Major Update On Dakota Kai's WWE Status

Latest on Damage CTRL's Dakota Kai following SummerSlam 2023 return.

Dakota Kai
WWE

Dakota Kai might have returned to WWE screens at SummerSlam 2023 (5 August), but it'll be a while before she gets back in the ring.

PWInsider Elite reports that the Damage CTRL member hasn't yet been cleared to return from the injury that has sidelined her for the past few months. The New Zealander suffered a torn ACL while competing on the 17 May episode of SmackDown, where she challenged for the Women's Tag Team Championships alongside Bayley.

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Continuing, PWInsider notes that WWE hadn't originally planned to bring Kai back on the road after her SummerSlam comeback, but this has changed. Now, Dakota will be travelling for "every SmackDown TV taping."

Kai joined Bayley in celebrating stablemate IYO SKY's WWE Women's Championship capture over Bianca Belair at SummerSlam. This was Damage CTRL's first appearance as a trio since May, when Dakota was hurt. Later that night, the group appeared together at the post-show media scrum.

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Dakota had originally been with WWE since signing in December 2016, embarking on a lengthy NXT run that ended when she decided against extending her expiring contract in April 2022. Three months later, Kai re-signed with WWE, making her main roster debut in Damage CTRL's formation angle at SummerSlam 2022.

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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.