WWE released 10 performers from their NXT contracts Friday, including Dakota Kai, Dexter Lumis and Malcolm Bivens, according to Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp.
Persia Pirotta, Harland, Draco Anthony, Paige Prinzivalli, Sanjana George, Mila Malani and Raelyn Divine were the other performers who also reportedly received their releases.
Kai, who had been under contract with WWE since 2016, spent her entire tenure in NXT and was a two-time NXT women’s tag team champion.
The 33-year-old Kai is a native of New Zealand who went by the name Evie on the independent scene before signing with WWE, winning championships in popular women’s promotions Shimmer and Stardom.
Kai was popular as both a face and a heel during her NXT run, but she is perhaps best known for teaming with and later feuding with Raquel Rodriguez.
Raquel and Kai held the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships together twice, including as recently as earlier this month when they dropped them to Toxic Attraction.
Rodriguez seemingly reacted to the release of her friend on Twitter:
Bivens signed with WWE in 2019 and managed multiple acts. Most recently, he was the mouthpiece for Diamond Mine, which features Roderick Strong, The Creed Brothers and Ivy Nile.
Sapp added that WWE had asked Bivens to re-sign with the company in February, but he “made it clear” he didn’t want to.
Bivens went by the name Stokely Hathaway before joining WWE and spent time in Ring of Honor, Evolve, MLW and other independent wrestling companies.
AEW star MJF and Impact Wrestling star Moose were among the wrestlers Bivens managed before he went to WWE.
Bivens managed the tag team Indus Sher and singles wrestler Tyler Rust in NXT before finding his greatest success as part of Diamond Mine.
After news of his release broke, Bivens tweeted the following video, utilizing his signature sense of humor:
Lumis, 38, signed with WWE in 2019 after previously competing in Impact Wrestling under the name Samuel Shaw.
He became a cult favorite in NXT thanks to his on-screen romance with Indi Hartwell, leading to a storyline wedding. Collectively, Lumis and Hartwell were known as InDex.
Given NXT’s renewed focus on younger and less experienced Superstars, Lumis may have been a victim of circumstance due to his age.
Pirotta, a 25-year-old native of Australia, signed with WWE last year and spent much of her time in WWE teaming with Hartwell, who is a fellow Aussie.
Persia and Indi had recently started a storyline where they were in relationships with Duke Hudson and Lumis, respectively, and forced them to compete together as a tag team.
Harland, whose real name is Parker Boudreaux, played college football as an offensive lineman at the University of Central Florida.
He signed with WWE last year amid comparisons to a young Brock Lesnar and served as Joe Gacy’s on-air disciple. Harland recently disappeared from WWE programming during Gacy’s feud with NXT champion Bron Breakker.
Anthony’s most high-profile angle in NXT saw Gacy and Harland trying to recruit him, only for Xyon Quinn to step in.
That led to a match between Anthony and Quinn on the April 12 episode of NXT, which Quinn won. That marked Anthony’s final NXT appearance.
Source: Bleacher Report
The full list of released NXT Superstars is as follows:
- Malcoml Bivens
- Dakota Kai
- Dexter Lumis
- Persia Pirotta
- Draco Anthony
- Sanjana George
- Mila Malani
- Raelyn Divine
- Blair Baldwin (referee)
Dakota Kai signed with WW in December of 2016 following a successful stint on the indies as well as a well-received run in Japanese promotion Stardom. Kai competed in the 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble match. With Raquel Gonzalez, Kai won the first-ever Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and was an inaugural NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion.
Dakota Kai posted the following on Twitter:
Above everything, thank you all. I am so overwhelmed at all the love and support. The DMs, txts, tweets.. you all have my heart. I love you. I am thankful for being able to meet, work, and intertwine with so many beautiful people, people I looked up to, people I learned from.. I met some of my best friends over these last few years that will remain in my life forever. I don’t know what’s next for me. I chose ‘Evie’ at 17 years old. That chapter is shut.. just know this; I’m far from being done.