WWE releases Dakota Kai and other NXT stars

WWE releases Dakota Kai and other NXT stars

Nearly four months after its last batch of talent releases, the WWE has axed a number of wrestlers from its NXT brand.

The news was broken today (April 29) by Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.

Read now: Every major WWE wrestler release of the 2020s – and where they are now

Among the ten releases was the highly rated Dakota Kai, real name Cheree Georgina Crowley.

Kai first appeared in NXT as a guest star in 2015 under her former wrestling name Evie, before signing a contract in December 2016 and making her debut as Dakota Kai in the Mae Young Classic.

Together with along with Raquel González, she became the inaugural NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion in March 2021.

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The team won the titles for the second time earlier this month on April 2, but lost the titles just three days later to Toxic Attraction (Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne).

Kai and González won the Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic in 2021, while Kai was also the winner of the 2018 NXT Women’s Championship Invitational, and named the Future Star of NXT in 2019 at hte NXT Year-End Awards.

Kai wrestled for the NXT Women’s Championship against Mandy Rose earlier this month, where she just fell short of winning the singles title.

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The other wrestlers released were: Malcolm Bivens (Stokely Hathaway), Paige Prinzivalli (Blair Baldwin), Harland (Parker Boudreaux), Persia Pirotta (Stephanie De Landre), Sanjana George (Vish Kanya), Draco Anthony (Reginald Chase Crews), Mila Malani (Kellie Morgan), Raelyn Divine (Jaylen Williams) and Dexter Lumis (Samuel Robert Shaw).

NXT, the WWE’s developmental brand, has been in a state of flux in the past two years.

The brand appeared to be moving closer to equal pegging with Raw and SmackDown as a “third brand” in 2019 when it joined in the battle for brand supremacy at that year’s Survivor Series.

However, after the division’s perceived failure in the so-called “Wednesday Night War” with new company AEW, a number of key wrestlers were released last August.

The division was rebranded as NXT 2.0 the following month in the absence of executive Triple H, who had been taking time off after suffering a cardiac event.

Further releases were made in November 2021, and again in January of this year, including on-screen NXT general manager William Regal, long seen as the elder statesman of the brand.

What do you think about the latest batch of WWE releases? Let us know your thoughts at @digitalspywwe.

Catch up on Raw, Smackdown, NXT and all the big WWE action via the WWE Network or BT Sport.

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