wrestling / News

Awesome Kong On Departing TNA, Altercation With Bubba the Love Sponge, Being Told WWE Didn’t Want Her

November 22, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Awesome Kong

– On a recent Talk is Jericho, Awesome Kong spoke about her TNA departure and joining WWE. Kong left TNA in 2010 in part because of an incident where she had a physical altercation with Bubba the Love Sponge over derogatory comments toward Haiti after the earthquake that killed 230,000 people, calling it a “cleanse.”

As Kong told Jericho, that incident was just the straw that broke the camel’s back and there were other problems at the time. She also recalled how she was told by TNA officials that she would never end up in WWE, and talked about doing just that for a short run in 2011. Highlights from the discussion, and the full podcast, are below:

On Jim Ross pulling for her to get into WWE: “[It was] 2009, 2010. He, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mick Foley lobbied to get me in.”

On Austin and Foley lobbying for her: “We [she and Austin] just met at the Cauliflower Alley Club. He was familiar with my work, and we got to rapping. And he’s like, ‘That’s someplace you need to go!’ And Mick Foley and I had been friends at TNA, and when I left TNA he called Vince McMahon himself and said, ‘You need to hire this girl.’ And then JR lobbied on his social media.”

On being told she wouldn’t get to WWE: “I had to wait out my no-compete clause from TNA … when I left TNA. When I insisted on leaving TNA, I had negative $76 in my bank account, and my pride. That’s all I had. And in fact, people at TNA assured me I would not be going to WWE. And I said, ‘I still want to leave anyway.'”

On her TNA departure: “I had a disagreement [the altercation with Bubba the Love Sponge] … it wasn’t really that. That was just where it [was] ‘Exit, stage left.’ Things had been building up for a long time, because things were just a mess over there, and I didn’t understand why with what Gail and I were doing the pay discrepancy was so large. It was time that I actually earned a living wage. Because in wrestling, you get a finite time to make your money. And I’d like to make enough to at least have a future. And so the struggle was too hard. I came up against too much, and then the one thing that kept me there was, it was the best locker room I’d ever experienced.”

On the altercation with Bubba: “So when someone comes into the locker room and disrespects all the hard-working wrestlers and is speaking like a wrestler as if he earned the right to speak as such, that rubbed me the wrong way. My manager had just died like 48 hours before I was doing a fundraiser for the earthquake in Haiti. I hadn’t slept in literally 48 hours. And so, you know when you get to the point where it’s like, ‘You know what? F that.’ It got to that point. So we had a physical altercation, and I was like, ‘You know what? I’m just done with everything.’ They wanted to turn it into a storyline and I’m like, ‘I’m not turning it into a storyline with that man, I’m not — no! I’m not putting that over at all!'”

On being told WWE wouldn’t want her: “So I said, ‘No, I want to leave.’ And they were like, ‘You think you’re gonna leave here and go over to WWE? They’re not gonna take you, they don’t want you.’ You know how people tell you what Vince wants all the time? ‘Vince doesn’t like this.’ Have you ever experienced that? [I said] ‘Well, whatever. I don’t want to be here…I’m done. I wish you the best; I’m done.’ They wanted to wait me out for two years, we negotiated for nine months”

On joining WWE: “Nine months pass, I got a call from Tommy Dreamer and he said, can I give John Laurinaitis your number? I said ‘Yeah.’ And then so I get a call, and oh gosh, it was so horrible because I was actually sick. I was really, really sick. So I get a call from someone who says he’s John Laurinaitis. And if you know John Laurinaitis’ voice, I’m sick with a sore throat and I was like [talks is a raspy voice] ‘I’m so sorry, I’m really sick. Please don’t think I’m making fun of you.’ He asked me my situation, I told him. It kind of just stayed in the air. And then two, three months later, I was living with my now-husband, but then boyfriend in Boston at the time. Two or three months later, he asked me to come down to the Towers. And I do, we had a conversation and he hired me right there on the spot.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk is Jericho with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.