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Gail Kim on being an Impact executive, Knockouts division, future goals

The Impact Hall-of-Famer talks to Denise Salcedo about Slammiversary and her future.

Ahead of next Sunday's Impact Slammiversary pay-per-view in Nashville, Tennessee, I talked with Impact Hall-of-Famer and inaugural Knockouts Champion Gail Kim who is currently working in their talent relations department alongside D'Lo Brown.

Kim first signed with the company back in 2005 after her release from WWE. She returned to WWE from 2008-2011 before returning to Impact in 2011 where she's been ever since.

Transitioning into her executive role 

Even though the seven-time Knockouts Champion has been retired from in-ring action for the last several years, she continues to work behind the scenes. It's almost unheard of to see ex-female wrestlers transition into executive roles, but she has.

"It was a natural progression for me because, I would say in my last couple of years of being a talent, you become this veteran in the locker room. The girls really value your opinion. We always had producers and agents that guided us along the way. In the last couple years, the girls would ask the producer for their feedback and then they would ask me my feedback as well, so it just happened naturally. I love creativity in the ring. That's where my heart is in terms of matches and putting together these interesting compelling matches, storylines and getting the fans' emotions."

As part of talent relations, Kim not only works with the women but also the men.

"And now I am also in Talent Relations with D'Lo Brown. We're like work husband/work wife (laughs), so we're there for talent predominantly. It's great."

Why she's so invested in the Knockouts division 

"I am just so invested because I've been part of this division from day one. Now I am like a proud mom. These girls are literally my heart, in a sense, because when they accomplish things and they kill it, I am having that high that I got as a talent for weeks on end. It's a great feeling because it gives me that fulfillment that I don't get anymore from being in the ring." 

Kim isn't the only female Impact has hired behind the scenes as Christy Hemme and Madison Rayne have also been part of the team -- an opportunity Kim relishes.

"Scott D'Amore right now is pretty much at the head of running things. Without the men who believe in the women and who give us the opportunities, we wouldn't be able to grow and progress in that way. He has given that opportunity. Now Christy Hemme is back and Madison Rayne is producing. As more women are coming in, I feel supported."

The first-ever Queen of the Mountain match

At Slammiversary, the Knockouts will once again be making history as they compete in the first-ever Queen of the Mountain match. Knockouts Champion Tasha Steelz will defend against Deonna Purrazzo, Chelsea Green, Tasha Steelz, Mia Yim and Jordynne Grace with Mickie James as the special guest enforcer. 

"I look at that graphic and I get goosebumps. These girls are all so fierce, so competitive and so talented. I've already put pressure on them to steal the show (laughs), but I have no doubt that they can. I am just so looking forward to it."

Future goals

Even with her level of success, Kim still has plenty of goals for the wrestling business.

"Just keep on climbing that ladder and create more opportunities for more people. Think outside the box more in terms of changing wrestling as a whole along with the team I work with. Create more opportunities for those people that have the same dreams as me. Give the the opportunity to create the success that I've been lucky to have. I have zero regrets whether I had ups or down in the business, I am so proud of everything I've done and what I continue to do and I just hope it flourishes in the future." 

Impact Slammiversary is set for Sunday, June 19th on pay-per-view.