Dakota Kai

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Dakota Kai
Dakota Kai Axxess 2018.jpg
Kai in April 2018
Birth nameCheree Crowley[1]
Born (1988-05-06) 6 May 1988 (age 31)[2][3]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Dakota Kai
Evie[4]
Billed height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[4]
Billed weight55 kg (121 lb)[4]
Billed fromEast Auckland, New Zealand[4] Auckland, New Zealand[5]
DebutDecember 2007

Cheree Crowley (born 6 May 1988) is a New Zealand professional wrestler of Samoan and Irish descent.[6] She is signed to WWE and performs on NXT, under the ring name Dakota Kai. Under the ring name Evie, Crowley has wrestled for Impact Pro Wrestling, Shimmer Women Athletes, Shine Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Women's Alliance.[5]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

New Zealand and Australian independent promotions (2007–2016)[edit]

Evie made her professional wrestling debut in December 2007 for the Auckland based company, Impact Pro Wrestling.[7]

In September 2011, she debuted in Sydney, Australia-based Pro Wrestling Alliance Australia (PWA Australia) for their annual PWWA show, where she defeated Kellie Skater. In August 2012, Evie became the first Impact Pro Wrestling NZ Women's Champion, defeating Britenay and Megan Fox in a triple threat match. A week later, she won the Interim PWWA Championship by defeating Jessie McKay in the finals. She retained the title during her first defense against Kellie Skater on 6 October.

After Impact Pro Wrestling returned after a few months from folding in mid-2013,[8] all the previous title holders were stripped of their championships. Evie won the IPW Women's Championship back in December 2013 and aligned herself with a new heel faction called 'The Investment'.[9]

Evie began 2014 in Japan working on a three-month contract awarded to her through Pro Wrestling Zero1. She was the first female to receive such a contract. She competed with the promotion Diana. During her stay, Evie also teamed with Madison Eagles in a losing effort against Global Green Gangsters (Kellie Skater and Tomoka Nakagawa) for the Shimmer Tag Team Championship as part of the Joshi4Hope show.

American independent promotions (2013–2016)[edit]

Evie wrestling for Shimmer Women Athletes in April 2013

Evie made her debut for the all-female American promotion Shimmer Women Athletes at Volume 53 on 6 April 2013, participating in a five-way match which she lost to Christina Von Eerie and also included Yuu Yamagata, Kalamity, and Rhia O'Reilly. At Volume 54, Evie defeated Kimber Lee to pick up her first win for the promotion, but she was defeated by Mia Yim the next day at Volume 56. She competed in a losing effort against Hikaru Shida at Shimmer Volume 62 in April 2014. At Volumes 63 and 64, Evie defeated Rhia O'Reilly and Nicole Matthews, respectively.

On 19 April 2013, Evie made her debut for Shine Wrestling at Shine 9, in a losing effort against Mercedes Martinez.[10] At the Shine 18 iPPV on 20 April 2014, Evie and Skater lost to defending champions the Lucha Sisters (Leva Bates and Mia Yim) for the Shine Tag Team Championship.[11]

World Wonder Ring Stardom (2015–2016)[edit]

On 6 December 2015, Evie made her debut for the Japanese World Wonder Ring Stardom promotion. In her first match she won the vacant Artist of Stardom Championship alongside Hiroyo Matsumoto and Kellie Skater.[12] They lost the title to Io Shirai, Kairi Hojo, and Mayu Iwatani in their third defense on 28 February 2016.[13]

WWE[edit]

Early appearances and Mae Young Classic (2015–2017)[edit]

Under the ring name Evie, Crowley appeared on the 14 October 2015 episode of NXT, losing to the debuting Nia Jax.[14] On 15 December 2016, Crowley signed a contract with WWE,[15] and few months later she was announced as a participant in the upcoming Mae Young Classic under the ring name Dakota Kai.[16] Kai entered the tournament on 13 July, defeating Kavita Devi in the first round[17] and Rhea Ripley in the second round, before being eliminated in the quarterfinals by Kairi Sane.[18]

NXT (2017–present)[edit]

Kai during her match with Nikki Cross in the WrestleMania Axxess tournament that she won in early 2018

On the 25 October 2017 episode of NXT, Kai made her television return competing in a battle royal, where she was eliminated by Sage Beckett.[19][20] On the 14 March 2018 episode of NXT, Kai scored her first televised victory when she defeated Lacey Evans.[21] A month later, Kai made her WrestleMania debut at WrestleMania 34, competing along with several other NXT women in the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal, becoming the first female New Zealander to compete at WrestleMania.[22] Kai also participated in a WrestleMania Axxess tournament which she would go onto win, earning herself a match for the NXT Women's Championship but she was eventually defeated by newly crowned champion Shayna Baszler.[23] In May, Kai earned herself another shot at the championship but was once again unsuccessful in capturing it.[24][25] Throughout the rest of the year, Kai would continue to compete in singles competition, racking up various victories and losses against competitors like Santana Garrett,[26] Bianca Belair,[27] Lacey Evans [28] and Aliyah.[29]

In parallel to her actives in NXT, Kai also appeared in the newly created NXT UK brand.[30][31] In October, Kai took part of the first ever all women's pay-per-view, Evolution, where she unsuccessfully challenged Rhea Ripley (in a dark match) for the NXT UK Women's Championship.[32] Before the title match, Kai took part of a tournament (that was taped back in the summer but aired in November) for the vacant championship, where she defeated Nina Samuels in the first round[33] but was eliminated in the semi finals by the eventual winner Ripley.[34]

After spending a few months away, Kai returned at NXT TakeOver: WarGames on 17 November, where she and Io Shirai helped Kairi Sane during her match with Shayna Baszler by attacking Baszler's allies Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir who would interfere earlier on.[35][36] Shortly after the event, the trio would continue to feud with Baszler, Duke and Shafir in the following weeks.[37][38][39] On January 17, 2019, Kai announced on her Twitter page that she sustained a torn ACL, during an NXT live event in December, which would sideline her from in-ring competition for the next few months.[40][41] After over nine months of inactivity and a couple of vignettes,[42][43] Kai defeated Taynara Conti on the 25 September episode of NXT in her in-ring return match.[44][45] Shortly after, Kai's tag team partner, Tegan Nox also returned to NXT and the two quickly reunited their tag team dubbed "Team Kick".[46][47] On the 30 October episode of NXT, Team Kick unsuccessfully challenged The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship.[48][49] In November, Kai made her main roster debut as part of the NXT talent that were placed in an invasion angle with Raw and Smackdown.[50]

Other media[edit]

In September 2009, Evie starred in the music video for "Sweet December" by Auckland band These Four Walls.[51] In April 2013, 20/20 aired a story which followed Evie on her lead up to her first tour in the United States.[52] Also that summer, she was similarly profiled on the Māori Television sports show Code.[53]

She made her video game debut as a downloadable character in WWE 2K19[54] and also appears in WWE 2K20.[55]

Personal life[edit]

Crowley's mother is originally from the village of Lepea on the island of Upolu in Samoa.[52] She has two younger siblings, her sister Nyrene is a mixed martial artist.[56] Her grandfather Pat Crowley represented New Zealand as a member of the All Blacks in 1949 and 1950.[3]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WWE signing updates". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Birthday wishes got out to #WWENXT's @DakotaKai_WWE!". Twitter. WWENetwork. 6 May 2019. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b France, Marvin (14 August 2018). "WWE rising star Dakota Kai blazing a trail for Kiwi women wrestlers". stuff.co.nz. Stuff. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "Evie". PWA Australia. 3 November 2012. Archived from the original on 8 August 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Dakota Kai". WWE. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  6. ^ ".. #HappyStPatricksDay from this Irish / Samoan hybrid!! + =". @DakotaKai_WWE. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Evie –". Impact Pro Wrestling. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  8. ^ "IPW Closes Doors". NZ Wrestling. 3 April 2013. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  9. ^ Taylor, Brendon (12 December 2013). "2013 Live Event Recap: The Investment take control! –". Impactprowrestling.co.nz. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  10. ^ Namako, Jason (20 April 2013). "4/19 Shine #9 iPPV Results: Ybor City, Florida". Wrestleview.com. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  11. ^ Namako, Jason (20 April 2014). "4/18 SHINE 18 iPPV Results: Ybor City, FL (Ivelisse vs. Knight)". Wrestleview.com. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  12. ^ a b 2015年12月6日 Goddesses of Stars2015. World Wonder Ring Stardom (in Japanese). 6 December 2015. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  13. ^ 2016年2月28日 大阪大会. World Wonder Ring Stardom (in Japanese). 28 February 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  14. ^ Trionfo, Richard (14 October 2015). "WWE NXT REPORT: NUMBER ONE CONTENDERS FOR ALL TITLES ESTABLISHED, NIA JAX DEBUTS, AND BAYLEY TALKS ABOUT THE IRON MAN MATCH". PWInsider. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
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  17. ^ Williams, JJ (13 July 2017). "WWE Mae Young Classic taping spoilers: The tournament begins". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  18. ^ Williams, JJ (14 July 2017). "WWE Mae Young Classic taping spoilers: The finals are set". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
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  20. ^ Trionfo, Richard (10 January 2018). "WWE NXT REPORT: TAG TITLE MATCH, COMMENTS FROM GARGANO & ALMAS, BASZLER MAKES A STATEMENT, DON'T MESS WITH NIKKI'S FRIENDS". PWInsider.
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  22. ^ Carapola, Stuart (8 April 2018). "COMPLETE WRESTLEMANIA 34 KICKOFF SHOW COVERAGE". PWInsider.
  23. ^ "Results for all championship matches at WrestleMania Axxess Day 4". WWE. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  24. ^ Clapp, John (9 May 2018). "Dakota Kai def. Vanessa Borne". WWE. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  25. ^ Clapp, John (30 May 2018). "Shayna Baszler def. Dakota Kai". WWE. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  26. ^ Trionfo, Richard (4 July 2018). "WWE NXT REPORT: GARGANO VERSUS EC3, THE WOMEN MAKE THEIR STATEMENTS IN AND OUT OF THE RING, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  27. ^ Trionfo, Richard (20 June 2018). "WWE NXT REPORT: LOOKING BACK AT TAKEOVER, BELAIR VERSUS KAI, WAR RAIDERS VERSUS THE MIGHTY". PWInsider.
  28. ^ Trionfo, Richard (18 July 2018). "WWE NXT REPORT: FOCUSING ON THE WOMEN, NUMBER ONE CONTENDER, VIDEO FEATURE ON WAR RAIDERS, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  29. ^ Trionfo, Richard (29 August 2018). "WWE NXT REPORT: UNDISPUTED ERA VERSUS RICOCHET AND DUNNE, LARS IS BACK, NIKKI IS UNUSUAL BUT IS SHE A SUSPECT?, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  30. ^ Trionfo, Richard (24 October 2018). "WWE NXT UK REPORT: BATE VERSUS WOLFGANG, LIGERO, DAKOTA KAI, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  31. ^ Trionfo, Richard (7 November 2018). "WWE NXT UK REPORT: STORM VERSUS KAI". PWInsider.
  32. ^ Johnson, Mike (28 October 2018). "NXT UK TITLE DEFENDED AT WWE UK EVOLUTION". PWInsider.
  33. ^ Trionfo, Richard (14 November 2018). "WWE NXT UK REPORTS: NXT UK WOMEN'S TITLE TOURNAMENT ANNOUNCED, BATE VERSUS DRAKE, SEVEN VERSUS GIBSON, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  34. ^ Trionfo, Richard (21 November 2018). "WWE NXT UK REPORTS: THE WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT CONTINUES, MARK ANDREWS, JORDAN DEVLIN, LIGERO, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  35. ^ Trionfo, Richard (17 November 2018). "BLACK VERSUS GARGANO: LIVE ONGOING WWE NXT TAKEOVER WAR GAMES II COVERAGE". PWInsider.
  36. ^ Trionfo, Richard (28 November 2018). "WWE NXT REPORT: MIGHTY VERSUS LORCAN AND BURCH, LEE VERSUS SULLIVAN, EC3, MIA YIM, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  37. ^ Trionfo, Richard (5 December 2018). "WWE NXT REPORT: BRO TIME, THE UNDISPUTED ERA CHECK THE LOCKS, KAI VERSUS BASZLER, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  38. ^ Trionfo, Richard (12 December 2018). "WWE NXT REPORT: MORE QUALIFIERS FOR NUMBER ONE CONTENDER MATCH, MIGHTY VERSUS LORCAN AND BURCH, RICOCHET FACES A BLAST FROM THE PAST OF NXT". PWInsider.
  39. ^ Trionfo, Richard (19 December 2018). "WWE NXT REPORT: STEEL CAGE MATCH, DUKE AND SHAFIR IN ACTION, DIJAKOVIC WRESTLES, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  40. ^ Johnson, Mike (17 January 2019). "DAKOTA KAI SUFFERS TORN ACL, SURGERY TODAY". PWInsider.
  41. ^ Staff, WWE.com (17 January 2019). "Dakota Kai undergoes ACL surgery". WWE.com.
  42. ^ Trionfo, Richard (11 September 2019). "WWE NXT REPORT: SEE YOU LIVE NEXT WEEK, BASZLER VERSUS RIPLEY, JOHNNY GARGANO'S FUTURE, DAMIAN PRIEST, AND MORE". PWInsider.
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  44. ^ Trionfo, Richard (25 September 2019). "WWE NXT REPORT: RIDDLE VERSUS DAIN, LEE VERSUS DIJAKOVIC, KUSHIDA VERSUS IMPERIUM, AND MORE". PWInsider.
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  46. ^ Trionfo, Richard (16 October 2019). "WWE NXT REPORT: WHO FACES RODDY NEXT WEEK?, WHO ISN'T CHALLENGING SHAYNA?, PRIEST VERSUS DUNNE, DIJAKOVIC VERSUS LEE, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  47. ^ Trionfo, Richard (23 October 2019). "WWE NXT REPORT: NORTH AMERICAN TITLE MATCH, WHO FACES THE KABUKI WARRIORS NEXT WEEK?, RIPLEY VERSUS BELAIR, FINN BALOR IS BACK". PWInsider.
  48. ^ Trionfo, Richard (30 October 2019). "WWE NXT REPORT: WOMEN'S TAG TITLE MATCH, THE WOMEN GO INTO WAR GAMES, LEE AND RIDDLE VERSUS FISH AND O'REILLY, AND MORE". PWInsider.
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  50. ^ Trionfo, Richard (2 November 2019). "WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT: WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU MECHANICAL ISSUES . . . WWE GIVES YOU NXT". PWInsider.
  51. ^ "These Four Walls – Sweet December Music Video". YouTube. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  52. ^ a b Gregerson, Katie (6 June 2018). "5 Fast Facts About Dakota Kai". Ringside Intel. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  53. ^ Dunn, David (29 August 2013). "Evie featured on Maori TV's CODE tonight". NZPWI. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  54. ^ Mazique, Brian (19 September 2018). "'WWE 2K19' DLC Details Revealed". Forbes.
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  56. ^ Stanley, Ashley (16 July 2018). "Nyrene Crowley fighting her way to affecting change". Beyond the Mark. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
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  58. ^ "Title History – Impact Pro Wrestling". Retrieved 13 April 2017.
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External links[edit]