Not many WWE Superstars have had a more dominant tenure with the company than Kay Lee Ray. From joining the company in January 2019 and debuting two months later, Kay Lee Ray has only lost one singles match in WWE since joining the company – and that was against Candice LeRae at Worlds Collide in her debut year.
Of course, NXT UK’s “forever champ” has faced some stiffer competition as of late in a burgeoning division bolstered by the addition of Meiko Satomura, and Inside The Ropes‘ Lead Writer Gary Cassidy sat down with KLR to discuss her position at the summit of the brand, high praise from Shawn Michaels, and her war of words with, well, almost all of the Four Horsewomen!
So, Kay Lee, there’s only one place I can start. I recently interviewed Shawn Michaels and he had very high praise for you saying you could emulate Drew McIntyre. Michaels said, “She’s the best kept secret. If she ever chooses to come over and come to America, and be part of the WWE from a global standpoint, I see her having the exact same kind of success that Drew has had. She is very, very good and she has done unbelievable work for us over in the UK, and I couldn’t be more proud of her because she is an absolutely fantastic young lady.” He’s not the only one as Rhea Ripley said you could take over any brand in WWE just yesterday!
How does it feel when a legend like Shawn Michaels is giving you such high praise?
It is, it’s incredible to hear something like that said about yourself from anybody, never mind somebody like Shawn Michaels and somebody that I respect in Rhea Ripley as well. It’s nice to know that that’s what they think but it’s nice to know that they also have very nice taste as well, because of course they support the forever champion! Who doesn’t support the forever champion?
You might know where I’m going next – you’re obviously the NXT UK forever champion right now and seemingly will be forever! But is moving to the United States to join NXT, RAW or SmackDown something you envision in the future?
I always have the best time when I go to the States, whether it’s been for independent promotions or I’ve been over at WarGames. It is a dream and an aspiration of mine to go to the States at some point but I feel like I’ve got a very big responsibility here and I’m good with being forever champion for now.
We’ve spoken a few times and Champion vs Champion dream matches always come up, you’ve mentioned Becky Lynch being a dream match, Bayley has been mentioned – all these champion graphics appear online but the other names and faces change whereas Kay Lee Rae doesn’t.
It’s not a one-way street as Sasha Banks has been vocal about wanting to face you, Bayley has too. How much do you guys talk behind the scenes? Have they had any words of advice for you, or have they asked you about anything?
Well, that would be giving the game away, wouldn’t it?
I have been thinking about something recently though. I’ve went through pretty much all the Horsewomen and I know I would love to wrestle every single one of them individually but when you look at the champions right now, I would be lying if I didn’t say my dream match right now wouldn’t be… The NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray, we’ve got the NXT Women’s Champion in Raquel, we’ve got Bianca Belair, we’ve got Rhea. Let’s put the four of us against the Four Horsewomen! I think that would be amazing, and I’m probably stretching a bit here…but put us in WarGames, do whatever you like! Just let us go.
So, you’ve been at the top of the food chain in NXT UK for a long time, but you’ve had arguably your toughest opponent in a new addition to the company with Meiko Satomura joining NXT UK. You know her well! What does Meiko Satomura bring to NXT UK?
Everything. She brings everything to NXT UK. I’ve seen the girls, they’re in awe of her. Like, everything she says, everything she does there, they’re picking up everything, they’re learning everything and this division’s going to get stronger. I’ve said, since I’ve been champion, I’ve seen hunger in their eyes and it’s scary because she’s feeding that. She’s making them better and our division is going to be SO strong, it is so strong already but it’s just growing and these girls are seeing the potential that that can happen here and they’re taken it and running with it and Meiko’s only fueling that fire here.
So, you have those hungry younger girls chasing your title, wanting to make that impression any time they’re on TV. My favourite thing about NXT UK recently has been the complete overhaul and the new beginning seeing people like Aoife Valkyrie, Isla Dawn and others getting time to shine, and making us sit up and take notice. As a veteran, and as champion, who is someone you’ve noticed putting in that time, putting in that effort, always eager to learn. Beyond what we’re seeing on TV right now, who we should keep an eye on?
Oh, good question! I’ve got two in mind, I’m going to go with two just now and they’ve got a match coming up. So this could be a really good shout and the two of them are hungry, and I’m going to go with two girls here. The two of them are hungry, the two of them are fiery and they could take over this company and it’s Xia Brookside and Amale. They two right now, I see it. I see when they pass, I see it in training and I see that drive that they have and I think we could get some very big things from them two.
Thanks to Kay Lee Ray for taking the time and to WWE United Kingdom for facilitating the chat. You can follow Kay Lee Ray on Twitter for more.
You can watch Kay Lee Ray every week on NXT UK, which is available via the WWE Network at 8pm every Thursday, then on BT Sport every Friday.