When asked how they feel about wrestling Raquel Rodriquez and Aliyah in the finals of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Tournament backstage after the penultimate edition of SmackDown before Clash at the Castle, the team of Dakota Kai and IYO SKY, plus their de Facto leader Bayley left their true feelings in the digital exclusive, with Kai explicitly laughing off the question.
“She wants to know how we’re feeling,” Kai rhetorically asked SKY and Bayley. “We’re feeling amazing. Since the three of us debuted and returned at SummerSlam, we have been unstoppable. We have just taken the division by storm; it’s almost like they needed us. They definitely needed us. And now we know that we’re going up against Raquel and Aliyah, and Raquel and I have a very long history together. I know her inside and out, I know her weaknesses; it’s going to be a war.
“And from the looks of it,” Bayley added. “It looks like Aliyah isn’t going to be much help. She’s done for, did you see her? She didn’t even do much in that match, so I can’t imagine how she’s going to feel come Monday because I got a little of her on Monday, she got a little hurt out there from Natalya, and they’re just going to make it worse, am I right (Iyo)?”
SKY agreed, delivering a promo of her own before handing the mic back to Kai. “It’s the start of a very important week for us,” Kai concluded. “I hope you are ready,” finished SKY.
With the final match of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Tournament on the books for the go-home edition of RAW before one of the most jam-packed “Premium Live Event” weekends in recent memory, it looks like Sky and Kai should be considered strong favorites to enter their trios match with Bayley versus Alexa Bliss, Asuka, and Bianca Belair at Clash at the Castle.
EXCLUSIVE: After getting a first-hand look at @RaquelWWE and @WWE_Aliyah’s victory to set up the final for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Tournament, @ImKingKota, #IYOSKY and @itsBayleyWWE are confident they will come out victorious. #SmackDown pic.twitter.com/GSSHDl5AUn
— WWE (@WWE) August 27, 2022
Dakota Kai and IYO SKY bring NXT Championship pedigree to WWE’s RAW.
As long-time fans of wrestling most certainly know, Kai and SKY, who was then known as Io Shirai, have some serious championship pedigree heading into their match on RAW to decide on the next WWE Woman’s Tag Team Champions.
Though she initially began her career in New Zealand, where she won the PWWA and IPW New Zealand Women’s Championship under the name Evie, Kai found her biggest pre-WWE success in Japan’s Shimmer, where she won the Artist Of Stardom Championship with Hiroyo Matsumoto and Kellie Skater as the Hyper Destroyers, and the Shimmer Tag Team Championship as part of Team Slap Happy with Heidi Lovelace, who fans may know as Ruby Riot or her current name, Ruby Soho. In the WWE Universe, Kai split her time between singles and tag team action in NXT but did secure championship gold with Rodriquez on two occasions, even if their combined reigns lasted less than four full days.
SKY, too, found championship success before she arrived on the RAW roster too, and followed a similar path to her current tag team partner. Like Kai, SKY started out local, wrestling for JWP, Pro Wrestling WAVE, and DDT before landing in World Wonder Ring Stardom as her home promotion from 2013-18. Over that five-year tenure, SKY won five different belts in Stardom – the Artist of Stardom Championship, the Goddesses of Stardom Championship, the High Speed Championship, the Wonder of Stardom Championship, and the World of Stardom Championship – plus two more in SWA and TLW while rapidly establishing herself as one of the best female performers in the world regardless of promotion, age, or country of origin. In NXT, SKY kept her winning ways going, holding the NXT Women’s Championship for almost a full year from July of 2020 through July of 2021 and then followed it up with a run as the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship alongside Zoey Stark in the summer/fall of 2021.
Had SKY made into the summer of 2022 unscathed, maybe she would still be working in NXT as a tag team with Kay Lee Ray, who she won the 2022 Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, but alas, it just wasn’t meant to be – SKY suffered an ankle injury that sent her under the knife and led the crisis of faith that could have resulted in a return to Japan had her current opportunity with Kai and Bayley not materialized.
Fortunately, when Paul “Triple H” Levesque came into power, the aforementioned opportunity with Kai and Bayley came up, and the wrestling world is better for it. Suddenly one match away from adding yet another championship reign to their respective Cagematch pages, the future is looking bright for the team that may soon go by Damage CTRL.