Originally published at Dakota Kai details group ideas that Bayley came up with over the years, one included Alba Fyre & Raquel Rodriguez
Dakota Kai chats different variations of what is now known as Damage CTRL.
It has now been four months since the group known as Damage CTRL (Bayley, IYO SKY & Dakota Kai) formally arrived at SummerSlam following the Raw Women’s Title match between Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch.
Present day, Dakota and IYO are in possession of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. The trio alongside Nikki Cross and Rhea Ripley competed in WarGames at Survivor Series and days removed from that, Kai appeared on the ‘Getting Over’ podcast.
She detailed different variations of groups that Bayley has wanted to construct over the years. Dakota stated that a ‘couple of years ago’, names Bayley mentioned were herself, Tegan Nox and Candice LeRae. Earlier this year, Bayley had the idea for herself, Dakota, IYO, Alba Fyre and Raquel Rodriguez to be a group.
So, from the very start, I would say when she first mentioned it to me a couple years before [Bayley’s idea for a stable], it was myself, Candice LeRae and Tegan [Nox]. Those are the ones that were from the start. Obviously, things had happened from then to now that changed. The photos and stuff that we took earlier this year… It was myself and IYO [SKY] and then Kay Lee Ray and Raquel Gonzalez. So, that was like the updated version of that and then when she finally re-pitched it again in a last ditch effort right when Triple H basically came to the company, she sent him those photos of the five of us, those videos we did and his first response was like, ‘What’s Dakota doing right now?’ So, I felt really overwhelmed that he thought of me and yeah, that was like the evolution of that.
Kai has been in every women’s WarGames match that has happened under the WWE banner. She dove into her history in the match and feeling like she’s the designated person to start the bouts.
Dakota admitted that going into this year’s WarGames, she was slightly concerned about her cardio not being up to par considering how long the match is and she has not competed in a match that long since the 2021 NXT WarGames.
Oh gosh, I don’t even know [what it is about WarGames that speaks to me]. The very first one you mentioned where I did turn on Tegan [Nox], I didn’t even enter the cage that year. Technically, I was still a part of it but, I didn’t get to enter the cage and then, you know, the next three years, they had me start every WarGames match. They were probably like, you know what? You didn’t even get the opportunity to do it the first year. Let’s just put you in there right from the start.
Three years in a row, let’s start you and I don’t even know, I love the WarGames match so much but I think it’s just due to many things like the NXT women’s WarGames match, it was the first-ever women’s WarGames match and I think at the time, our NXT women’s division consisted of Rhea Ripley, Shayna Baszler, Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae, myself IYO [SKY]. We were very close knit and we all had the same goal in terms of elevating women’s wrestling and just doing the best we could for it so to have that opportunity to be the first-ever women’s WarGames match was just very — we were very grateful and we just didn’t want to drop the ball and every year since then, I have started. It’s very grueling. There’s no way you can even prepare for a match like WarGames. I’m lucky to have been in a couple before but how do you even prepare for a WarGames match? You can’t really. I was worried about being in there for so long this year because I haven’t been in anything that big since returning back so I was like, oh gosh, I hope my cardio holds up, I don’t know. 50 minutes, starting with freakin’ Bianca Belair, The EST of WWE so, there’s so many different elements to a match like that-that I love, you know? There’s a lot of moving pieces. Two rings and a cage and weapons. There’s so many things that you can sort of play around with and I love that unpredictable element of a WarGames match and I’ll take the moniker of Ms. WarGames.
Coming out of WarGames, Kai was in action at a house show and then went one-on-one with Candice LeRae this past Monday on Raw.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit the ‘Getting Over’ podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.