Dakota Kai is all about making history and helping take women’s wrestling forward. This is especially true in NXT, which is known for its consistently good division. It’s why Kai, who won the inaugural Dusty Rhodes Classic with Raquel González, feels so strongly about the black and gold brand being well-represented at WrestleMania.
“I know the past year has been difficult for that to be something that [could happen more,]” Kai, referencing COVID’s impact on WWE and the cause for strict safety protocols. “I think the only way to elevate NXT further is to have a lot more crossover between the brands: SmackDown and Raw and NXT. They should combine more.
“A lot of people remember the Survivor Series that happened in 2019. There was a lot of crossover happening. It was crazy. When NXT came to SmackDown for the first time, causing ruckus. People loved that. I think there is a lot of opportunity there to tell different stories nobody has ever seen before.”
Another way for NXT to reach new audiences is through WWE Network’s migration to Peacock on March 18. For Kai, it’s a win-win for all the brands.
“NXT could really benefit from being opened up to a whole new different fan base,” he said. “Every time there is a TakeOver, we blow the roof off. For that show to be accessed for a whole new audience is only going to do good things.”
The NXT women’s division is packed with standouts. However, Kai hopes new faces can also get their time to shine.
“I think giving them opportunities to do that can only strengthen our division more…and really get their names out there,” she said. “With us winning the Dusty Classic and able to have a shot at the WWE women’s tag team championship, that will only strengthen the brand too.
“Everything we do will be a step forward in elevating our brand as a whole and the women’s division as a whole. Anything can happen when the girls get called to Raw or SmackDown. We have to keep raising the division and making sure it is going to stay as strong as it is for a long, long time.”
Out of the current crop, Kai has a few names that have the potential to break through. She can also see new signings making an impact.
“Even the girls who have been there a long time like Kacy Catanzaro, Kayden Carter,” Kai said. “They’ve been given a little bit, but I feel like they could really do with more TV time to put their skills out there and build their confidence in how they portray themselves on TV.
“Indi Hartwell has been given the opportunity with The Way, which is only going to help her not only within that stable, but individually too. There is just so much talent there. And a lot of girls that have been there a long time that could do good with more exposure.”
WWE NXT, Wednesdays, 8/9c, USA Network
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