Backstage Update On Dakota Kai's AEW Talks, WWE Return & More

Released in April, Dakota Kai returned to WWE at SummerSlam 2022. Here's what went down.

Dakota Kai

Dakota Kai made a surprising WWE return at SummerSlam 2022 this past weekend, uniting with fellow comeback queens Bayley and Io Shirai (now Iyo Sky) following Bianca Belair's Raw Women's Championship defence over Becky Lynch.

Fightful Select reports that the trio was brought to life by WWE's new creative regime, having been rejected by Vince McMahon in the past. This was prior to Kai being released by the promotion in April.

Several promotions were interested in booking Dakota when she became a free agent. As far as All Elite Wrestling goes, those talks never progressed beyond a short introduction - even though talent within the Tony Khan-helmed group had pushed for Kai to get a contract.


When Triple H returned to power following McMahon's WWE resignation last month, people inside the company mentioned Kai as somebody the former NXT chief may look to bring back. Kai worked a number of main roster tryout dark matches in 2021 and 2022 but was never called up. Writers were surprised that she wasn't included in last year's Draft pool ahead of the annual roster reshuffle.

Details on Kai's new deal with WWE are yet to be confirmed.

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Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.