Former WWE Women's Champion and IMPACT Wrestling Hall of Famer Gail Kim announced last night at the GFW taping for this Thursday's broadcast that 2017 would be her last year in the ring.
The former Six-Time TNA IMPACT Knockouts Champion has been out since fall of last year nursing and recovering from a back injury. She has made some sporadic on-screen appearances for the company, but has not wrestled since her injury forced her to vacate the Knockouts Championship back on October 9.
As she told Press Box in June:
“My back was injured just basically from wear and tear over the years. Luckily, Impact has been so good to me in terms of letting me take time off to make sure I’m healthy and never making me feel bad about it. I’ve been ready to come back for a little while but (Impact Wrestling) has had some time off because we film a bunch of shows once a month or once every other month, so that’s the only reason why I haven’t been back in the ring, but I’m going to be back shortly.”
Kim had two stints in WWE, the first one beginning with her winning her first ever televised match to capture the vacated WWE Women's Title on June 30, 2003. She held the belt for 28 days and would never hold it again. Following her release from WWE, she signed with TNA and stayed there from 2005 until 2008, spending time as a valet and manager for the tag team America's Most Wanted, then getting into singles competition, becoming the first ever TNA Knockouts Champion at Bound for Glory 2007.
She left TNA and went back to WWE from 2008 to 2011, appearing as Daniel Bryan's on-screen girlfriend for a time and feuding with the Bella Twins. But overall, she was unhappy with the creative direction for the women in the company, and her time in WWE came to a rather ignominious end when she voluntarily eliminated herself from a Women's Battle Royal as an act of protest. She was released from the company soon after and said later in an interview that she would never work for WWE again.
Back to TNA and five more reigns with The Knockouts Championship, plus an induction into the IMPACT Hall of Fame in 2016, and now it appears that she is ready to hang it up. But in her retirement announcement, the 41-year-old Kim reportedly said that she wanted to go out on top. Time will tell if she will get her wish.