Gail Kim-Irvine (February 20, 1977) is a Canadian professional wrestler, professional wrestling valet, model and actress of Korean descent, who is currently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), where she is the current TNA Women's Knockouts Champion in her sixth reign. Kim is also known for working with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where she won the WWE Women's Championship in her first match.
She began her career wrestling as La Felina on the Canadian independent circuit, before joining WWE in 2002 as Gail Kim. In her WWE debut match in 2003, she won the WWE Women's Championship, becoming the first WWE Diva in history to win a championship in her first match. After being released by WWE in 2004, Kim joined TNA in September 2005. There, she joined the tag team America's Most Wanted as their valet. After the dissolution of the group, Kim performed as a singles wrestler, eventually going on to become the inaugural TNA Women's Knockout Champion in October 2007. She later left TNA in August 2008, to return to WWE three months later, making her televised return in March 2009. She announced on August 5, 2011 that she had quit WWE via her Twitter account. The following October she returned to TNA. In 2012, Pro Wrestling Illustrated named Kim the number one female wrestler in the world.
Professional wrestling career
Canadian independent circuit (2000–2002)
After obtaining her degree from Ryerson University, Kim decided to become a professional wrestler and joined Ron Hutchinson's "School of Pro Wrestling" in Toronto. She received supplementary training from Rob Etchevarria at the "Squared Circle Pro Wrestling Gym". She debuted in December 2000, wearing a mask and wrestling as "The Queen of the Cats" La Felina in the Southern Ontario-based Apocalypse Wrestling Federation. She, however, was eventually unmasked by Tracy Brooks in a "Mask versus Hair" match. Kim worked on the Canadian independent circuit for two years, wrestling for promotions such as Border City Wrestling.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2002–2004)
Kim was introduced to World Wrestling Federation (WWF) employee Nora Greenwald (known on-screen as Molly Holly) by Jason Sensation in 2001; Greenwald encouraged Kim to send her videos and tapes to WWF officials, which eventually led to her contract. In October 2002, she was hired by the WWF, now renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). She spent eight months training in Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) and appearing in house shows and dark matches before being called up to the main roster. After several weeks of vignettes showcasing Matrix-like effects aired on Raw, Kim debuted on June 30 as a fan favorite, with a Matrix-inspired outfit.
Kim's first televised WWE match was a seven-woman battle royal in Buffalo, New York on the June 30, 2003 episode of Raw with the WWE Women's Championship, then held by an injured Jazz, on the line. Kim won the match by lastly eliminating Victoria. Kim held the title for four weeks, before losing it to Molly Holly on the July 28, 2003 episode of Raw. The following week, Kim turned heel on Trish Stratus and subsequently formed an alliance with Holly to take on Stratus, defeating her and various partners on several occasions, until she was later assisted by Lita. At WWE's Unforgiven PPV event on September 21, 2003, Stratus and Lita defeated Kim and Holly in a tag match. The four women continued to feud until November, when Kim was sidelined with a broken right collarbone. Kim returned to Raw in April 2004 and immediately reforged her alliance with Holly. At WWE's Bad Blood PPV event on June 13, 2004, she faced Lita, Stratus, and Victoria in a Fatal Four-Way for the WWE Women's Championship, which was won by Stratus.
Kim participated in a battle royal on October 19, 2004 at WWE's Taboo Tuesday PPV event, which was won by Stratus. She, however, was released by WWE on November 3, 2004 as a result of cost cutting. Kim was caught off guard by her release and was told that management wanted to take the women's division in a new direction.
International circuit (2005)
After her release from WWE, Kim would make an appearance for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling on January 22, 2005 in South Korea, teaming with Lollipop in a tag team match, where they defeated Malia Hosaka and Nidia. On June 26, Kim made her debut for World Series Wrestling (WSW) in Melbourne, Australia, losing to Nidia in a singles match. Two days later at another WSW event in Sydney, Kim defeated Nidia in a rematch. The following night, Kim teamed up with A.J. Styles to defeat Nidia and Christopher Daniels in a mixed tag team match.On July 22,gail kim fight against Nidia in submission match.Kim made Nidia submit with her Terminus Lock (scorpion cross lock).
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2005–2008)
America's Most Wanted (2005–2007)
Following her release and the expiration of her 90-day no-compete clause, Kim made sporadic appearances on the independent circuit, including at Michigan's All World Wrestling League and in Japan. She also competed in Korea and Mexico before being signed by the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) promotion on September 6, 2005. She made her TNA debut on the October 8, 2005 episode of TNA's television program TNA Impact!, aligning herself with Jeff Jarrett and America's Most Wanted (AMW) (Chris Harris and James Storm) and taking on the role of AMW's and Jarrett's manager. Kim made her in-ring debut on July 16, 2006 at TNA's Victory Road PPV event in a Six Man Mixed Tag Team match with AMW against A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Sirelda. However, her team ended up on the losing end of the contest. At TNA's Hard Justice PPV event on August 13, 2006, Kim defeated Sirelda in a standard wrestling match.
In early 2007 after the dissolution of AMW, Kim began a more active role as an in-ring competitor in TNA. This began with an on-screen feud with her former alliance, Storm, and his new manager Jacqueline. The first encounter between the group was on February 11, 2007 at TNA's Against All Odds PPV event in a Mixed Tag Team match, which Kim and her partner, Petey Williams, lost. On March 11, 2007 at TNA's Destination X PPV event, Storm and Jacqueline won a rematch against Williams and Kim in a Double Bullrope match. Kim went on to defeat Jacqueline in a Six Sides of Steel cage match on April 15, 2007 at TNA's Lockdown PPV event. Their feud came to an end on the May 3, 2007 episode of TNA Impact!, when Kim defeated Moore under street fight rules.
Singles competition and departure (2007–2008)
After the conclusion to her feud with Moore, Kim made two minor TNA PPV appearances before outlasting nine other competitors in a ten-woman gauntlet match to crown the first TNA Women's World Champion on October 14, 2007 at TNA's Bound for Glory PPV event. She made her first title defense on November 11 at TNA's Genesis PPV event; there she successfully retained the now renamed TNA Women's Knockout Championship by defeating Roxxi Laveaux, ODB, and Angel Williams. Kim then began a feud with Awesome Kong over the championship. Their first encounter occurred on December 2 at TNA's Turning Point PPV event, which resulted in Kim retaining due to a disqualification by Kong. On January 6, 2008 at TNA's Final Resolution PPV event, Kim defeated Kong in their second encounter to retain the championship under no disqualification rules. In their third and final encounter in the main event of the January 10 episode of TNA Impact!, Kong defeated Kim to win the TNA Women's Knockout Championship.
During the January 24 episode of TNA Impact!, Kim was awarded the 2007 TNA Knockout of the Year award. Kim competed in a three way match on March 9 at TNA's Destination X PPV event against Kong and ODB, which Kong won. On April 13 at TNA's Lockdown PPV event, she teamed with ODB to defeat the team of Raisha Saeed and Kong in a tag team match. On May 11 at TNA's Sacrifice PPV event, Kim won a TNA Knockouts Makeover Battle Royal, which involved a battle royal and then a ladder match, to become new one contender TNA Women's Knockout Championship. Kim competed for the championship on the May 15 episode of TNA Impact!, however failed to win the title. At TNA's Slammiversary PPV event on June 8 Kim teamed with ODB and Roxxi to defeat The Beautiful People (Angelina Love and Velvet Sky) and Moose in a six woman tag team match. Kim defeated Love on July 13 at TNA's Victory Road PPV event. Kim then teamed with ODB and Taylor Wilde to defeat the team of Kong and The Beautiful People on August 10 at TNA's Hard Justice PPV event in her last TNA PPV match. Kim's final TNA match aired on the August 21 episode of TNA Impact! in a losing effort to Kong under street fight rules. Kim left TNA in mid-August 2008 after the terms of her contract expired.
Return to WWE (2008–2011)
After her contract expired with TNA, Kim re-signed with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in late-2008. She made her return as a face on the March 27, 2009 episode of SmackDown, interrupting a WWE Divas Championship match between villainous Divas Michelle McCool and Maryse by attacking both competitors. Kim made her in-ring return on the March 30 episode of Raw on the winning team of an 18-Diva tag team match. She made her first WrestleMania appearance in the 25-Diva Miss WrestleMania battle royal on April 5, 2009 at WWE's WrestleMania XXV. On the April 17 episode of SmackDown, Kim defeated then-Divas Champion Maryse. This earned her a championship match the following week, which she failed to win.
On the June 29 episode of Raw, Kim was traded to the Raw brand as part of a 15 wrestler tri-branded trade between Raw, SmackDown, and ECW. A few weeks later on the August 10 episode of Raw, she gained another Divas title shot by winning a Fatal 4-Way match, that also involved Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, and Alicia Fox, to become number one contender. She was unsuccessful in winning the championship on the August 17 episode of Raw, when she faced then-champion Mickie James. At the Bragging Rights pay per-view on October 25, Kim, with Melina and Kelly Kelly, represented Raw in a losing effort to Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, and Natalya, representing SmackDown. Kim was on the winning side of a five-on-five Survivor Series Elimination match on November 22 at the Survivor Series pay per-view.
In early 2010, a tournament was held for the newly vacated Divas Championship. Kim defeated Jillian Hall and Fox to make it to the finals, where she faced Maryse for the vacant title. The finals were held on the February 22 episode of Raw, which Maryse won to become the new champion. The finals were originally to be held on February 21 at the Elimination Chamber pay per-view, but the match was changed to the team of Maryse and Kim versus Team Lay-Cool (McCool and Layla), which was won by Lay-Cool because of Maryse bailing on Kim during the match, as they were enemies. Kim was a part of the losing side of a 10-Diva tag team match, against Team Lay-Cool, Alicia Fox, Vickie Guerrero, and Maryse, at WWE's WrestleMania XXVI PPV event on March 28. At the Fatal 4-Way pay per-view on June 20 Kim challenged for the Divas Championship in a Fatal 4-Way match that also involved then-champion Eve, Maryse, and Fox; however, Fox won the contest, and the Divas Championship.
In early 2011, Kim had less matches & appearances on television, as she became the on-screen girlfriend of Daniel Bryan. She also began accompanying him to the ring during his matches. At that time, Bryan was managed by The Bella Twins and after they discovered Daniel Bryan kissing Kim backstage, they assaulted Kim, starting a feud with her. On January 30 at the Royal Rumble, the Bella Twins once again assaulted Kim. On the following night on Raw, Gail was at ring side during Daniel Bryan's match against Tyson Kidd. After the match, the Bellas entered the ring, Nikki slapped Bryan and Gail attacked her.
For the first half of 2011, Kim feuded with the villainous Melina; due to Melina's claims that Kim was a "horrible friend." The matches between the two mainly took place on Superstars and saw Kim emerging victorious in two singles matches on May 30 and June 23. On the August 1 episode of Raw, Kim participated in a Battle Royal to determine the number one contender for the Divas Championship, however, shortly after the match began, she eliminated herself. She later explained that WWE had instructed her to get herself eliminated from the match within the first minute, so she decided to just eliminate herself. On August 5, Gail Kim announced on her Twitter page that she had quit the WWE following the incident. Kim later indicated that WWE did not grant her release, but would instead force her to stay with the promotion for the remainder of her contract. Kim's WWE.com profile was removed on September 30, indicating that she had officially left the company, and that her contract expired. Kim later stated in an interview with The Sun that she was not happy with her time in WWE due to feeling that the female talent were being held back, while also vowing never to re-sign with the promotion.
Return to TNA Wrestling
Championship reigns (2011–2012)
Kim returned to TNA on the October 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, attacking TNA Women's Knockout Champion Velvet Sky and aligning herself with Karen Jarrett and Madison Rayne, thus establishing herself as a villain. On the October 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, Jarrett named Kim the number one contender to Sky's title, before she went on to defeat Tara in her first match back with the promotion. On the November 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim and Rayne defeated TnT (Brooke Tessmacher and Tara) to win the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship. The following week they made their first title defense, defeating Mickie James and Velvet Sky. On November 13 at TNA's Turning Point PPV event, Kim defeated Velvet Sky to win the TNA Women's Knockout Championship for the second time, making her a double champion and only the second woman in TNA history to hold both the Women's Knockout and the Knockouts Tag Team titles at the same time. She made her first title defense on December 11 at TNA's Final Resolution PPV event, defeating Mickie James, following interference from Madison Rayne. On the December 29 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim retained her title against James following another interference from Rayne.
On the January 5, 2012 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim and Rayne retained their tag team title against James and Traci Brooks. Three days later at Genesis, Kim defeated James via disqualification to retain the Women's Knockout Championship. On February 12 at Against All Odds, Kim successfully defended the Women's Knockout Championship against Tara in a match, during which Madison Rayne walked out on her Knockouts Tag Team Championship partner. On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Rayne won a battle royal to became the number one contender to Kim's TNA Women's Knockout Championship. In the following weeks, tension between Kim and Rayne began to be teased with the two negatively interfering in each other's matches. On the March 8 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim and Rayne lost the Knockouts Tag Team Championship to Eric Young and ODB. On March 18 at Victory Road, Kim successfully defended the Women's Knockout Championship against Rayne. On the March 29 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim and Rayne reconciled and remained together as a team. On April 15 at Lockdown, Kim defeated Velvet Sky in a steel cage match, following a distraction from Rayne, to retain her title. Afterwards, Kim went on a losing streak against Brooke Tessmacher, which led to TNA naming Tessmacher the number one contender to her title. On May 13 at Sacrifice, Kim defeated Tessmacher, pinning her with her feet on the ropes, for another successful title defense. On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim successfully defended her title against Tessmacher and Velvet Sky in a three-way match. On May 20, Kim became the longest reigning TNA Women's Knockout Champion in history by breaking Madison Rayne's previous record of 188 days. On June 10 at Slammiversary, Kim lost the title to Miss Tessmacher, ending her reign at 210 days. Kim received her rematch for the title on the July 12 episode of Impact Wrestling, but was again defeated by Tessmacher.
Various feuds; Alliance with Lei'D Tapa (2013–2014)
On January 13, 2013, at the Genesis pay-per-view, Kim competed in a five-woman gauntlet match to determine the number one contender to the Women's Knockout Championship. Kim eliminated Miss Tessmacher, ODB and Mickie James but was eventually eliminated by Velvet Sky after referee Taryn Terrell failed to notice Kim's foot under the ropes. On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim received a rematch for Sky's number one contendership, but was again defeated. Kim received a shot at Women's Knockout Championship on the February 21 episode of Impact Wrestling in London, England, in a fatal four–way elimination match against champion Tara, Miss Tessmacher, and Velvet Sky. During the match, Kim eliminated Tara first before being the last women eliminated by Sky.
On March 10 at the Lockdown pay-per-view, Kim unsuccessfully challenged Sky for her Women's Knockout Championship, after being assaulted by referee Taryn Terrell. Afterwards, Kim attacked Terrell backstage during an interview. On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Terrell was placed on probation due to her actions. Later that night, Kim and Tara were defeated by Mickie James and Velvet Sky, after Terrell violated her probation and slapped Kim. On the March 21 episode of Impact, Terrell was terminated as Knockouts referee by Brooke Hogan but signed Terrell to the Knockout Roster and attacked Kim. The following week, Terrell challenged Kim to a match as part of the "Open Fight Night", but Kim refused and the segment ended in a brawl between Kim, Terrell, Tara, and Velvet Sky. On the next episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim and Tara defeated Terrell and Sky, with Kim pinning Taryn for the win due to a fast count by special guest referee Joey Ryan. Kim and Terrell finally faced off in singles competition on the April 11 episode of Impact Wrestling, where Terrell emerged victorious in a match refereed by ODB. On the May 2 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim teamed up with Tara in a losing effort to Terrell and Mickie James. After the match, Kim attacked Terrell and put her in a figure-four on the ringpost. Kim would do the same to Tara and Velvet Sky on the next two episodes of Impact Wrestling. The rivalry between Kim and Terrell culminated in a Last Knockout Standing match on June 2 at Slammiversary XI, which Terrell won. On the July 11 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim defeated Terrell in a ladder match to become the number one contender to the Women's Knockout Championship.
Kim received her title opportunity on the July 25 episode of Impact Wrestling, against champion Mickie James; Kim lost the match and afterwards, confronted referee ODB after she failed to see a dirty pin, beginning a feud between the two. The following week, Kim fought ODB to double count-out. On August 15 at Impact Wrestling: Hardcore Justice, ODB pinned Kim in a three-way hardcore match, which also included Mickie James. The following week, Kim defeated ODB in singles competition. Kim and ODB faced off once again in a number one contender two out of three falls match on the August 29 episode of Impact Wrestling, which ODB won after making Kim submit for the first time ever in her career, to score the last fall. On October 20 at Bound for Glory, Kim defeated ODB and Brooke a three-way match, following interference from her new ally Lei'D Tapa, to win her third Women's Knockout Championship. Kim made her first televised defense on the October 31 episode of Impact Wrestling, defeating ODB in a rematch. On the November 7 episode of Impact Wrestling, after Kim and Tapa interrupted a number one contenders match between Brooke, ODB and Velvet Sky, Kim claimed there was no more competition in TNA and issued a challenge to any women outside the company, promising them a title shot should they defeat her. After two months, Kim was defeated by her former tag team partner Madison Rayne on the January 2, 2014 episode of Impact Wrestling, ending Kim's open challenge. Rayne would receive her championship match on January 16 at the Impact Wrestling: Genesis special episode, which she won, ending Kim's reign at 88 days. The rivalry between Kim and Rayne continued as the two competed in a street fight on the February 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, which Kim would win after a distraction by Tapa. On March 2, both Kim and Rayne were part of a group of TNA wrestlers that took part in Wrestle-1's Kaisen: Outbreak event in Tokyo, Japan. During the event, Kim defeated Rayne in a non-title match. Week later at the Lockdown pay-per-view, Kim receied a shot at the TNA Women's Knockout Championship in a steel cage match, but was unsuccessfull in regaining the title. On the March 13 episode of Impact Wrestling, the tension between Kim and Tapa would finally boil on the surface, when Kim lost to the debuting Brittany after Tapa accidentally attacked Kim. After the match, a brawl between the two would begin, officially disbanding their alliance.
Face Turn and Knockouts Champion (2014)
On the April 10 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim competed in a fatal four-way match to determine the next number one contender to Rayne's TNA Women's Knockout Championship, which would be won by Angelina Love. Kim turned face, for the first time since her return to the company, when she saved her former rival Madison Rayne from an attack from The Beautiful People on the April 24 episode of Impact Wrestling, but lost a tag-team match against The Beautiful People with Rayne as her partner. Kim and Love would continue their feud, attacking each other on different ocassions. On the May 29 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim once again teamed with Brittany against The Beautiful People in a losing effort when Love pinned Brittany. On the June 12 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim defeated Brittany and Madison Rayne to become the number one contender to Love's championship. Love and Kim would finally face off in a title match on June 15 at the Slammiversary pay-per-view, where Kim would be unsuccessful in winning the title.
On June 20, during the tapings of the July 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim defeated Love to win the TNA Women's Knockout Championship for a fourth time. On the July 10 edition of Impact Wrestling, Kim retained the title against Love, Rayne, and Brittany in a four-way match. Two weeks later, Kim competed to a no contest in a Knockouts Championship match against Taryn Terrell after both women were attacked by The Beautiful People. After choosing them as her opponents the previous week, Kim successfully retained her title against Terrell, Love and Sky in a four-way contest on the August 14 edition of Impact Wrestling. Following a backstage attack by Love, on a special Hardcore Justice edition of Impact Wrestling, Kim ended her feud with The Beautiful People when she defeated Love in a Last Knockout Standing match for the TNA Knockouts Championship.
Kim successfully defended her title against Taryn Terrell on the September 3 episode of Impact Wrestling. After the match, Kim and Terrell were both attacked by the debuting Havok. Kim and Havok brawled on the following edition of Impact Wrestling. In the September tapings, Kim injured her shoulder during a pre-match brawl with Havok. Going against doctors advice, Kim defended her title later that night and lost her Knockouts title to Havok. Soon after it was announced that Kim had suffered a separated shoulder and torn ligaments at the hands of Havok and would be out of action indefinitely. Kim returned to Impact Wrestling in November, however her shoulder was not fully healed. Despite this, she demanded her rematch for the Knockouts title against Havok, which Kim would ultimately lose.
On the January 30, 2015 episode of Impact Wrestling, in a three–way match for the TNA Women's Knockout Championship, Kim and Madison Rayne lost to the defending champion Taryn Terrell.
Feud with The Dollhouse (2015-present)
On the May 1 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kim started an alliance with her former rival Awesome Kong to feud with Terrell, Jade and Marti Bell, collectively known as The Dollhouse. The following week, Kim and Kong were defeated by The Dollhouse in a three–on–two handicap match. Kim sustained an arm injury on the May 29 episode of Impact Wrestling, after unsuccessfully challenging Taryn Terrell for the TNA Women's Knockout Championship in a steel cage match, and was attacked by the group afterwards.
Gail Kim was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on February 20, 1977. Kim attended York Memorial Collegiate Institute and majored in kinesiology at the University of Toronto before transferring to Ryerson University and changing her major to nutrition. Prior to signing with WWE, Kim underwent breast augmentation surgery. After signing, she had her implants enlarged. While performing for WWE, one of her implants ruptured, which resulted in her being sidelined for two weeks.
Kim married celebrity chef Robert Irvine May 10, 2012. The couple met on the set of Dinner: Impossible.
Kim posed topless for a cell phone ad campaign in South Korea. In 2007, Kim was listed on Forbes' top 40 list of "America's Most Eligible Bachelorettes". In 2009, Kim was a part of the cast of the independent psychological thriller entitled Royal Kill. On October 13, 2011, Gail Kim, along with The Miz, John Morrison, Kofi Kingston, Heath Slater and Eve Torres appeared on a special WWE edition of Family BrainSurge. On August 18, 2012, Kim's and Robert Irvine's wedding ceremony was documented on an episode of Irvine's Restaurant: Impossible program.
In October 2013, Kim did a steamy Q&A, "Skype Sex & Being A Wing Woman," for FitnessRX For Men.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Wrestlers managed
- Entrance themes
- "International Woman" by Dara Shindler (WWE; 2002–2004)
- "Unstoppable" by Dale Oliver (TNA; 2005–2008, 2011)
- "Strong and Sexy" by Jim Johnston (WWE; 2009–2011)
- "Puppets on a String" (Instrumental) by Dale Oliver (TNA; 2011–2012)
- "Puppets On A String" by Dale Oliver (TNA; 2012-2013)
- "Puppet on a String (Sword Intro)" by Dale Oliver (TNA; 2013–present)
Championships and accomplishments
- Apocalypse Wrestling Federation
- Diva of the Year (2001)
- Funkin' Conservatory
- FC Women's Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked her #3 in the 2008 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #13 in the 2009 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #13 in the 2010 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #26 in the 2011 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #1 in the 2012 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #6 in the 2013 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #3 in the 2014 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #5 in the 2015 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #8 in the 2016 PWI Top 50 Females
- Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Lucha de Apuesta record
|Hair||Gail Kim||Roxxi Laveaux||Orlando, Florida, United States||May 11, 2008||Hair vs. Hair ladder match, held at TNA Sacrifice|