WWE: NXT women's champion Raquel Gonzalez credits New Zealand's own Dakota Kai for rapid rise to stardom

WWE's NXT women's champion Raquel Gonzalez might just be the shiniest diamond in the rough in the world of sports entertainment.

The 30-year-old is on a rocket ship to superstardom in WWE's developmental brand, dominating the women's division for the last 12 months.

A remarkable rise considering she has only been wrestling for five years.

Signed by WWE in 2016 because of her athletic ability, physical frame and college basketball credentials, Gonzales - real name Victoria - has impressed her coaches and trainers with work ethos, charisma and high impact in-ring style.

And by her side during her ascension? None other than New Zealand's own starlet Dakota Kai.

In 18-months as an on-screen duo, the pair have accomplished several firsts under the bright lights of World Wrestling Entertainment.

Gonzalez and Kai won the inaugural Women's Dusty Rhodes Memorial Classic in February, before being crowned the first-ever NXT women's tag team champions a week later.

Several weeks later, Gonzalez claimed the NXT women's title, topping the consensus No.1 women's wrestler on the planet in Io Shirai in a five-star match to conclude a memorable 12-month run for the Texan.

And for Gonzalez, Kai has been her rock, picking her up when others tried to hold her down.

"Dakota Kai has been a huge influence on my rise," Gonzalez tells Newshub.

"Dakota is the only person who believed in me when everyone else said I wasn't ready. 

"If it wasn't for Dakota Kai I wouldn't have made the impact I made in my debut and I wouldn't have become one half of the women's tag team champions or one half of the very first women's Dusty Cup winners. 

"We have made history together." 

Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai
Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai Photo credit: WWE (Supplied)
WWE: NXT women's champion Raquel Gonzalez credits New Zealand's own Dakota Kai for rapid rise to stardom
Photo credit: WWE (Supplied)

Kai told Newshub in April, the past year of her career has been the most fun, riding every single high and low alongside Gonzalez.

"The Dusty Cup final happened almost a year to the day that Raquel was paired with me," Kai said.

"And throughout that year we have had each other's backs and she has been there for me. 

"She was a big part of the storyline when I went after Io [Shirai - then NXT women's champion], we did War Games together and then I was there for her when she had the big match with Rhea Ripley.

"But this was the first time we went for something together and I think the result has solidified us as a team.

"We are super stoked with how it all turned out."

The wacky world that is sports entertainment has many roller coasters and within an instant Kai and Gonzalez could turn from friends to foes.

But there is no doubt that the whatever future success both women have, will in part be due to the support of one another.

"I wouldn't be standing here as the NXT women's champion. Dakota Kai has my back and I have hers - 100 percent," says Gonzalez. 

Watch Kiwi Dakota Kai on NXT on Sky 5, Saturday's from 11am