Dakota Kai has had a career rebirth, both in and out of the ring. One of the things she retained with her 2019 change in attitude was her awe-inspiring finishing move, the Kairopractor.
As far as finishing moves go, they don't get much more visually impressive than the Kairopractor. What looks like it will be a Meteora ends in Kai going over her opponent and doing a modified Backstabber. Kai actually learned the move from someone who ended up being a foe.
"Well, Ember (Moon) is the one that actually suggested it. She gave me that. I think she may have done it before on the indies. I know that a few people have done it before on the independent scene, so. I had never seen it until she explained to me the physics of how it worked. ‘Cause I’m like, ‘Wait…’ So, we’re at training and she’s explaining it to me. I was like, I didn’t really understand how it worked, let alone for the other person to work with me on that. But, yeah, we did it and practiced it and now it’s a thing, part of my moveset," Kai told Fightful.
With a move like that, it takes some practice, which Kai walked us through. She wasn't locked on with it initially.
"Not the first time. There was like a little bit of, ‘Mmm, let me try that again.’ I feel like with a lot of moves I need to practice it a few times and then I’ll feel comfortable with it. Because live TV wrestling is very...if you mess up, like that’s there. There it is. I wanted to make sure, like with anything that I do, I’m comfortable with it and my opponent’s comfortable with it because… Yeah. Live TV, man."
Kai's changes didn't just come in the form of that new attitude. The prominent game streamer also joined UpUpDownDown as a part of BREstart with Jessamyn Duke, Shayna Baszler and Mia Yim/Reckoning. With UpUpDownDown being a juggernaut in gaming, and it's a huge opportunity.
"It really is and I may be, being within that sort of bubble, I forget how big UpUpDownDown is on that level until I see how many followers it got on YouTube and it’s like, ‘Oh, this is cool.’ But, it was all Creed that gave us the opportunity to put ourselves on UpUpDownDown, which I am super, super grateful for. I always will be. He’s like the best guy. He always looks out for everyone. He’s got a heart of gold, honestly. But, it really has given us another platform to present ourselves. ‘Cause, obviously, there’s NXT TV, which is it’s own sort of monster over here. But, that’s like so fun to me. I love gaming and I get to be myself on this channel and we get to have the puppies on there, too. It’s super fun. But, he’s the one that gave us the opportunity to give our brand on this channel."
Wrestlers have taken really well to various gaming and streaming platforms. With the ability to connect to an audience, it's been a natural progression for so many. For Kai, much of the same.
"I didn’t ever have to really try. I was just being myself and when I was streaming as well, the interaction with the chat was just… I think that was the priority with me. Gaming is always going to be fun, whether I’m streaming live or I’m not and I’m just doing it at home. But, because of 2020 being the way it was, it really gave me the opportunity to talk to fans and them, for them to create their own community called the [Mad Dogs Community]. I get messages and they send me letters and gifts to this day, about saying things like how much the community really helped them through a really rough time and that means more to me than anything else I could have hoped to achieved with that. Yeah, I don’t know. It’s really cool. It’s a really cool feeling," said Kai.
Kai now has a huge match ahead of her, when she teams with Raquel Gonzalez to compete for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships on March 3. You can see the action on WWE NXT Wednesdays at 8 PM EST on the USA Network