Awesome Kong: “Kong and Kia are polar opposites”

Nov 26, 2019 - by Steve Gerweck

During her recent Talk is Jericho appearance, Awesome Kong discussed how she has to get into character for Kong and how she was worried she wouldn’t be able to do it for her AEW debut. Kong made her return to wrestling at AEW Double or Nothing and told Jericho how, coming from an acting background, Kong is a character that she has to drop into. She noted that she wasn’t able to get into that headspace until DDP gave her a pep talk and even recalled the one time she wasn’t able to do it until her match had begun, which was in TNA.

Highlights from the discussion, and the full podcast, are below:

On being worried that she wouldn’t be able to get into character for her AEW debut: “Before Las Vegas, I hadn’t stepped into a ring in that kind of capacity in over three years. So I didn’t even know if Kong was going to show up that night. Because you know, she’s a whole psyche in my head … I didn’t know. For nights and nights upon nights beforehand, I would be in bed and be like, [trying to get into character]. And had to study myself, and it really wasn’t until the music hit [at Double or Nothing] that I even slipped into that. And I was actually kind of panicky, but Diamond Dallas Page gave me this incredible pep talk … he was like, ‘Have you read my book? It’s the power of positive thinking! [laughs] … and he was like, ‘You can do it, you’ve been doing this, you’re experienced! Go out there, they’re gonna love you! Positive thinking! Afterward, come and talk to me, we’ll talk more about my book!’”

On having trouble getting into character once in TNA: “There was one time in TNA. Gail and I, we were doing a match and Kong hadn’t showed up. And I mean, I freaked out as Kia. I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ And Jeff Jarrett just happened to be right next to me, and he was like, ‘What’s going on?’ I was like, ‘Kong’s not here!’ and he just didn’t get it. He was like, ‘What are you talking about, you’re standing right here.’ I said, ‘No, you don’t understand, she’s not effing here!’ And even when the music hit, it felt like I was an impostor. And it wasn’t until the very first move and I spilled out onto the floor and I took that bump. And it was like ‘Okay, okay she’s here. Okay, great.’ And that had never happened to me before and it hasn’t happened since. But when I say panic, because I was like, ‘I don’t know, ahh!’”

On the differences between her and the Kong character: “Kong and Kia are polar opposites. In fact, it took a while for my cousins and my uncles to understand that … I was the daughter that was wrestling. They all thought it was my sister when they heard, ‘Oh, Phyllis’ daughter is wrestling.’ They were like, ‘Oh, Shawn.’ ‘No, Kia.’ ‘Well no, because Kia’s like the mute one, the shy one that doesn’t say anything.’ They were like, ‘No, that’s the one that’s wrestling.’ And no one could believe it because I was so very shy. When my mom would take me on auditions and things, I would [quietly] ‘whisper the words.’ I’d be really shy and then I’d get in the car and I’d say it with gusto. And she was like, ‘Why couldn’t you do that in the room??’ I’m like, ‘Because there were other people there, not just you.’”

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