Speaking to SLAM! Wrestling, Gail Kim explains why she disobeyed WWE by controversially eliminating herself from the Divas Battle Royal on the August 1 episode of Monday Night Raw. She says it was the culmination of all the disrespect she felt from WWE.
“I don’t regret what I did at all. It was a respect thing,” Kim says. “I was told to get eliminated as soon as possible, so that’s what I did. I saw my decision as a case of either continuing to take their lack of respect or doing something about it.
“Nobody knows what I went through in terms of disrespect during my time there, but that move wasn’t just about me it was a culmination of all the disrespect I felt that all the other women and the women’s division as a whole had received too, I was taking a stand.
“While a lot of fans watching Raw noticed what I did, nobody from WWE noticed, that just shows how much they didn’t care. I went up to Johnny [John Laurinaitis] after and spoke about the Battle Royal and his reaction towards the match was, ‘Yeah, I heard it was pretty shit.’ I was amazed and I then told him how I eliminated myself and he just laughed.
“How can fans take the division seriously if the people working for the company aren’t? If it had been one of the men who had eliminated themselves they would have been punished, but because it was the women nobody cared, not even after I had told them.”
A few days later Kim announced on Twitter that she had quit WWE, however, she was not permitted to bolt. What followed was a standoff between WWE and their former Women’s Champion, which saw her forced to sit out the remainder of her contract.
“WWE are notoriously known for being controlling when it comes to your career, that night of the Battle Royal I went to Johnny and told him I quit, I said I don’t want your money; I just want to be free. He told me that it shouldn’t be a problem, but of course it was,” Kim says.
“They didn’t want me to work elsewhere, at this time I told him, ‘What does it matter if I leave or not? You’re not using me, it’s not like I’m valuable to you just let me go,’ but there was no budging.”
After sitting at home for over two months waiting out the remainder of her contract, Kim finally made her much anticipated return to TNA Wrestling on the October 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, when she aligning herself with Madison Rayne and Karen Jarrett. Being a TNA Knockout means everything to her.
“I’m just so excited to be back in the company, I can’t speak for anybody in particular but the feeling I got when I came back was that there were no hard feelings about my previous decision to leave. Being back here feels like time has never passed.
“I think everyone kind of expected me to return. I said in my last interview when I was leaving that I would probably be back, everyone has been real welcoming, it’s like being a part of a family here at TNA. It’s great to see the growth that this company has made since I’ve been gone, it’s nice to see the direction its going and where they want to be heading.”
She adds, “I’m just so happy to be here and to now be a part of a company once again that actually cares about wrestling.”
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