Cheree Georgina Crowley is a 32-year-old wrestler from Auckland, New Zealand. She is signed with the WWE and performs on NXT under the ring name, Dakota Kai.
Crowley started her wrestling career in December 2007 for Impact Pro Wrestling under the ring name, Evie. In September 2011, she debuted for Australia-based Pro Wrestling Alliance Australia (PWA Australia) where she defeated Kellie Skater. The following August, she became the first ever Impact Pro Wrestling NZ Women’s Champion, defeating Britenay and Megan Fox in a triple threat match. A week later, she won the Interim PWWA Championship by defeating Jessie McKay in the finals. She retained the title during her first defense against Kellie Skater on October 6th. In 2013, she also made her debut for Shimmer Women Athletes and Shine Wrestling.
Beginning in January 2014, Evie wrestled in Japan for a three month contract with Pro Wrestling Zero1. From 2015 to 2016, Crowley wrestled for the Japanese promotion, World Wonder Ring Stardom. In her first match she won the promotion’s vacant Artist of Stardom Championship alongside Hiroyo Matsumoto and Kellie Skater. They lost the title to Io Shirai, Kairi Hojo, and Mayu Iwatani in their third defense on February 28 2016.
Crowley’s WWE Contract & Debut
Crowley’s first WWE NXT match was in October 2015 under the ring name, Evie, in a losing effort to Nia Jax. On December 15, 2016, she signed a contract with WWE and a few months later, WWE announced that she would be a participant in the Mae Young Classic tournament under the ring name, Dakota Kai. In the first round of the Mae Young Classic, Kai defeated Kavita Devi and Rhea Ripley in the second, before being eliminated by Kairi Sane in the quarter-finals.
As Dakota Kai, she made her WrestleMania debut in 2017 competing along with several other NXT women in the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal. She also participated in a WrestleMania Axxess tournament which she would go on to win, earning herself a match for the NXT Women’s Championship. But, she was eventually defeated by newly crowned champion Shayna Baszler. A month later, she earned herself another title match but was unsuccessful.
While wrestling for NXT, Dakota Kai also worked for NXT UK. In October, she took part in the first ever all women’s pay-per-view, Evolution, where she unsuccessfully challenged Rhea Ripley (in a dark match) for the NXT UK Women’s Championship. After a brief absence, Kai returned to action at NXT TakeOver: WarGames in November 2018. Kai and Io Shirai helped Kairi Sane during her match with Shayna Baszler by attacking Baszler’s allies, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. They continued to feud for a few months after the match.
In January 2019, Kai announced that she suffered a torn ACL during a NXT live event in December and she would be out of action for a few months. When she returned to NXT, she teamed back up with Tegan Nox and reunited to create the tag team, Team Kick. In October 2019, they unsuccessfully challenged The Kabuki Warriors for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
Dakota Kai’s Main Roster Debut
Dakota Kai made her main roster debut in November 2019 as part of the NXT talent that were placed in an invasion angle with RAW and SmackDown as part of the Survivor Series pay-per-view. In January 2020, she entered her first Royal Rumble match, entering at number 15, but was unsuccessful after being eliminated by Chelsea Green.
At NXT TakeOver: Portland she beat Nox in a street fight and she then teamed with Candice LeRae and Gonzalez in a losing effort against Nox, Mia Yim and Shotzi Blackheart in a six-woman tag team match at NXT TakeOver: In Your House.
On the August 5 episode of NXT, Kai defeated Rhea Ripley to become the number one contender for Shirai’s championship at NXT TakeOver XXX. At XXX, Kai was unsuccessful in capturing the title.
Kai & Gonzalez Win Dusty Rhodes Classic
Dakota Kai and Raquel González teamed up and competed in the first ever Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. In the final, they defeated Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon for the win. With this victory, Kai and González earned a shot at WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. The match ended in controversy on the March 3rd, 2021 episode of NXT after Kai was pinned despite not legally being in the match.
On the March 10th NXT episode, Kai and González were awarded the newly created NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships by General Manager William Regal, marking Kai’s first championship in the WWE. Later that night, Kai and González lost the Championship to Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon.
Career Championships and Accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Women’s Alliance
- PWWA Interim Title Tournament (2012)
- PWWA Championship (1 time)
- PWWA Interim Championship (1 time)
- Impact Pro Wrestling
- IPW Women’s Championship (3 times)
- Shimmer Women Athletes
- Shimmer Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- World Wonder Ring Stardom
- Artist of Stardom Championship (1 time)
- World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
- NXT Women’s Championship Invitational (2018)
- NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship (1 time, inaugural)
- NXT Year-End Award (1 time)
- Future Star of NXT (2019)