(born on February 20, 1977 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a female Canadian professional wrestler of Korean descent, known for her high-flying innovative moves. Trained by El Fuego, Ron Hutchison and later, Fit Finlay, La Felina debuted in the year 2000, causing mischief in the Apocalypse Wrestling Federation and then touring for two years across the Canadian circuit after being unmasked. Gail Kim then had a two-year run in WWE
where she won the WWE Women's Championship
on her very first night on Raw. She was abruptly released with many others in late 2004 and spent a year honing her craft in Mexico, Australia, Japan and South Korea
She returned to the USA for Michigan's AAW then signed with TNA
in 2005 to help build up their fledgling women's division. Kim received rave reviews for her in-ring work which paid off in 2007 where she was crowned the first ever TNA Knockouts Champion
. A feud with Awesome Kong followed, which was highly praised by critics and helped draw a huge amount of ratings for TNA. She left the company in 2008 over a pay dispute and resigned with WWE for the next three years. She then re-debuted in TNA, regaining the Knockouts Championship and becoming one of their top female talents.
Is married to Chef Robert Irvine (since May 10, 2012) of Dinner: Impossible
and Restaurant: Impossible
, whom she met while doing an episode of Dinner Impossible
as a WWE Diva.
- Aborted Arc
- There was never any real resolution to her mini-feud with the Bella Twins. It got transitioned into a Divas' Championship feud with Gail in Eve Torres's corner but Gail never really had much of a part in it.
- Justified in the case of her storyline with Jackie Gayda in TNA because Gayda had to leave because she got pregnant.
- Interestingly enough, both times she left WWE and TNA she had just begun a possible new storyline. In WWE in 2004 she had done a run-out attack segment on the Raw before she was released. And in TNA she had just begun an angle with her kayfabe sister.
- Another one was her mini-push against Victoria in 2004. She gained three submission wins over her (while she was Women's Champion) - and was set to challenge her for the title at Bad Blood. Suddenly however she lost to Lita on Raw and the match was suddenly changed to a Fatal 4 Way, including Lita and Trish. This was used to further Trish and Lita's feud and Gail was mostly forgotten about afterwards.
- Another small one. A friendship of sorts was played up between Gail and Kelly Kelly. The two faced off in a match on Superstars for no real reason. A couple of Raws later, special attention was drawn to the fact that Kelly had allowed Gail to be eliminated from a Divas battle royal. Fans speculated that it was a hint that they might feud with each other (Gail likely going heel) - but it was quickly dropped and forgotten about.
- Back in Glory it was "Anyone who steps with me inside that ring!"
- Awesome Kong was built up as this in TNA, going so far as to attack Gail's non wrestling sister.
- Angelina Love and Velvet Sky. Her relationship with them started as relative apathy back when they were still called Taliah Madison and Angel Williams but degraded into "hate hate hate" in both of her TNA runs after they dubbed themselves the "beautiful people".
- Maryse for a bit in WWE.
- Taryn Terrell became this for a bit in TNA when she thought Taryn was abusing her power as a referee to openly help Velvet beat her. For how that ended up, see Worthy Opponent and Fire-Forged Friends.
- Ascended Extra: Was initially a valet in TNA, but later helped build up their women's division.
- Badass Longcoat: Early in her career.
- Bare Your Midriff: Though her ring attires trend toward simplistic more often than not anyway, her WWE entrance attire frequently displayed it as well.
- Battle Couple: Both with Evan Bourne and Daniel Bryan.
- Beauty, Brains and Brawn: One could argue she was the brains with ODB being the Brawn and Roxxi Laveaux being the beauty in TNA (though ODB and Roxxi argue for a switch). Heel opponents such as Molly Holly and Angelina Love have argued against Gail being "smart" too.
- Beware the Nice Ones: While La Felina was hardly "nice", Gail seemed straight laced enough in her WWE debut but then laid out Trish Stratus for making a mistake in a tag match that caused them to lose.
- Bilingual Backfire: During their feud, Maryse started trash talking in French while pretending to be friendly. Gail then dropped a bombshell that she was a fluent French speaker and hadn't been fooled at all.
- Catfight: A few with the Bella Twins. They were sort of upset about Daniel Bryan turning them down for her.
- Cool Shades: During her first gimmick.
- Dark Action Girl: She's actually played one in the movie Royal Kill.
- Demoted to Extra: Both her WWE runs. The first time she was Women's Champion for five weeks, then turned heel and paired with the woman who took the title from her. The second time, around early 2010 it became fairly obvious that WWE wasn't going to do anything with her.
- Dragon Lady: Considering how many other ethnic stereotypes Professional Wrestling has chewed up and spit out (Sassy Black Woman with Jacqueline, French Jerk with Maryse, Spicy Latina with... anyone applicable), the fact that she wasn't turned into a Dragon Lady is a notable aversion. They did veer close with her first WWE run, when they played up the "mysterious" and "dangerous" parts of the trope. However, since she debuted during the popularity of The Matrix, the "Asian" part was ignored in favor of giving her sunglasses and a Badass Longcoat and turning her into a kind of Cyberpunk Dragon Lady. Her intro sums it up.note
- Epic Fail: She once was meant to throw glitter over Vickie Guerrero. Instead she lost her grip and ended up hitting Vickie with the bucket instead.
- Evil Is Bigger
- Inverted during her initial TNA run. After Jim Cornette denied AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels the right to beat Gail Kim for continually screwing them out of America's Most Wanted's tag team championships, they responded by getting the largest woman they could find, Sirelda, to take her out. And she did, forcibly carrying Gail out of the Impact Zone. Once they actually had a match though, Gail won handily.
- Gail's feud with Voodoo Kin Mafia made her face by default and lead to this trope being played straight the rest of that run with TNA against Voodoo Queen Roxxi Laveaux, Awesome Kong, Raisha Saeed and Moose-especially Kong. They were all gone when Gail came back, leading to a stretch of her mostly wrestling people close to her size. Then came Havok.
- Finishing Move: Among the more notable is the Necktie Breaker (like the Regal Cutter with two arms), which she used in TNA. Eat Defeat, an innovative jawbreaker done with the foot which she first did in her second WWE run and then carried to her TNA return. Sometimes the Flying Dragon/Christo, a headscissors into an arm barnote . She formerly also had the air raid crash, known to WWE viewers as the Celtic Cross of Finlay or to latter viewers. White Noise of Sheamus.
- Face: Although Gail has said she's more natural as a heel, she's primarily a face wherever she goes. She was a heel for her first stint in WWE - and showed up as such in TNA. However respect for her in-ring talent lead to her eventually turning face. She did make a heel run work when she returned to TNA - but she turned back face after a couple of years.
- Fire-Forged Friends: She and Taryn Terrell went from hating each other to respecting each other over the course of their fights in 2013, then outright became friends when Taryn came back from pregnancy and helped Gail in her fight against the Beautiful People as a face.
- Fragile Speedster: More so during her AWF and Canadian indy runs where the likes of Traci Brooks just had to grit their teeth and bide their time for a good shot and she'd be out. Otherwise Gail can be a pretty absorbent damage sponge.
- Girlish Pigtails: She does often like to wrestle with her hair like this and makes the style badass (though they just make her an even easier target for ODB's turnbuckle routine). She even won the Knockouts title with her hair in pigtails.
- Gradual Grinder: La Felina's preferred tactic was to ground and stretch out her opponents to their breaking points, if not until the gave up then until their limbs were nigh useless. She did not do too well in knockdown brawls or exchanges of pin attempts.
- Happily Married: To chef Robert Irvine in Real Life.
- I Have the High Ground: Holy hell and how.
- It's All About Me: Her return storyline in TNA. It was taken to an absurd degree in the match where Velvet Sky won her second Knockouts title. It was a Fatal-4-Way Elimination match (meaning it doesn't matter who gets the pins). And Gail kept breaking up pins, insisting that she be the one to eliminate people.
- It's the Principle of the Thing: Gail Kim was under no obligation to defend her Knockout's Championship belt after Havok assaulted her from behind and separated Kim's shoulder but decided to go through with it anyway. It's not everyday the knockouts get to main event, not to mention pride, revenge and all that. Kim would continue to challenge Havok, despite her arm not fully recovering because she refused to "go down without a fight" in protest to insistence she take more time to heal.
- Kayfabe: Is a big believer in preserving it, to the point where she was proud that various TNA superstars kept approaching her and asking if she and Jackie Moore really hated each other. Ditto for Awesome Kong. She said she was annoyed when Melina admitted on Twitter that the "horrible friend" thing was just a storyline.
- Lovely Angels: With both Eve Torres and Kelly Kelly in WWE.
- Masked Luchador: As La Felina until Traci Brooks beat her in a hair versus mask match.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: She thinks she is a natural heel. She is also very nice at autograph signings.
- Ms. Fanservice: Yes, she is a lot more than just this, but, it's insulting to leave it out. She was actually rarely used as this in WWE and has commented on it, saying it was likely because she gave off the impression that she was sexy in her own way.
- Did a series of photo shoots for an Asian cell phone company...topless.
- Noodle Incident: We never did find out why she was supposedly "a horrible friend" to Melina. People have suggested it involves Skittles.
- Rapunzel Hair: Has wrestled with hair down past her back
- Red Baron: The Queen Of Cats as La Felina
- Retcon: She was retconned into being Daniel Bryan's girlfriend of six months after the network felt the Bellas betting to see who could be his "first" (apparently confusing "vegan" with "virgin") was heading in a non-PG direction.
- The Rival: She considers her best WWE matches to be the ones she had with Nidia on Sunday Night Heat. They since met up on opposite sides in Mexico, Korea and Australia.
- Ship Tease: During Evan Bourne and Gail Kim's mini-feud with Zack Ryder and Alicia Fox. People had been shipping them for a while because of their similar movesets and then they were fighting an actual couple.
- Her initial outfit and entrance music in her first WWE run were an obvious nod to The Matrix.
- Her finishing move the Christo was innovated by a wrestler named Dragon Kid. Since 'Christo' didn't fit in with Gail's gimmick, she renamed it the Flying Dragon (Dragon Kid was one of the best high flyers in wrestling at the time Gail was training).
- Signature Move: A turnbuckle climbing arm drag, an ass kicks you counter to a shoulder ramming opponent, a corner cross chop and the neck tie breaker was downgraded to a signature move called the Happy Ending in WWE. She's taken to a figure four leg lock around the turnbuckle during her second TNA run.
- Spot Monkey: A rare non-high flying example (though she is a high-flyer). When she started a submission based style in 2004, she would often bust out holds with no rhyme or reason. Ironically when she wrestles as a high flyer she shows more awareness of the story and is able to utilize those moves in the right way. She's since applied the same awareness to submissions after leaving WWE and touring through Mexico and Asia to her eventual TNA debut.
- Stepford Smiler: This became apparent in 2011 when she started criticizing how she and her fellow divas were being used on Twitter. On television, she was all the while a smiling face.
- Stripperiffic: All of her outfits really. She even has TNA attire that can be described as a screened v-neck. Or in this websites terms a cleavage window with a see through screen to ensure the stay in place. An Absolute Cleavage window.
- Tag Team: With Molly Holly, where their main role was beating the hell out of Trish Stratus on a weekly basis.
- Take That
- Coupled with a bit of Leaning on the Fourth Wall where she said to the Bella Twins "since there aren't any guest hosts around, you guys really have nothing to do". Don't get started on her Twitter rants.
- The best example is her shoot interview after leaving WWE.
- Another was during a Divas Battle Royal. She walked in to the ring, and immediately jumped back out, disqualifying herself. When she was asked on Twitter later that night, she said she did it just to see if anybody backstage would notice. No one did. They also told her to make sure she was out in the first minute. She was more than happy to oblige...in her own way.
- The Vamp: Molly Holly may have prided herself on her own wholesomeness and virginity but had no problem degrading Gail Kim's. She made Gail seduce Eric Bischoff into giving into her demands. It didn't work on "Stone Cold" Steve Austin though.
- Theatrics Of Pain: Unintentionally provided a great demonstration of how this trope often differs from what a person in pain really looks like. She often sells dramatically. Her less than stellar Raw match with Mickie James? It was so off because Kim had actually knocked herself out, not that many spectators could tell at the time.
- Token Minority: The first woman of Korean descent to win the WWE Women's title. In shoot interviews prior to her WWE debut she hoped the fans might take to her being a little different. Besides her lucha moves, there were hardly any Asian women in the company since the early 1990s till she came in mid 2000s. What's more is that there have rarely been two Asian women at a time in WWE. When she was rehired in 2008, another Asian Diva Lena Yada was released (though she barely appeared anyway).
- Took a Level in Badass: Around 2007-ish. She was in cage matches, street fights and even a ladder match.
- Tournament Arc:Has came up short in quite a few of them, she won the 2013 Queen Of The Knockouts though it was more like a series of qualifying matches for a Gauntlet Battle Royal than a tournament in usual sense of the word.
- We Used to Be Friends
- AJ Styles was her road buddy and tag team partner while touring Australia and Korea. That all came to an end in TNA.
- A minor example. Melina and her had previously teamed together several times in WWE so the first time they faced each other (after Melina's heel turn) Melina screamed out "you were always a horrible friend!" - and it became a small feud on WWE Superstars.
- Madison Rayne and Gail were good friends when the latter returned to TNA. Madison left to go on maternity leave and then returned as a face to feud with Gail. They put their differences aside at the second Knockouts Knockdown - but Madison turned back heel on TV, thus inverting their roles.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: Was once booked in a "Legs Match" (because the Guest Hosts that week were ZZ Top) where all the girls had to wrestle in short shorts, never mind the fact that she wrestled in hot pants normally.
- Wild Card: Very briefly when she first turned heel. They had a mini feud with Molly going on but Molly quickly prevailed and convinced Gail to become her sidekick under threat of further violence.
- Worthy Opponent: Taryn Terrell's transition from referee to Gail's Arch-Enemy resulted in two intense battles which not only earned Terrell the respect of wrestling fans, but Gail's respect as well. She openly admitted this the next time she saw Taryn again after turning face.
- After being defeated by Kelly Kelly on Superstars she shook Kelly's hand and acknowledged her as such.
- You Go Girl
- Has never competed in an actual intergender match outside of training demonstrations but she frequently got offense in against men whenever she was in mixed tag matches. The list includes Chavo Guerrero, Tyson Kidd and Primo (who got this in three different matches).
- Not to mention early in her first run with TNA, when she was helping Jeff Jarrett and America's Most Wanted ("Wildcat" Chris Harris and "The Cowboy" James Storm) - her interference at times would famously include crisp hurricanranas delivered to the likes of AJ Styles.
- A minor example. On TV she choked out Derrick Bateman when Daniel Bryan suggested she show him her technique.
- You Have Failed Me: Besides laying out Trish Stratus in WWE, she also made this feeling clear toward her TNA bodyguard, Lei'D Tapa, who had accidentally hit Kim during Brittany's debut, causing Kim to lose. Gail would go on to defeat Tapa twice and send her out of TNA.