This week on “WWE NXT 2.0”, Kayla Inlay made her WWE NXT debut in a match against Sarray. It was the biggest match of her career thus far, as this was her first time wrestling on national television for a major pro-wrestling company.
From Iowa, Kayla Inlay has a gymnastics and cheerleading/dance background. Before entering the pro-wrestling industry, she was a member of the Cheerleading & Dance Team team at Morningside University from 2015-2019.
Kayla Inlay earned NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes) All-American honors in competitive cheer in 2017. In 2018, she was named to the All-Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Competitive Cheer Team and received honorable mention All-GPAC recognition in competitive dance.
In 2019, Kayla Inlay was selected as the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Cheer Athlete-of-the-Year.
Kayla Inlay has given high praise to NAIA. “Competing in the NAIA can be so competitive so stepping up to the next level is great.”
Kayla Inlay’s transition to pro-wrestling began at the Florida-based Flatbacks Wrestling School, being trained by owners AEW star Shawn Spears and former WWE star Tyler Breeze.
Last year, current Impact Wrestling star Cassie Lee tweeted a video of Kayla Inlay training.
Kayla Inlay. pic.twitter.com/wpI1UxUSS3
— Cassie Lee (@CassieLee) August 5, 2021
Other wrestlers who have been students at Flatbacks Wrestling School include AEW talents Cezar Bononi and Colten Gunn, and WWE talents Xia Li and Erica Yan. This shows that Kayla made a good choice in terms of a school with a good track record.
Pro-wrestling career begins
Kayla Inlay attended a WWE tryout in March 2020, but ultimately AEW was where she had her first match, making her debut in September 2021 versus The Bunny on an episode of “AEW Dark“, wrestling as, “Xtina Kay”. This is the ring name that Kayla has been using until her appearance on, “WWE NXT 2.0” this week.
Later that month, Kayla experienced the independent scene, wrestling in the Florida-based Coastal Championship Wrestling (CCW), where she had a match with Valentina Rossi, another wrestler who is in the early part of her career and has trained at Flatbacks Wrestling School.