Kai in April 2018
|Birth name||Cheree Crowley|
6 May 1988 |
Auckland, New Zealand
|Professional wrestling career|
|Billed height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|Billed weight||55 kg (121 lb)|
|Billed from||East Auckland, New Zealand|
|Trained by||WWE Performance Center|
Cheree Crowley (born 6 May 1988) is a New Zealand professional wrestler of Samoan and Irish descent. She is signed to WWE, where she performs in their development territory NXT, under the ring name Dakota Kai. Under the ring name Evie, Crowley has wrestled for Impact Pro Wrestling, Shimmer Women Athletes, Shine Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Women's Alliance.
In September 2011, she debuted in Sydney, Australia-based Pro Wrestling Alliance Australia (PWA Australia) for their annual PWWA show, where she defeated Kellie Skater. In August 2012, Evie became the first Impact Pro Wrestling NZ Women's Champion, defeating Britenay and Megan-Kate 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 6 October.
After Impact Pro Wrestling returned after a few months from folding in mid-2013, all the previous title holders were stripped of their championships. Evie won the IPW Women's Championship back in December 2013 and aligned herself with a new heel faction called 'The Investment'.
Evie began 2014 in Japan working on a three-month contract awarded to her through Zero1 Pro Wrestling Australia. She was the first female to receive such a contract. She competed with the promotion Diana. During her stay, Evie also teamed with Madison Eagles in a losing effort against Global Green Gangsters (Kellie Skater and Tomoka Nakagawa) for the Shimmer Tag Team Championship as part of the Joshi4Hope show.
Evie made her debut for the all-female American promotion Shimmer Women Athletes at Volume 53 on 6 April 2013, participating in a five-way match which she lost to Christina Von Eerie and also included Yuu Yamagata, Kalamity, and Rhia O'Reilly. At Volume 54, Evie defeated Kimber Lee to pick up her first win for the promotion, but she was defeated by Mia Yim the next day at Volume 56. She competed in a losing effort against Hikaru Shida at Shimmer Volume 62 in April 2014. At Volumes 63 and 64, Evie defeated Rhia O'Reilly and Nicole Matthews, respectively.
On 19 April 2013, Evie made her debut for Shine Wrestling at Shine 9, in a losing effort against Mercedes Martinez. At the Shine 18 iPPV on 20 April 2014, Evie and Skater lost to defending champions the Lucha Sisters (Leva Bates and Mia Yim) for the Shine Tag Team Championship.
On 6 December 2015, Evie made her debut for the Japanese World Wonder Ring Stardom promotion. In her first match she won the 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 28 February 2016.
Under the ring name Evie, Crowley appeared on the 14 October 2015 episode of NXT, losing to the debuting Nia Jax. On 15 December 2016, Crowley signed a contract with WWE, and few months later she was announced as a participant in the upcoming Mae Young Classic under the ring name Dakota Kai. Kai entered the tournament on 13 July, defeating Kavita Devi in the first round and Rhea Ripley in the second round, before being eliminated in the quarterfinals by Kairi Sane.
On the 25 October 2017 episode of NXT, Kai made her television debut competing in a battle royal, where she was eliminated by Sage Beckett. On 10 January 2018 episode of NXT, Kai was defeated by Shayna Baszler by referee stoppage when Baszler injured Kai's arm in storyline. On the 14 March episode of NXT, Kai scored her first televised victory when she defeated Lacey Evans. Kai made an appearance at WrestleMania 34, competing along with several other NXT women in the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royale. With that participation, she became the first New Zealander to compete at WrestleMania. Kai participated in a WrestleMania Axxess tournament with the winner earning an NXT Women's Championship match on April 8, 2018. Kai ended up winning the tournament but was defeated by newly crowned NXT Women's champion Shayna Baszler. On May 9th episode of NXT, Kai was victorious in a match over Vanessa Borne, only to be intimidated by the NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler after the match when Baszler choked out Borne to send a message to Kai.
In September 2009, Evie starred in the music video for "Sweet December" by Auckland band 'These Four Walls'. In April 2013, 20/20 aired a story which followed Evie on her lead up to her first tour in the United States. Also that summer, she was similarly profiled on the M?ori Television sports show Code.
Crowley has two younger siblings, Nyrene and Earl. She previously worked as a graphic designer before becoming a full-time wrestler. Crowley is engaged to Australian professional wrestler Brendan Vink, who goes by the ring name Elliot Sexton.