something with Sky, but she will never realise her potential as Knockouts Champion if she is made to look like her win at Bound For Glory last week was a fluke.
Besides, someone’s first title reign should be treated as something special. To end it after just 4 weeks on her first title defence on pay-per-view seems a little harsh. A series of matches between Sky and Kim could benefit Velvet as far as her in-ring ability is concerned, and could also shake off any ring rust or apathy that Gail may have picked up.
Kim has hardly been stretched as a wrestler over the last few years, seldom wrestling on Raw or SmackDown and having most of her TV time on Superstars. In addition, none of her WWE matches stand out as being classics, and some were stinkers – such as this match against Mickie James which fell apart at the end – though for the most part, Gail was in the shadows or was a supporting act. Having achieved nothing of note in WWE – partly down to not having any decent booking and partly due to not really being a dynamic character – is Kim the person to lead the Knockouts Division? In her absence, a number of other women have carried the ball, with Rayne being a great heel in that time, Velvet becoming the most over female babyface in the promotion, and it’s been propped up with sure hands like Tara. Is it right that Kim – who hasn’t had a defining moment in more than three and a half years – be given the belt at the first opportunity?
Perhaps being back in TNA will give her a new lease of life and she will recapture that spark that led to TNA making her the first Knockouts Champion. Hopefully in doing so, she will bring other people up with her – Sky could use it, potential matches with Tara should produce, and giving exciting prospect Brooke Tessmacher another brain to pick for information, advice and guidance can only help the Knockouts Tag Team Champion in the long run. She is only 34-years old, so she has a good few years to offer the promotion – Tara is still doing her thing at 40 and looks great, so it’s by no means impossible.
It depends on what Gail Kim wants from her return to TNA – to sit atop the division, or to be able to give and contribute to improve the entire Knockout roster, benefitting everyone around her? I guess we will see.
– Lee Burton