Article posted February 24th 2022

Let us kayfabe old school WWF Magazine Style about Dakota Kai & Wendy Choo in the 2022 Dusty Cup Tournament. The good news is that Dakota Kai and Wendy Choo seem to be in a better relationship place than they were during their first two encounters a few weeks ago. The even better news is despite never teaming up they may be in luck as their first round opponents Persia Pirotta and Indi Hartwell seem to be preoccupied with a tall tale of lust. If the Australian duo can't get on the same page it might be a good thing for the first outing of Kai and Choo as a team. On the other hand, an easier road to victory instead of a harder fought one gives them less chance to gell more as a team in preparation for the semifinal.

Their potential semifinal opponents would both force Kai to confront her past. Valentina Feroz and Yulisa Leon both have unfinished business with Kai. Though not as experienced as Choo and Kai as far as years of in ring experience go their anger toward Kai could fuel them to a victory. The other semifinal opponents pose a much greater threat in the form of Dakota's archrival Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade. Kai once convinced herself she had to eliminate Raquel from the ranks of NXT in order to bury her past and overcome her mental demons. If Kai believes that still to be true, another battle with her former tag partner could be the fuel she needs to accomplish a could also overtake her mind in a negative way leading to a defeat. Cora likely still holds a grudge against Kai for attacking her after their first match even though Kai ultimately spared her by not putting her through a table. The impetuous youth of Cora combined with the strength of Raquel won't be an easy victory. Last year Kai and Gonzalez won the first Women's Dusty Cup. This year Dakota's dreams to win it again could be destroyed by her former tag partner.

Assuming Kai and Choo make it to the finals, their opponents could be the newly formed tandem of Kay Lee Ray and Io Shirai. Kai's battles with KLR go back to her time wrestling on the independent scene as Evie. Kai has been unable to win against KLR in their two NXT matches. Io is another opponent Kai has not defeated. The other possible finalists would be Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter, whom Kai has had plenty of battles with in the past. Fortunately she has won them all. Kacy and Kayden have had a renewed passion for their tag team in recent months making them formidable as they've ever been. Either way Kai and Choo will have a tough challenge if they can make it to the finals.

Dakota and Wendy actually have the most combat experience between them as a team if the rumors of Wendy being a 1000 year old warrior-sorceress in a previous life are true. If they aren't, which we are certain is the case, she still has 8 and Kai has 14. Kai is an accomplished warrior in the ring, but lately her mental demons often get the best of her. On a better note, this past week Kai seemed the most at peace she has been in a long time, even if her mental demons were still present. It seems she's finally trying to fight them a bit harder than before. If she sought out some therapy we safely assume she didn't visit Alex Bliss's therapist.

Kai has some doubts about teaming with Choo given Kai's past issues with friends and partners. Choo has shown she can unleash hell in the ring. Unfortunately, some of her childlike tendencies could have a negative effect. Lets just say she's called the resident narcoleptic for a reason. On a better note, so far it hasn't been a burden for her like Kai's little friends in her head have been for Kai.

If Kai and Choo can manage to win the tournament, the prize that awaits them is not just their names engraved on the Dusty Cup, they will get a shot at the NXT Women's Tag Team Titles currently held by Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne of Toxic Attraction. Dakota has no love for her former WarGames 2021 partners. Don't forget that facing Gigi and Jacy would put Dakota in the crosshairs of NXT Women's Champion Mandy Rose. We know from their encounters leading up to WarGames that Dakota has no love for Mandy; and her eyes have long been set on that championship. But could Kai's desire to one day finally become NXT Women's Champion be a distracting force when she needs to focus on team matters?

Should they be able to work together they could make a formidable team. After all Kai has been through, perhaps it isn't so much a tournament victory that she needs but the chance to prove she can be trusted by Choo and learn to trust in friendship again herself. It may take a loss for Kai to have that pivotal moment where she resists the urge to turn on her new partner after they take a loss. In the end, it may be the forming of a new friendship that helps Kai heal her broken soul that is the true victory. Of course, that could still happen if they manage to win the Dusty Cup and tag team titles.

Wishing Dakota Kai and Wendy Choo the best of luck. I'll be rooting for you guys to win it all whatever that ultimately is.

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