WWE Released Dakota Kai Because...

Another reason behind Dakota Kai's WWE release last week.

Dakota Kai

WWE released 10 NXT wrestlers from its talent roster on 29 April, with that number including a number of television regulars in Persia Pirotta, Dexter Lumis, Malcolm Bivens, Harland, the biggest name on the lineup, Dakota Kai.

It was revealed at the time that Kai's WWE contract was due to expire in April 2023. She had already been clear about her intention to not re-sign with the market leader and reportedly saw her release coming, as was the case with Bivens.

In an update, Dave Meltzer stated on a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio that after multiple main roster tryout matches, WWE didn't see Kai as worthy of a spot on Raw or SmackDown. The two-time NXT Women's Tag Team Champion worked a lengthy series of dark tryout matches on SmackDown tapings in 2021, facing such competition as Cora Jade and Aliyah, as well as another opposite Io Shirai this January, though she was never called up.


As she was released prior to her contract expiring, Kai should be bound to the 30-day non-compete clause considered standard for NXT talents.

Kai had been with WWE since signing in December 2016.

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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.