Two of the biggest names in Europe were confirmed as new WWE signees at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool. Jazzy Gabert, previously known as Alpha Female, made the roster, after having a previous offer rescinded due to injury issues. Standing beside her was Kay Lee Ray, the Scottish sensation who spent years earning the nickname “The Hardcore Daredevil.”
— WWE (@WWE) January 12, 2019
Kay Lee Ray has worked with many indie promotions throughout her seven years in the ring. Those which have gotten her the most buzz are probably Glasgow’s Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW) and London’s Pro Wrestling: EVE. Her various stipulation matches in ICW (especially her recent Queen of Insanity deathmatch) garnered large praise. Kay Lee Ray is also one of the earliest participants in EVE, appearing regularly since their fifth show. She achieved massive fanfare through similarly intense matches and moments (once, she was slammed onto a pile of Connect Four chips mid-match). Surprisingly, despite being in some of their most iconic matches, she has never won an EVE title.
Kay Lee Ray’s first title win came in 2013 with Fierce Females, the sister promotion of ICW. Fittingly, the win came against best friend/greatest rival Viper. While holding the belt through to 2015, Kay Lee Ray took several tours of the United States. She competed in matches for SHIMMER against some of the WWE’s best before they made their NXT debut. Ember Moon, Asuka, Dakota Kai, and Candice LeRae are just some of the names she’s locked up with. Between those trips, she also stayed busy in Europe, wrestling for Southside Wrestling Entertainment (SWE), All-Star Wrestling (ASW), Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw), and others.
In 2016 and 2017, Kay Lee Ray made multiple trips to Japan to compete at Stardom. She had a very impressive showing in the 5-Star Grand Prix tournaments and went on to challenge Io Shirai for the top belt. 2017 was also the year that Kay Lee Ray was properly introduced on WWE programming, in the Mae Young Classic (although she had an enhancement match in 2015 on NXT TV, in a loss to Nia Jax). After returning to Europe, she became a champion at Defiant Wrestling and competed in matches for the promotion all through 2018.
World of Sport signed Kay Lee Ray to her first major TV deal last year, and she became the inaugural champion. This prevented her from signing with WWE until just recently. It also allowed fans to see a different side of Kay Lee Ray. While promotions like ICW allowed her to be unfiltered both on the mic and in the ring, World of Sport’s product was much more family friendly. Fans have seen WWE alter both the moveset and the persona of many wrestlers throughout the years; but with NXT UK a relatively new addition to WWE’s product, it will be interesting to see what direction WWE takes the new charismatic daredevil talent they have on their hands.
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