Dakota Kai's WWE Return Was A Last-Minute Deal

Released by WWE in April, Dakota Kai returned (with new friends) at SummerSlam 2022.

Dakota Kai

Dakota Kai has told WWE's The Bump that her return to the promotion was a last-minute thing, describing the "whirlwind" comeback.

Released by the promotion in April, falling victim to a round of NXT "budget cuts", Kai made a surprising return at SummerSlam 2022 (30 July). Flanked by fellow comeback queens Bayley and Iyo Sky, she and the rest of her trio made an immediate enemy of Bianca Belair by confronting the Raw Women's Champion and Becky Lynch.

This continued on Raw, where an already-injured Lynch was beaten down by the group - and Sky wrestled Belair to a no-contest.


On The Bump, Kai said that it was insane she was talking to the hosts as everything had come together so quickly (h/t Figure Four Online/Wrestling Observer):-

"You thought you'd seen the last of me, huh? Honestly, it still feels like a whirlwind to me with everything that happened. It all happened so last minute too so to be talking with you guys right now is insane to me."

Continuing, Kai added that she was still coming to terms with the situation as she made her way down the ramp in Nashville:-

"I had a very short window where I knew this was actually going to be a thing that would happen. So, I think I was still trying to accept that reality when I was walking down the ramp."

Dakota called working with Sky and Bayley "a dream", having worked extensively with the former in Japan and revealing secret plots with the latter:-

"Bayley and I, we've kind of been talking about something like this for a long time. It hasn't been something that was just spurred overnight. This has been something we've wanted for, like, years at this point. So, the fact that it's actually happened and to be under her guidance is insane. Io and I, we've known each other a long time [since] I first went to Japan," Kai would say of IYO SKY. "She is literally one of the best in the world. So, to be alongside these two women is just a dream."

Kai had been signed to WWE since December 2016 prior to her April release. Speculation had inevitably linked her to AEW in the wake of this, though it appears she has now re-signed with the market leaders.

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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.