Kai details her journey to Detroit for IYO SKY’s moment.
The semi-main event of SummerSlam 2023 was Asuka defending the WWE Women’s Championship in a Triple Threat against Bianca Belair and Charlotte Flair. Belair emerged victorious but shortly after the win, IYO SKY made her way to the ring and successfully cashed in Money in the Bank to become champion.
IYO came to the ring with Bayley and joining them for the post-win celebration was their Damage CTRL group-mate Dakota Kai. Kai is out of action after undergoing ACL surgery in May. Dakota took to her Twitch and detailed her journey to Detroit for SummerSlam.
She was informed at 1 PM that WWE wanted to bring her in. Kai had previously put her phone on Do Not Disturb and went to sleep. When she woke up, she had an abundance of calls and text messages. WWE initially wanted her to get on a flight that departed at 5:15 PM. She could not make that but there was another flight that she could catch 6 PM.
Kai got her hair done and then went to the airport. She stated that this situation was more chaotic than last year’s surprise appearance at SummerSlam. She boarded the plane close to 7 PM and then there were maintenance issues. The flight took off at 7:15 PM and she landed when GUNTHER versus Drew McIntyre was taking place. That was the fifth match on the card and the Triple Threat Women’s Title match was on seventh. A makeup artist was waiting on Kai in the service car that WWE sent.
She does not think she would’ve made the show if it wasn’t the semi-main event. She arrived to Ford Field, went to makeup and then it was straight to her positioning for where she needed to be to walk out. Kai shared that she was asked to throw on another layer of clothes to disguise herself because she was in an area where fans could potentially notice her.
I literally found out that they wanted me to be there (at SummerSlam) but this was all shenanigans, right? 1 PM on that day (she laughed). I was still chilling. I was like, oh, it’s Saturday. It’s my sleep in day, I’m gonna chill, not even gonna set my alarm, my phone was on Do Not Disturb. I always have my phone on Do Not Disturb when I’m not needed and I was like, cool, I’m just gonna sleep in. I wake up, my phone is blowing up. I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ My anxiety was just through the roof. I just saw all these missed calls, all these texts and they are just like, you know, Bayley is texting me or trying to call me. She’s like, ‘We need you here!’ And I’m like, ‘Do you guys know what day it is? And what time it is? And where I am? And where SummerSlam is?’ The math ain’t mathing right now… So, from that point on, for the rest of the day, my anxiety was at a 10. It was at a freaking 10. It was no time to be not anxious so, me, I’m not just ready, you know what I mean? I gotta get my hair done. That’s a whole thing. I gotta make sure the dog’s taken care of… That was fine but everything else, I’m like, ‘Guys, are there even any flights out that will get me there in time?’… There was a flight that they wanted me to get on and I think it was around 5:15 PM and I could not make it, I could not. I was like, ‘Guys, I can’t make it.’ First of all, I live like 30 minutes-ish away from the airport… ‘I’m sorry guys. I can’t make it. Is there another flight?’ There was literally only one flight left and this just shows you how desperate I was to get there because it was for Spirit (Airlines) and I’m like, oh my God. I’ve never flown Spirit before. Please don’t let anything happen. Please don’t let anything happen and this flight was set for like 6 PM. So I get my hair done, my hair lady comes over, she hooks me up. I’m like, ‘Oh my God. Thank you so much’ and then I get an Uber to the airport at like, what was it? 4-ish, 4:15. It was more hectic than last year… So I’m like, you’re kidding me. The only flight available is Spirit? Ugh, because the other one after that is Delta but that… I wanna say it was 8:39 PM. I may as well not had even gone. So I get an Uber to the airport to catch this 6 PM Spirit flight and we’re not boarding at the time we’re boarding which is like 5:25 or something like that. We’re just standing there and I’m getting real anxious. I’m just internalizing everything right now. I’m like, is there even any point to me getting on this flight? Am I even gonna make it? Am I gonna get on this flight and it’s gonna get there and the show is over and I just turn around and come back? What a way to freaking go so I’m just standing there, boarding time passes. It’s like 6 PM, we’re still standing around and I’m just standing… So everyone’s just standing there and I’m just like… We get on the plane, sit down. It’s getting closer to 7 and I’m just like, dude, SummerSlam starts in an hour. In what world am I gonna make this? This is crazy. Also, the airplane, the flight attendant staff is saying that there were maintenance issues which is why we were delayed taking off. We were all seated on the plane and they’re just waiting for the papers. These God damn papers. I don’t know if you guys have ever had to wait for maintenance papers but it’s a whole thing. I’m like, how in today’s technology do you have to physically wait for a piece of paper? We have technology. Just text them, be like, ‘Yeah, good. We’re good…’ We literally wait for a stack of papers. It’s like 7 PM at this point and we’re still sitting there. We haven’t even pulled away from the gate and then, this family gets up and they start wandering on the plane because it’s a family of, I wanna say eight, eight or nine and they’re all, I think, sitting separately on the plane. Maybe they got the tickets last minute. So they must’ve thought that was a good time to start seeing if they could switch seats with other people so they could sit together. So we get the maintenance papers and next thing, we’re waiting for the family to sit down and I’m just like, it’s 7 PM, it’s after 7. I was like, everything that went wrong, could. Bro, so eventually they sit down.
We take off at 7:15. 7:15 you guys. That’s like a two-and-a-half-hour flight right there to Detroit. I forgot what city we were even going to because I was that frantic but yeah, so we go and when I’m landing, I think it’s at the middle of the show. I wanna say it was after Shayna (Baszler) and Ronda (Rousey). What was the match after that match? (GUNTHER vs. Drew McIntyre) Whatever match that was, we were landing… Whatever match was after Shayna and Ronda’s, we landed and thank goodness they sent car service to come and get me and then they also had a makeup lady in the car. We were literally at that point so, I run to baggage claim. Car service is there to come get me. We rush to the car, S.U.V. and the lady who does my makeup is already set up in the car… 20-minute drive from the airport to the venue. So I’m getting my makeup done, we’re zooming through the streets. We’re playing freaking Tetris with the makeup brush on my face (as we’re trying to get to Ford Field). Yes, lucky that match was semi-main because I definitely wouldn’t have made it I don’t think… So we’re trying to do that in the car. We finally get to the venue. They rush and sit me in makeup to get me ready and then I got dressed in the locker room and then it was straight to be loaded for where I was meant to be. I didn’t even get to say hi to everyone really. It was a quick, ‘Hi! I’m here’ and then they yoinked me away… They have to take me through a part where there’s fans. So, yeah, they take me through but I’m sweating because I’m covered in clothes. I was already wearing pants guys and I was like, ‘Do I have to put these X-Out track pants on? Because my pants are already black’ and they’re like, ‘Hmm, they might see the shoes.’ So I put pants on top of my pants… There was no time to even think about the stress. I don’t even know if that makes sense because I was stressed, the whole time, but there was no time to even comprehend what was happening. I was like, I’m wearing Chuck Taylors. No one’s gonna be like, oh! Only one person wears Chuck Taylors. Like the most popular shoe brand in the world (she laughed)… Then they took me through the bit in the crowd and then it was like an area where they had me which was like kind of where the tech guys were sitting and stuff. I did not have time to breathe.
At the post-show press conference, Kai stated that she’s ‘a ways away’ from being cleared to return to in-ring action. Her last bout before she underwent surgery was a Women’s Tag Title match on the 5/12 SmackDown.
If the quote in this article is used, please credit the original source with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcription.