Kai says that when she first tried out for WWE, she was actually met with rejection. Dakota would continue persevering, and she finally got signed in 2017 after a decade on the independent circuit.
"You can't fake passion for something like that and when you have the passion, it isn't hard to pursue a goal like that," Kai explained. "I did my try out for the WWE in 2014. I wasn't successful initially. They said, 'We don't don't have anything for you now, but keep doing what you're doing and stay in touch because we might have something for you in the future'.
"There was a window there for a time where it wasn't that I was unsuccessful and needed to stop, but I had been doing this for nine years, I [thought I] should probably venture into something else and take a little bit more of the focus off wrestling," she said. "But I never really stopped. I kept wrestling, which was a good thing. I'm lucky I didn't stop."
Two of the people with heavy influence in NXT are legendary stars and D-Generation X stable members, Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Kai admits that it's sometimes surreal to be learning from people who have made such an impact on the professional wresting industry as a whole.
"It's crazy, it's very weird [working with them], because being someone who used to watch them growing up, it's very strange to have them now be your bosses, and to try and act normally around them," Kai said. "I've learned so much from Triple H and Shawn Michaels. To have them around NXT every week, they will constantly give you feedback on your matches. And the process it takes to put anything like that together they will have a big hand in."
Kai says that the greatest piece of advice Triple H has given her was when he said, "You can't always be at the top". She notes that his words held great significance coming from someone who's been through decades in the WWE.
"Especially coming from someone like him who's been through a lot, it's such a rollercoaster of a journey," Kai admitted. "[He said] to appreciate the highs when they're happening because who knows when it will happen again. There could be a moment in your career where it could be a little quiet, but that's only the journey to whatever the next big opportunity is. That only makes moments so much better when they're bookmarked or surrounded by moments that aren't as high."