IMPACT Knockouts star Kimber Lee recently spoke with Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald about a number of different pro-wrestling related topics, including her experience training with WWE’s Drew Gulak and how she feels about her on-screen pairing with Deonna Purrazzo. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
On training with Drew Gulak:
He’s tough [Drew Gulak as a trainer]. I can’t say — there were points when I first started that I resented him a little bit because of how much he put me through. I was the first female he ever trained. I’m really kind of his first student period that was ever just his and not only was I the first student, I was also a female and in wrestling, we’re kind of the minority and we have a reputation for ‘not being as good as the boys’ and Drew wasn’t gonna have any of that. I had to do all the same drills, I was the only female in my class so if we were doing like a fireman’s carry while running drill, I still had to do it with a guy that was bigger than me. He didn’t care. He was super hard on me, he yelled at me, he beat me up but I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world now. It’s tough to be a female in this business so you have to be able to get through the tough part and you should be kept to the same standard as the males that are here and try to be better than them and that’s always what I’ve tried to do. Now we’ve progressed from just student-trainer to a relationship where he’s like one of my biggest confidants, somebody I can look up to. He’s still, even being in WWE, me and you may know Wheeler YUTA, is another student of his and anytime we see each other, we’re like, ‘Have you talked to dad recently?’ So, it’s just — he’s become one of my best friends from being this trainer and he still looks out for me and if I need advice, he’s got it.
Talks her relationship with Deonna Purrazzo in IMPACT:
You know, I can’t say enough great things about Deonna [Purrazzo]. She is a fantastic wrestler. She’s an amazing — she claims [to be] the greatest women’s technical professional wrestler and she has every right to say that. She’s one of the best. She — a lot of the time, the technical side of stuff that women can struggle with and she shows that, ‘No, you can be just as good.’ We’re not aligned anymore. I have been transported to the Undead Realm and I’m kind of possessed by Su Yung now… Thursday nights on AXS, gotta watch it, see what’s going on. But, it’s somebody who we had been acquaintances on the independent scene. When I was signed with WWE, she wasn’t there. We were kind of passing ships in the night there so we didn’t really work together much while she was there because I was gone at that time. But, getting to work with her more in IMPACT really kind of made a friendship that I didn’t know was possible so she’s become somebody I really trust now too so it’s a cool thing.
(H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)