Dakota Kai Recalls Coming Back from 2019 ACL Tear, 2020 Royal Rumble Appearance

Feb 23, 2021 - by James Walsh

Dakota Kai spent much of 2019 on the shelf with an ACL tear, and she recalled coming back from that in a new interview with Wrestling Inc. You can check out the highlights below:

On her 2019 ACL tear: “I had to undergo surgery and be out 8-9 months. While the physical side of rehab is tough, that’s so easy compared to the emotional and mental side of it,” she said. “That’s where the struggle lies. Even after I came back and made my re-debut and returned to NXT TV, you’re still in a weird mind space. You’re worried. You’re paranoid. You don’t want to have that happen again with the risk of tearing your ACL a little higher just because you rehabbed and strengthened the knee so much that they might not be evened out.”

On her mindset when she returned: “More than anything you want to make sure your opponent is safe and that you’re there for them. I really couldn’t afford to be paranoid or unsure. I had to be sure of myself because I feel like at the end of the day that’s the only thing that could break me out of the mental struggle.”

On being in the 2020 Royal Rumble: “The entrance itself is really all that matters. As soon as I came out, that was an intense moment for me. Royal Rumble is one of those pay-per-views you watch as a kid. Being in one was very overwhelming to me. Being part of this year, even under different circumstances it’s still very much right of passage for NXT talent to do something like that. While there wasn’t as much representation of the black and yellow brand this year it’s still a very cool moment given the circumstances.”

On the NXT women’s division: “We are so selfless. At the end of the day, we want to put on the best story and show possible and whatever that is, we’re going to work together to do that. We all trust each other 100 percent. That locker room is so full of crazily talented ladies. But at the end of the day, the reason why we are so successful and put on great stories and matches, we’re genuinely like a big family.”

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