X-Pac 1,2,360 – Episode 48
Release Date: August 3, 2017
Recap by: Christopher Gaspare
Top Newsworthy Items
– Kim plans on staying on as a producer for GFW.
– Kim applied to GLOW to train the actresses, but the job went to Chavo Guerrero.
– Kim thinks Abyss should be the next inductee into the GFW/TNA Hall of Fame.
– Kim feels TNA doesn’t get the credit it deserves for spotlighting women’s wrestling.
00:00: The group talks Lesnar/Jon Jones, Becky Lynch/Cris Cyborg, and Nakamura/Cena
18:13: Gail Kim on her training and wrestling Jackie Moore
33:14: Kim talks the differences between WWE and TNA, Awesome Kong, and Molly Holly
46:14: Kim on the ups and downs in TNA’s history and their contribution to women’s wrestling
1:02:41: Kim speaks about her memorable moments and plans for the future
1:13:58: Ad and plugs
The group talks Lesnar/Jon Jones, Becky Lynch/Cris Cyborg, and Nakamura/Cena
X-Pac is joined by TK Trinidad, Denise, Jimbo, and Bill Hanstock from Uproxx.com. They started by discussing the challenge issued by Jon Jones after his victory this weekend to Brock Lesnar.
X-Pac said that he felt there had to have been some verbal agreement already in place since he was hearing rumors before the challenge. Hanstock said that WWE and UFC were able to work out an arrangement last year with Brock’s contract, and they will do that again. X-Pac thinks it’s good for both companies and that Brock can’t “lose” because even if he loses to Jones, he’s losing to “maybe the best ever.” He also said that Jones is the safe bet in the fight if it happens.
Next, they discussed the tweets exchanged by fighter Cris Cyborg and Becky Lynch recently. X-Pac didn’t sound surprised if WWE didn’t do something with it at SummerSlam, but thinks it’s too early for a match unless Cyborg’s been working in a ring secretly.
The conversation quickly turned to Ronda Rousey, who X-Pac hopes doesn’t come back to fighting if she’s “not into it,” and the Four Horsewomen of UFC. Jimbo was excited about a possible Four Horsewomen versus Four Horsewomen match. X-Pac thought “who cares” about that match-up because most don’t even know the specifics of the two groups. Hanstock thought it could work if they brought them in and built it up, but X-Pac said it looked good “on paper” but too much could happen.
Last, X-Pac was “pleasantly surprised” by Shinsuke Nakamura getting the clean pin last night even though he still questions giving away the match on television. Hanstock is simply happy that they won’t be doing an American versus evil foreigner angle again with Cena/Mahal leading to SummerSlam.
Gail Kim on her training and wrestling Jackie Moore
The interview started with questions about Kim’s training. Her three main trainers were Ron Hutchison and Rob Etcheverria in Canada and Fit Finlay in WWE. She credits Hutchison, who also trained Edge, Christian, and Trish Stratus, for giving her strong fundamentals. Etcheverria she said inspired her and made her believe the impossible was possible. Finally, she said that Finlay instilled an “aggressiveness” in her, which he did for all the women, and helped them become the strong workers they were.
X-Pac said that his training showed in the quality of the matches that were being put on at the time and was wholly different from the Moolah style of women’s wrestling. She said that she always wants to steal the show, a determination that comes from the women being “critiqued harder” than the men most of the time.
Next, she was asked about how much she had to fight for a women’s division in TNA. She said that she worked an indie show with a lot of TNA wrestlers, and afterwards, she was told that Jeff Jarrett really liked what he saw and wanted to bring her in, but that they would have to “be patient” until they built a division.
After a year or so, she became frustrated by not having a division yet, and they offered to bring in Jackie Moore to work with her, which she jumped at. She said Jackie was the “strongest girl” she’s ever worked with and recalled an incident in a street fight where she knocked out two of Moore’s teeth. They had another segment to film afterwards, so Moore asked if anybody had any sugarless gum, put it in place of the teeth, and went to film the segment.
X-Pac praised the work Kim did in the six-sided cage match with Moore. Kim said she pushed hard for the cage match because they had never had one in TNA. She was so proud afterwards, she cried, and she said she never cries. They briefly discussed the four-sided ring versus the six-sided ring, and Kim prefers the four-sided although she thinks the six-sided is unique.
Kim talks the differences between WWE and TNA, Awesome Kong, and Molly Holly
Denise asked Kim what the biggest differences were in terms of putting a match together in WWE and in TNA. Kim said that WWE was “more controlled.” She said they all worked together, but if Finlay, who was their agent, wanted something put in the match, they put it in. In TNA, she said that the women have more creative freedom in putting together their matches. She said she expresses her “strong point-of-view” when putting matches together with other women, but it’s still a joint process. She does think a lot of wrestlers don’t think outside the box often enough though.
X-Pac praised her work with Awesome Kong. Kim felt she had to “bring it to another level” when working with Kong to make the work look good. X-Pac, who said he’s well-versed in David versus Goliath matches, said they are pretty easy to put together, and Kim agreed because there is already a story built into it of the smaller versus larger athlete. X-Pac said, just as an example, that Enzo could learn a thing or two from watching how she sold for Kong in that match, specifically how she kept herself in the match while selling. Kim said she felt “like hell” the next day after those matches, but wouldn’t trade any of it.
GLOW was briefly brought up, and Kim “love[s] it.” She said that she tried to become the trainer of the actresses for the show, but Chavo Guerrero ended up getting that position, which she was okay with because she likes Chavo. X-Pac said that the Guerreros have had the training jobs such as that locked up for years in Hollywood.
Next, they talked about Kim’s Hall of Fame induction. She said it was special to have Kong and her best friend, Christy Hemme there. She didn’t invite Molly Holly because she thought Molly was done with the business, but she was surprised to hear recently that Holly is training at Ken Kennedy’s school. She credits Holly for being so “giving” in a selfish sport. Holly gave Kim’s tapes to others to help her out when most people, as X-Pac said, would have thrown them in the trash after having them handed to them.
Kim was asked who the next Hall of Fame inductee should be, and she said A.J. is in WWE, so that won’t happen right now, so she would say either Abyss or Jeremy Borash. She said that Abyss was a “grade A talent” and a great producer.
Kim on the ups and downs in TNA’s history and their contribution to women’s wrestling
Kim was asked how she dealt with all the management changes in TNA over the years. She has always said after leaving WWE that she’s “never gonna complain.” She simply went with the flow through the years even though it was a “rollercoaster.” She said that at the tapings, the problems with management were never really felt because the talent came together to put on a good show.
She plans to keep producing the women for GFW after she retires. She’s been producing for about two years because she started to feel “like a mom” after a while for the women. If it weren’t for her back problems, she wouldn’t be retiring at all, she said, but she wants fans to remember her at her best so she feels it’s time to retire. She was reluctant to name any dream matches, but said she would like to work with Rosemary again before the end. She said there are no plans for her final match right now.
They talked briefly about her husband, famed chef Robert Irvine. She met Irvine through a Food Network promotional deal with WWE, which she insisted on being put into after reading through documents on Mark Carrano’s computer. Even though he’s a chef, Irvine doesn’t like to cook at home much and eating out will sometimes lead to bad service because the servers are so nervous dealing with him and the cooks are always trying to impress him.
X-Pac brought Stephanie McMahon tweeting about HHH’s contributions to women’s wrestling, and a response Kim made about not overlooking TNA’s contributions. She said that she feels TNA is often overlooked. She said “kudos” to HHH for what he did in WWE and that he was always supportive, but TNA started treating women like athletes in 2007 and “never stopped.”
Kim speaks about her memorable moments and plans for the future
Kim was asked about her memorable moments. The main moment she mentioned was winning first TNA Knockouts Championship. She said it felt like a “payoff” to the years of WWE not being the “right fit” for her and the years of fighting and begging for the TNA division to get started. X-Pac commended her for having the highest rated segments on the show each week, and Kim attributed some of that to long-term storytelling over six months to a year rather than rushing through stories as they do too often today. She said she would like to “retire on top” holding the championship again. She was reluctant to talk about any plans outside wrestling when she retires because she might “jinx” it. She and her husband have had opportunities presented but nothing has felt like the right fit so far and played to both of their strengths. They do not plan to have any kids because they don’t want to be “old parents.”
Score and Review (8/10)
X-Pac 1-2-360 has been finding its groove recently in a string of good episodes. Everyone on the show sounds relaxed suddenly and much more comfortable in their respective roles. While there is still some tripping on each other asking questions at cross purposes, someone – usually X-Pac – steps in to take the reins and get the interview back on track.
Nothing too revealing came out of the interview, but it was a pleasant and honest conversation with Gail Kim about TNA and her role in women’s wrestling. The best and most focused part of the interview was Kim talking about the differences between putting together a match in TNA and WWE and how to work big woman/little woman matches against Awesome Kong. Overall, this was an easy and enjoyable listen.
Chris Gaspare is a teacher from Maryland who has been watching wrestling since 1989 when he saw his first WCW Saturday Night episode and quickly rented as many NWA and WWF VHS tapes he could find in local stores. He also attended Tri-State Wrestling Alliance and early ECW shows in Philadelphia, which really kicked his fandom into high gear. He lapsed in the mid-2000s, but returned to the wrestling fold a few years ago.