The epically talented Dakota Kai was included in the recent releases made by WWE last week. That list also included Dexter Lumis and of course Persia Pirotta, as well as many others.
The cuts were just the latest in a string of cuts made sporadically over the years by WWE since 2020, and Kai was perhaps one of the more shocking members of that recent list.
The background of a talented pro wrestler
The 33 year old Kai has been wrestling since 2007. Kai, or Cheree Georgina Crowley, spent the first portion of her career wrestling in her native New Zealand, specifically for Impact Pro Wrestling. This led to a run in PWA Australia 4 years later. She then went on to Pro Wrestling Zero1 in Japan.
By 2013 she went on finally to American promotions, Shimmer as well as Shine Wrestling and finally World Wonder Ring Stardom. By the time she made it to the WWE Performance Center, Kai was already a seasoned veteran of the independent scene in three separate continents and quite the acquisition for WWE’s NXT.
Her first order of business while under WWE rule was in the Mae Young Classic, and finally in 2017, she started on NXT. The fact that she never won the NXT Women’s Championship is a crime worthy of the highest courts in my opinion and the rest of her fans, but thankfully she won the Women’s Tag titles on that brand twice with the sensational Raquel González.
Despite her release from the company though, she seems to be intent on moving on and has stated that her career in pro wrestling is far from over…
“Above everything, thank you all. I am so overwhelmed at all the love and support. The DMs, txts, tweets.. you all have my heart. I love you. I am thankful for being able to meet, work, and intertwine with so many beautiful people, people I looked up to, people I learned from.. I met some of my best friends over these last few years that will remain in my life forever. I don’t know what’s next for me. I chose ‘Evie’ at 17 years old. That chapter is shut.. just know this; I’m far from being done.”via Dakota Kai
* ‘Evie’ was her first in-ring incarnation, naming herself after her favorite character in Pokémon…’Eevee.’
Why she belongs in AEW and ASAP
Plain and simple: She’s a phenomenal athlete that knows how to tell a story without sacrificing the pace of a match and the direction of a match, which in essence is what a proper pro wrestler needs to be. The AEW roster is full of such women.
Unfortunately this isn’t always found in WWE but is there in some individuals…predominantly those that have worked the indies. One particular individual I see that in is of course Rok-C, the former ROH Women’s champ.
She is fitting in quite nicely on the NXT roster and is learning how to tell a comedic gimmicky story all the while still having epic matches. We hope she can be allowed to carry that on to the main roster when she gets her inevitable call-up, though. We can pray on it.
But in Kai, there is a conviction that only the best actors in Hollywood need, and boy does she have it. She can play insane, heroic and outright psychotic on a dime. Her absolutely shocking heel turn at NXT TakeOver: WarGames back in 2019 is proof of just that, dear readers. There’s no way she can’t tell any type of story and the matches this woman can have are undoubtedly high octane and action packed from bell to bell.
Really NXT is WWE’s greatest product…in my opinion it has been for quite some time, and its stars shine in ways that WWE main roster talent can perhaps only dream about.
Take Natalya for example…she has been shining since returning to NXT, and while on the main roster, she has to slow her matches down so much with certain individuals, and just so the other members of that roster can keep up, it ends up looking sloppy and disjointed—the matches do.
Kai would have been buried on that main roster for sure; I have no doubt, and it wouldn’t have been her own fault in the slightest.
The AEW Women’s roster
But it will be in the AEW roster that she will undoubtedly shine the way she has her entire career. With epic talents like Britt Baker, Kris Statlander, Jade Cargill, Leyla Hirsch, Thunder Rosa, Skye Blue, Anna Jay, Tay Conti, Ruby Soho, Toni Storm, Jamie Hayter, and that list only goes on from there….
She would be entering familiar ground here…a territory more like the old Black and Gold days of NXT and a wee bit more like the indies she felt so at home on. We hope only that the 30 days of her no-compete clause pass as fast as we need them to.
Hopefully this comes to fruition; after all she deserves to shine on a platform that will showcase all of her abilities and she deserves to touch Gold for sure finally…and that AEW Women’s World Championship or even the TBS Championship would look epic on her waist or draped on her extremely capable shoulders for sure.