Lyra Valkyria

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Lyra Valkyria
Cusack in January 2018
Birth nameAoife Cusack
Born (1996-10-23) 23 October 1996 (age 27)
Dublin, Ireland
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Aoife Valkyrie[1][2]
Lady Valkyrie
Lyra Valkyria[3]
Valkyrie Cain
Valkyrie[4]
Billed height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Billed weight130 lb (59 kg)
Billed fromDublin, Ireland[3]
Trained byFight Factory Pro Wrestling[5]
DebutMay 2, 2015[5]

Aoife Cusack (born 23 October 1996) is an Irish professional wrestler. She is currently signed to WWE, where she performs on the Raw brand under the ring name Lyra Valkyria. She is a former one-time NXT Women's Champion.[3]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (2015–2020)[edit]

After being a student of Fight Factory Pro Wrestling for one year, Cusack made her debut in 2015 adopting the ring name Valkyrie Cain (after the protagonist of the Skulduggery Pleasant book series by Derek Landy).[6]

WWE (2020–present)[edit]

NXT UK (2020–2022)[edit]

Cusack was reported to have signed with WWE on 20 January 2020, now operating under the ring name Aoife Valkyrie.[1] Valkyrie competed in her first match on NXT UK on 17 January 2020, defeating Amale. She then defeated Isla Dawn the next night on 18 January 2020, and defeated Amale again on the same night. On 26 March 2020, Valkyrie defeated Nina Samuels.[7]

In February 2020, Valkyrie toured with WWE's US-based NXT brand for the first time, wrestling on two house shows in Florida. Valkyrie defeated Aliyah on 14 February in Tampa, followed by defeating Jessi Kamea, MJ Jenkins, and Taynara on 15 February in a six-woman tag team match at a Fort Pierce house show, where she teamed up with Mia Yim and Rita Reis.[7]

Valkyrie made her return to television on the 17 September 2020 episode of NXT UK in a winning effort against Isla Dawn, and on 29 October 2020 she competed against Dani Luna, again in a winning effort. Valkyrie remained undefeated until 29 April 2021 when she lost to Meiko Satomura.[8][9]

NXT Women's Champion (2022–2024)[edit]

Valkyrie remained with NXT UK until its closing in fall 2022, then moving to the U.S. later in the year to wrestle in NXT under the ring name Lyra Valkyria. On 13 December, Valkyria made her debut on NXT, defeating Amari Miller.[10] On the 21 March episode of NXT, Lyra beat Ivy Nile to qualify to the Ladder match for the NXT Women's Championship at NXT Stand & Deliver,[11] though she didn't manage to win the title at the event.[12] On the 9 May episode of NXT, she beat Kiana James to advance to the semi-final of the tournament for the vacated NXT Women's Championship.[13] On 23 May, she also defeated Cora Jade to advance to the final, facing Tiffany Stratton at NXT Battleground, where she ultimately lost.[14][15] However, she earned another opportunity at the championship by securing a victory over former NXT Women's Champions Roxanne Perez and Indi Hartwell in a triple threat proposed by champion Becky Lynch on the 3 October.[16] Earlier in the show, Valkyria noted she was inspired by Lynch's NXT debut and remarked on the elder's impact on Irish wrestling.[17] Valkyria bested Lynch to win her first NXT Women's Championship at Night 1 of NXT: Halloween Havoc.[18] On the 21 November episode of NXT, Valkyria successfully defended her title against Xia Li in her first title defense.

On 2 January 2024, at NXT: New Year's Evil, Valkyria successfully defended her NXT Women's Championship against Blair Davenport.[19][20] After their match, Lola Vice tried to cash in her Breakout Tournament contract, only to be stopped by Tatum Paxley, who was obsessed with Valkyria since December 2023.[20][21] At NXT Vengeance Day on 4 February, Valkyria successfully retained the NXT Women's Championship against Perez and Lola Vice, who cashed in her Breakout Tournament contract while the match was in progress to make the match a triple threat match.[22] On the 20 February episode of NXT, Valkyria defended the NXT Women's Championship against Shotzi. During the match, Shotzi suffered a torn ACL and Valkyria won by referee's decision. NXT General Manager Ava announced an open challenge for the NXT Women's Championship match, which Lash Legend answered. Valkyria successfully retained the title against Legend.[23] At NXT: Roadblock, Valkyria and Paxley faced The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship as a reward from Valkyria to Paxley for the latter not interfering with the former's title matches in the previous week but failed to win the title after Valkyria inadvertently kicked Paxley. After the match, Perez attacked Valkyria and injured her arm.[24][25] Valkyria returned and attacked Perez two weeks later, and a match between Valkyria and Perez for the NXT Women's Championship at NXT Stand & Deliver was made official where she lost the title to Perez by submission, ending her reign at 165 days.[26][27] On the following episode of NXT, Paxley turned on Valkyria while saying that the title does not belong to Valkyria anymore.[28] On the following week of NXT, Paxley revealed that her obsession with Valkyria was only because she had the NXT Women's Championship. Later that night, Valkyria attacked Paxley after her match, and NXT general manager Ava announced a triple threat match for the NXT Women's Championship involving Perez, Valkyria and Paxley at Spring Breakin', where Valkyria failed to win the title in her final match for NXT.[29][30]

Raw (2024–present)[edit]

On Night 2 of the 2024 WWE Draft, Valkyria was promoted to the Raw brand.[31] On the 6 May episode of Raw, Valkyria made her on-screen debut saving Women's World Champion Becky Lynch from a beatdown by Damage CTRL's Dakota Kai, Iyo Sky and Kairi Sane, and at the same time defeated Kai in the first round match of the Queen of the Ring tournament in her main roster in-ring debut.[32] She proceeded to defeat Zoey Stark in the quarter-finals and Iyo Sky in the semi-finals but lost to Nia Jax in the finals at King and Queen of the Ring, marking her first loss on the main roster.[33][34][35]

Other media[edit]

Cusack made her video game debut as Lyra Valkyria in WWE 2K24 as downloadable content.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Cusack is currently in a relationship with fellow professional wrestler LJ Cleary.[37]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nason, Josh (20 January 2020). "NXT UK signs Aoife Valkyrie, loses Jazzy Gabert to free agency". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Archived from the original on 21 January 2020. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Aoife Valkyrie def. Amale". WWE. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Lyra Valkyria". WWE. Archived from the original on 1 June 2023. Retrieved 26 July 2023.
  4. ^ a b c Greer, Jamie (13 October 2019). "#AndNEW: Irish Duo Woke Queens Wins EVE Tag Team Championship". Last Word on Pro Wrestling. Archived from the original on 9 August 2022. Retrieved 26 July 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Lyra Valkyria". Cagematch. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  6. ^ @DerekLandy (27 February 2018). "For a whole load of reasons, this just makes me so happy and proud..." (Tweet). Archived from the original on 24 June 2023 – via Twitter.
  7. ^ a b "Matches « Aoife Valkyrie « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  8. ^ Hendrix, Taeler (1 May 2021). "TAELER: Meiko Satomura Ends Aoife Valkyrie's Undefeated NXT UK Streak". Fightful. Shazzu, Inc. Archived from the original on 1 May 2021. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  9. ^ Gronemann, Markus (29 April 2021). "NXT UK results: Meiko Satomura vs. Aoife Valkyrie". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Archived from the original on 29 April 2021. Retrieved 25 July 2021. This week's show featured Aoife Valkyrie and Meiko Satomura in a fantastic match with the "Final Boss" ending Valkyrie's 14-month winning streak.
  10. ^ "Lyra Valkyria Debuts On 12/13 WWE NXT". Yahoo Entertainment. 14 December 2022. Retrieved 11 May 2023.
  11. ^ Mango, Anthony (21 March 2023). "WWE NXT Results for March 21, 2023". eWrestlingNews.com. Retrieved 11 May 2023.
  12. ^ Upton, Felix (1 April 2023). "Indi Hartwell Wins WWE NXT Women's Title At Stand & Deliver". Ringside News. Retrieved 11 May 2023.
  13. ^ Middleton, Marc (9 May 2023). "WWE NXT Results 5/9/2023". Wrestling Headlines. Retrieved 11 May 2023.
  14. ^ "Lyra Valkyria And Tiffany Stratton Advance To WWE NXT Women's Title Tournament Final". Wrestling Inc. 23 May 2023. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  15. ^ "Tiffany Stratton def. Lyra Valkyria – NXT Women's Championship". WWE. Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  16. ^ DeFelice, Robert (3 October 2023). "Lyra Valkyria To Challenge Becky Lynch For NXT Women's Title On Night 1 Of NXT Halloween Havoc 2023". Fightful. Retrieved 3 March 2024.
  17. ^ Boone, Matt (3 October 2023). "WWE NXT Results – October 3, 2023". PW Mania. Retrieved 3 March 2024.
  18. ^ Berge, Kevin (25 October 2023). "WWE NXT Halloween Havoc 2023 Results: Winners, Live Grades, Reaction and Highlights". Bleacher Report.
  19. ^ Brennan, Corey (9 December 2023). "Blair Davenport Wins Women's Iron Survivor Challenge At NXT Deadline". Fightful. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  20. ^ a b Moore, John (2 January 2024). "NXT TV results (1/2): Moore's review of New Year's Evil with Ilja Dragunov vs. Trick Williams for the NXT Championship, Lyra Valkyria vs. Blair Davenport for the NXT Women's Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 2 January 2024.
  21. ^ Rueter, Sean (13 December 2023). "Tatum Paxley's new gimmick stands out in NXT's crowded Women's title scene". Cageside Seats. Retrieved 24 January 2024.
  22. ^ Powell, Jason (4 February 2024). "NXT Vengeance Day results: Moore's live review of Ilja Dragunov vs. Trick Williams for the NXT Title, Lyra Valkyria vs. Roxanne Perez for the NXT Women's Title, Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic finals". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 5 February 2024.
  23. ^ Berge, Kevin (20 February 2024). "WWE NXT Results: Winners, Live Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Feb. 20". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 21 February 2024.
  24. ^ Moore, John (27 February 2024). "NXT TV results (2/27): Moore's review of Ilja Dragunov and Carmelo Hayes meeting, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade, Von Wagner vs. Lexis King, Kiana James vs. Kelani Jordan". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 1 March 2024.
  25. ^ Powell, Jason (5 March 2024). "NXT TV results (3/5): Moore's review of NXT Roadblock with Carmelo Hayes vs. Tony D'Angelo for a shot at the NXT Title, Kabuki Warriors vs. Lyra Valkyria and Tatum Paxley for the WWE Women's Tag Titles". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 6 March 2024.
  26. ^ Powell, Jason (19 March 2024). "NXT TV results (3/19): Moore's review of Trick Williams vs. Noam Dar, Riley Osborne challenging for the NXT Heritage Cup, Roxanne Perez vs. Tatum Paxley, NXT Tag Team Title match qualifiers for Stand & Deliver". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 3 April 2024.
  27. ^ Powell, Jason (6 April 2024). "NXT Stand & Deliver results: Moore's live review of Trick Williams vs. Carmelo Hayes, Ilja Dragunov vs. Tony D'Angelo for the NXT Title, Lyra Valkyria vs. Roxanne Perez for the NXT Women's Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 7 April 2024.
  28. ^ Moore, John (9 April 2024). "NXT TV results (4/9): Moore's review of the Stand & Deliver fallout show, Bron Breakker and Baron Corbin vs. Axiom and Nathan Frazer for the NXT Tag Team Titles". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 10 April 2024.
  29. ^ Moore, John (16 April 2024). "NXT TV results (4/16): Moore's review of Carmelo Hayes vs. Trick Williams in a steel cage match, Ridge Holland vs. Joaquin Wilde, Sol Ruca vs. Lola Vice, Noam Dar vs. Dijak". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 17 April 2024.
  30. ^ "NXT Spring Breakin' 2024 Week One results". WWE. 23 April 2024. Retrieved 24 April 2024.
  31. ^ "Every 2024 WWE Draft pick | WWE". WWE. Archived from the original on 30 April 2024. Retrieved 30 April 2024.
  32. ^ Powell, Jason (6 May 2024). "WWE Raw results (5/6): Powell's live review of Gunther vs. Sheamus, Ricochet vs. Ilja Dragunov, Lyra Valkyria vs. Asuka, Iyo Sky vs. Natalya, and more King and Queen of the Ring matches". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 7 May 2024.
  33. ^ Powell, Jason (13 May 2024). "WWE Raw results (5/13): Powell's live review of Jey Uso vs. Ilja Dragunov, Gunther vs. Kofi Kingston, Lyra Valyria vs. Zoey Stark, Iyo Sky vs. Shayna Baszler in King and Queen of the Ring quarterfinal matches". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  34. ^ Rathi, Ishaan (21 May 2024). "Lyra Valkyria Secures Spot in Finals of the Queen of the Ring Tournament During 5/20 WWE RAW". Ringside News. Retrieved 21 May 2024.
  35. ^ "Cody Rhodes reigns supreme over Logan Paul at WWE King and Queen of the Ring". WWE. 25 May 2024. Retrieved 26 May 2024.
  36. ^ 2K Games. "WWE2K24 - SEASON PASS IS BACK". WWE 2K. Retrieved 27 February 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  37. ^ Kelly, Andrew (7 November 2023). "Lyra Valkyria: Age, Height, Relationship Status & Other Things You Didn't Know About Her". thesportster.com. Retrieved 30 April 2024.

External links[edit]