Dakota Kai has officially been one half of the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions for five days. She won the strap alongside fellow Damage Control member IYO SKY on Monday Night RAW, defeating Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah for the belt many presumed they should have won in the first place, and now has the weekend to prepare for the next episode of WWE's longest-running television show so they can do it all again.

Only, for Kai, this five-day run is special not because of everything that is yet to come but everything that has preceded it; namely, her previous two title runs in NXT.

You see, technically, Kai is a three-time tag team champion in the greater WWE Universe. She won the NXT Tag Team Championship belts with Gonzalez-now-Rodriguez in 2021, won the straps again with her in 2022, and now holds the belts with SKY under the watchful eye of Bayley. Whether this run goes for another day, another week, another month, or even another year, Kai will now forever be known as a three-time champion in WWE, and nothing can take that away. Fortunately for Kai, even if her run title ends tomorrow – which would be weird, considering she would have lost her belt on a Sunday – it would still be a tenure of note, as it would mark the longest championship run of the Auckland, New Zealander's career in WWE.

That's right, according to Cagematch, Kai's total championship reign in NXT lasted a little less than four days, with her second run lasting just three days and her second run lasting less than three hours. Kai's struggle to hold onto a belt became a fixture of her NXT run to almost the same degree as her “frienemy” status with Gonzalez, and that feud has translated to the main roster, where Damage Control has been able to consistently dominate Rodriquez and Aliyah in both victory and defeat.

WWE's Damage CTRL has been a long time coming.

Speaking with Digital Spy about what brought Kai, SKY, and Bayley together in the WWE, the former detailed how the union wasn't a thrown-together thing, and has instead been quite literally years in the making.

“Bayley has been talking to me about this idea for years now,” Dakota said. “We were talking about when I was still in NXT, it was like 2018 when she first brought it up to me and then again at Evolution. We just kept like saying, ‘This needs to happen, we want this to happen so bad,' and obviously, the members changed, but I was the constant. So I think it's very poetic that it happened at SummerSlam and that her idea that we've been talking about for so long finally happened on such a big stage and with Iyo as well, it was an emotional moment for all of us that it finally happened.”

Kai also spoke highly of SKY to Digital Sky, describing what the former NXT Champion brings to the group.

“IYO SKY is one of the best in the world what she does,” Kai told Digital Spy. “Some of the stuff she does in the ring is insane, I don't know how it's physically possible, but she pulls it off somehow. She just fits so well, the three of us just have such a cool dynamic. Bayley is amazing, she's such a great leader, and I've always loved watching what she does, so to be under her wing and alongside one of the best female wrestlers, or best wrestlers period in the world, it's such a cool group.”

Now granted, just because the trio have wanted to work together for some time doesn't mean the logistics of getting them together on television was nearly as easy to pull off. No, according to Kai back in August, she didn't even know about the prospects of a Damage Control SummerSlam takeover until mere days before the show.

“Honestly, it still feels like a whirlwind to me with everything that happened,” Kai told WWE's The Bump via a transcription from Fightful. “It all happened so last minute too. To be talking with you guys is insane to me. Everything that happened since Saturday has been insane. It's been crazy.”

Welp, there you go; while we may never know exactly when the decision was made for Mr. McMahon to step down and what the immediate plan was to replace him, it's clear Paul “Triple H” Levesque had a trapper keeper filled with dream booking ideas that he was just biding his time to set into action. Though every one of his plans may not be a certified hit, it's clear the decision to bring back Kai was anything but an error.