Kay Lee Ray ’s NXT UK Women’s Championship reign recently surpassed an impressive 400 days, making her the longest reigning champion in the title’s lineage; and the second longest reigning champion in the entire company – only beaten by NXT UK Champion WALTER.
The Scot recently spoke to The National about how her career path would have changed had WWE’s UK expansion happened earlier on.
“I feel like that’s a double-edged sword because I don’t know if I would have necessarily been ready for [NXT UK] when I was younger, but the training and everything they give you here is beyond anything you’d receive anywhere.”
“For young people now, I think it’s unique for them that they have this here and to be able to train right straight on their doorstep. But you do have to work hard to be here – it’s not just a walk in the park.”
Whilst the 28-year-old debuted on the independent scene in 2009, it wasn’t until January of 2019 that she signed on the dotted line to become a WWE Superstar –four years after a one-off appearance for NXT stateside and two years after competing in the Mae Young Classic tournament.
“It’s been 10 years since I’ve been doing this and I have had a wonderful career on the independent scene and I wouldn’t change that for the world,” said Ray.
“I’ve seen some amazing places but I’m glad I had that experience before coming to WWE. I think if I had been younger, I would have been too young or too naive, whereas now I feel I’ve really honed my craft and I’m in the place where I need to be.”
Kay Lee Ray successfully defended her NXT UK Women’s Title against her compatriot Piper Niven on the September 24th episode of the newly rebooted NXT UK, with the brand’s attention currently on the inaugural NXT UK Heritage Cup tournament.