Kay Lee Ray will go down in history as the longest-reigning women’s champion in WWE of the modern era having held the NXT Women’s Championship for a whopping 649 days.
It is a stellar accomplishment in wrestling. One that many dream of, but only a few get to realise. Ray won the championship back at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff after defeating Toni Storm. The win not only kick-started Ray’s record-breaking title run but she became the first Scottish wrestler – and the only person from the United Kingdom – to hold the title.
Her title reign eclipsed Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch’s RAW Women’s Championship runs by almost a year. Yes, there was a pandemic thrown in the middle but that should not take away any of Ray’s dominance or prestige as champion. Ever since the day she won the title she reigned supreme over the NXT UK women’s division. She defended the title against all-comers and overcame every challenge placed at her feet.
Kay Lee Ray had the air and swagger of a champion long before she won it. Ray’s previous experience and confidence made her the perfect person to add further fire to the NXT UK women’s division. Ray entered NXT UK with a lot of fanfare. Her previous exploits preceded her and fans were ready to see her mix it up with the ever-evolving roster.
Kay Lee Ray made an instant impact in NXT UK.
Her first feud with Toni Storm was excellent and vastly underrated. Storm was a much-loved babyface and Ray got to display all of her villainy in glorious detail. Ray exploited, manipulated and humiliated the Australian, thus making her the top heel in the promotion.
Fans of the UK indie scene – especially ICW – are well-versed in the madcap antics and inhuman tenacity of the “Scary Queen of Scots”. Ray got to show them on the WWE stage when she became the fourth and final entrant in the first-ever women’s WarGames match.
Ray’s addition in the history-making match was a masterstroke. Her penchant for inflicting and taking extreme violence was on full show. Ray got to go with some of the best women’s wrestlers on the planet and did not look out of place. She put on a great performance and proved the NXT UK Women’s Champion is not to be messed with.
After taking part in the monumental WarGames match, Ray returned to NXT UK to defend her title. At NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II took on Storm and Piper Niven in a tremendous Triple Threat Match – it was another standout performance from the Scot and it was clear she was on a roll like no other.
The rivalry with Storm culminated in a beautifully violent fashion when Ray defeated the Australian in a brutal and, at times, very uncomfortable “I Quit” Match.
Her following feud rekindled her deep-set rivalry with Piper Niven/Viper from ICW. Back in the Scottish promotion, these two enemies tore each other apart and now that brutality had made its way onto WWE television.
After the unprecedented break due to COVID-19, NXT UK returned in September of last year. Ray and Piper picked up where they left off. The two Scottish warriors destroyed themselves and the BT Studios in a brutal Falls Count Anywhere match.
Kay Lee Ray was the NXT UK Women’s Divison.
Ray was NXT UK Women’s Champion for so long quite simply because she was the best around. No-one could topple her. Storm, Niven, Jinny all tried and all fell at the feet of Ray.
Ray was unstoppable and NXT UK needed to bring in one of the best wrestlers in the world to step up to the plate. The “Final Boss” Meiko Satomura was brought in to finally put an end to Ray’s control of the title and the division. Satomura is one of the most well-respected wrestlers on the planet and widely considered as one of the best wrestlers in history.
A fighter the calibre of Satomura to come over from Japan to take on the NXT UK Women’s Champion is proof of just how good Kay Lee Ray is. Ray further cemented her legacy when she defeated Satomura in an awesome encounter in March.
Ray’s superb title reign came to an end in epic fashion. Her match second championship match with the legendary, Mieko Satomura was a sight to behold. The breath-taking battle is a match of the year contender and a must-watch for any wrestling fan.
Ray’s record-breaking and history-making title reign is a truly a monumental achievement and one that won’t be bettered or beaten for a very long time. If ever.
Now that Ray no longer possesses the title she held for so long, speculation rises about her future. NXT seems a likely destination but RAW and SmackDown are crying out for new talent. Could we see the enigmatic talent bring her fury and tenacity to the main roster? We certainly hope so.