In celebration of her near one anniversary with NXT, Dakota Kai recently spoke with WWE.com to discuss her current run with the brand, her NXT Women’s Title match against Shayna Baszler, who influenced and more. Highlights of the interview below.
On her recent NXT Women’s Title match: This match was personal. I’m happy that I was given the opportunity to stand up to her. While I managed to gather some confidence before the match happened, I still don’t think I felt like my usual self going into it. Mind games are a battle in their own right. On the flip side, getting the win actually seemed possible, even if just for a brief moment. There’s hope within that.
On a future match against Shayna Baszler: After that initial match, I learned some important things about my own limits. I hope to get another opportunity, as I know that I’ll be better prepared mentally and emotionally. It’s insane if you’re even slightly lacking in one of those areas, the effect it can have in a high-pressure situation. I also learned things about Shayna. She’s not invincible — no one is. All those mind tricks just prove to me how much of an insecure person she really is. The biggest mistake she can make is underestimating someone who is so quietly confident in ending her reign.
On her initial exposure during last year’s Mae Young Classic to now: The Mae Young Classic was such an amazing experience. From that to now being in NXT is overwhelming to me. I was working a long time to try and get here, so the fact that it’s all happening just proves that hard work really does pay off.
Who influenced her in-ring style: The main influencers of my in-ring style would have to be Hideo Itami, Finn Bálor and Daniel Bryan. I was watching them since before they were here in WWE and was blown away with the level of skill they consistently showed.
Favorite moment in NXT so far: One of my favorite moments would have to be watching Steffanie Newell finally get back in the ring after her knee injury which sidelined her for 10 months. There were so many emotions and seeing a friend finally become reacquainted with their passion after such a hardship is a joy to watch.
The kind of impression she wants to leave fans with: I want to show them all how in love with this I am. Passion is essential to fueling the fire. You can have all the tools in the world to succeed, but if you lack passion, it’s null and void.
Kai also discusses growing up in New Zealand, which Superstars she’s crossed paths with before arriving to NXT and working with Shawn Michaels at the Performance Center.
What did you think of the interview? Have you been enjoying Dakota Kai on NXT so far? Would you like to see her continue a feud with Shayna Baszler? Let us know in the comments below!