Dakota Kai has been a consistent victim of NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler since the Mae Young Classic ended. To get her point across to former champion Ember Moon and Mae Young Classic winner Kari Sane, Baszler would assault talent like Kai on several occasions.
Kai recently had an NXT Women’s Title match against the Queen of Spades, where she was torn apart until Nikki Cross made the save.
Dakota Kai was interviewed by Byron Saxton on WWE.com to talk about her fight with Baszler, her experience at the Performance Center, and who influenced her ring style.
What are your thoughts on your loss against Shayna Baszler?
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 just for a brief moment. There’s hope within that.
Who influenced your in-ring style?
The main influencers of my in-ring style would have to be Hideo Itami, Finn Balor 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.
What’s it like working with Shawn Michaels at the WWE Performance Center?
It still blows my mind that this is even a thing. He’s such a wealth of knowledge and even seeing him around the Performance Center is crazy. Working with someone who you used to watch – I don’t think I’ll ever really get used to that. We are lucky to have him here at NXT.
What kind of impression do you want to leave with the fans?
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.
You can check out Byron Saxton’s full Q&A with Dakota Kai here.