At the National Wrestling Alliance’s first-ever all-women’s event titled ‘EmPowerrr’, the duo known as The Hex, Marti Belle and Allysin Kay won a tournament to become NWA World Women’s Tag Team Champions. They are the first team to hold those titles since the 1980s.
Kay and Belle and have been reigning as champions since their win and this August will make one full year as champions. I had the opportunity to catch up with both talents for an interview and they looked back on their title win and coming up on the milestone of one year as title holders.
Belle: Oh, it definitely is super, super special [almost reaching one full year as NWA Women’s Tag Team Champions]. When we formed this team, we didn’t know what our plans were. We kind of — we knew we wanted to work together and we knew we wanted to travel the world together. We just didn’t know how we were gonna do it, we just knew we were going to. So to be holding these titles, you know, coming up close to a full year and successfully defending them as many times as we have, we’ve been fighting champions who’ve been defending them as often as possible. I dare say that we might be the ones who defend the NWA Titles in general the most so it has been pretty incredible and just an amazing experience to be able to do it with Allysin.
Kay: Yeah, I feel — it’s so crazy to me that it has been almost a year because I swear EmPowerrr feels like it was three months ago. But then I remember three months ago, we were in Europe, so it’s all going so fast but I think that is because we’re actively defending them all over the world, literally. We just defended them in England. For the very first time, those titles were ever defended in Europe and that was a very exciting thing to do and so, I mean, we’re gonna have to have a special one-year anniversary in August.
This year, they were able to go on a tour of Europe and they wrestled in England, France and several more areas within the continent. Along the way, Kay and Belle stopped through Pro-Wrestling: EVE and won the promotion’s Tag Team Titles.
Kay and Belle were only double tag champions for one day, but regardless of that, The Hex is proud of their title win and glad it occurred during their overseas tour.
They both dove into that tour and what it was like experiencing the world with one another. Kay added that the tour was the biggest test of a friendship/partnership because they were with each other for four straight weeks and constantly on the move.
Belle: Oh my goodness. Just that whole trip was amazing because we ended up going to the UK. We defended the NWA Titles and on the way, we also picked up — you know, it doesn’t matter how long we held them for. What matters is that we held them. That’s what we’re gonna focus on here. So we did go overseas and we won those titles there and then we took a hot little jet over to France and did a hot girl Twitch for A.K.’s Twitch stream and just got to enjoy Paris for a few days and then went back to the U.K., had some more matches and then hopped over to Spain. We were going to Portugal and for travel issues unfortunately, we were not able to make it to Portugal. But, you know, just being able to travel the world with my best friend and getting to do such cool things and experiencing so many amazing things. There were so many amazing moments that we talked about. We’re like, ‘Man, if we weren’t here together, this would not be as fun as it is and you know, spending an entire month with somebody on the road and realizing how much you still love each other is very, very special. That’s very rare and I know that we’re both very fortunate to have each other in these adventures.
Kay: If we were not a strong team, that was the test right there. If we did not have that strong bond, it would have been broken during those four weeks. Not even just going to a hotel in the UK. We were pretty much backpacking through Europe together.
In late 2020, both Allysin and Marti publicly announced on social media that their deals with the NWA expired and they were opting to become free agents. I asked them about the professionalism from both sides to come together after that and now Allysin and Marti are back under the NWA banner as tag champions.
Allysin stated that NWA President Billy Corgan always believed in them and Marti touched on her working relationship with Corgan that dates back to their time together in IMPACT Wrestling. She spoke about not burning bridges and it’s a testament to if people are good to you, you be good to them back.
Kay: I think it definitely speaks to — it’s a testament to not burn bridges, first and foremost. But yeah, I think it does say a lot that we both went our own ways, we parted ways with NWA, publicly and Billy [Corgan] was still like, ‘Hey, I still believe in you,’ you know? ‘We want you guys to come back’ and it definitely speaks a lot to our talent and our character.
Belle: My mom has always been very adamant about things like that. She always says like, if you’re gonna — it makes a lot more sense in Spanish but like… if you’re leaving somewhere, you have to go out through the main door and that’s basically just, yeah, don’t burn a bridge. I guess — you don’t really say ‘burnt bridges’ in Spanish but that’s a nicer way of saying that… I think, you know, we both have known Billy for a very long time, since our time at IMPACT. I worked very, very closely with him at IMPACT. That’s where I met him, because of The Dollhouse. So it’s a relationship that has been cultivated for ten years at this point almost. Yeah — uh, no, maybe like seven or eight years this relationship has cultivated and when we chose to leave the NWA, it was a decision that, you know, we weren’t sure what was gonna happen with the world of where things were gonna go so to see everything come back full circle, you know, you don’t burn bridges, you keep relationships and if people are good to you then you’re good to them back and I think that we are a very true testament of that right now.
Kay: I did want to say just for the record, I just want to go on the record and say, I do think that some bridges deserved to get burned to the ground. Just for the record. Context, context is always important.
Along with Allysin and Marti’s history as a tag team, they’ve also competed against each other a handful of times. Back in 2019, Allysin defended the NWA World Women’s Title against Marti at an ROH/NJPW War of the Worlds show.
Marti explained that the opportunity came about because Allysin suggested that she defend her title against Marti. She was able to cut a promo about the bout which caught the attention of Billy Corgan and Corgan ended up inviting Marti to the first set of Powerrr tapings based off her performance.
Belle: You know what’s interesting? Going back to what I said about ‘mentioning someone’s name,’ so before NWA Powerrr started, the last event before NWA Powerrr was that Chicago show, that Ring of Honor show and Allysin actually said my name. They asked her, ‘Who do you wanna face for your title at this show?’ And she said my name. She mentioned me and so, they were like, oh yeah, we’ll bring her in. Me and Allysin had literally faced each other once in singles competition before then so once again, she brought my name up, Billy [Corgan] was there and I got to cut a promo. I got to do one in Spanish, I got to do one in English and kind of just talk about why the NWA is important to me and why this title is important to me and why being there is important to me and then, you know, a few weeks later, I got a call like, ‘Hey, we wanna invite you to the first season of Powerrr’ and so that was huge and who knows, maybe that would have happened, maybe they would have been interested in bringing me in because I had worked with Billy before but if it wasn’t for Allysin, you know, saying my name and me having that match in front of Billy, Billy seeing me wrestle. He hadn’t seen me wrestle in like five years at that point so having Billy see me wrestle again and having Billy hear me cut a promo again, it sold him on me and so, we were able to come in and work together and I think we’ve shown that we can be great rivals but we are way better as a team and I think that we’re very happy that Billy also saw that and has wanted to run with it as much as we have and we’re just very excited about what the future holds for us as a team.
As the launch of NWA Powerrr was underway, the organization’s second pay-per-view was ‘Hard Times’ in January of 2020. This event saw Allysin Kay versus Thunder Rosa for the NWA World Women’s Title.
The match was praised by those who viewed it including Kay and Rosa’s colleagues. Allysin looked back on that match and talked about the chemistry she and Rosa had that night. It was difficult for Allysin to explain how the chemistry came about, but she thinks it had something to do with the perfect combination of all the right things and trusting one another.
Kay: Thinking back on [NWA] Hard Times 2020, before literally the world shut down. That was like — it’s just so crazy. I am gonna answer the question. I don’t mean to sidetrack. But it is crazy to think of what a high we were on after that set of tapings and not knowing it was our last set of tapings. That’s just — it’s wild to think about… it really was [NWA was rolling with a lot of momentum at the time]. I just feel like we were — it was like full steam ahead and then — I don’t even wanna get into that. So anyway [Kay laughed], I can never really pinpoint why anyone has chemistry really. I guess that ‘it’ factor — no matter who you’re talking about, whether I’m talking about an opponent that I have, whether I’m talking about like a best friend or I’m looking at two people on TV who I just think are amazing wrestlers and they have so much good chemistry, like you can’t always pinpoint why. It’s just they have ‘it’ and it works together and I think that [Thunder] Rosa and I both have a good… I don’t even know how to put it, I don’t know how to describe this. We both have a background in MMA, I think we both work a little snug and I think that that’s why we go well together. I think that there’s a size difference that really worked out especially in that match. I love working much smaller opponents. That’s just like what I think my — where my strengths lie and I think that it was just a perfect combination of all of the right things and the fact that we trusted each other and we also weren’t afraid to beat each other up. I don’t know. There’s no one answer. I just think it’s a combination of a bunch of things why we work together well and I’ve had a few opponents like that throughout my career where it’s like, even some people who I don’t really like that much as people, I’m like, damn, we have good matches, you know? [Kay laughed] There’s just something there. I don’t know why, and just for clarity, I’m not talking about Rosa. But just other people.
The topic of diversity in wrestling was brought up and Marti dove into the strides that have been made in pro wrestling to improve that. Marti is Afro-Latina and also representing Dominicans.
She stated that she has seen more women of color in locker rooms she has been in and more women with similar backgrounds to her as well. She added that things can always improve, but those strides have been made. Belle also spoke about the GCW ‘For The Culture’ show she was a part of in October 2020.
Belle: When I started wrestling, as far as I know, I was the only Dominican woman in wrestling and there might’ve been like one Dominican guy and I’m talking about obviously in the U.S. or like an any major promotion in the U.S. because there is a very — it’s small but there is a wrestling community in the Dominican Republic and I’ve gotten a chance to wrestle there twice which has been so incredible because it’s the only time that my parents have been able to see me wrestle in person has been when I’ve gone to wrestle down there and so when I first started, I was the only one or I was the only girl who looked like me, I was the only girl who had this hair, I was the only — I was sort of anomaly and now, we were in the SHINE locker room and I looked around, I was like, oh my God, she’s Dominican, she’s Dominican, she’s Puerto Rican, she’s Puerto Rican and it was so incredible. It’s so awesome to see how much — obviously, there’s always, always room for growth. Things are always going to hopefully continue to be where people feel comfortable, people feel like they can chase this dream and that has always been very important to me is where I come from, the neighborhood that I grew up in and you know, the country, the culture that I grew up in, women don’t do stuff like this. Women don’t become wrestlers. This is a very odd thing and so to get the opportunity to do that and to feel like — you know, people can see this is possible. It doesn’t matter where you come from, you know, if the opportunities are there for you, they’re gonna be there for you… whatever’s for you is always gonna be there for you because you know, we’ve talked about — there’s such thing as like, you can’t say, ‘Well if you work really hard, all your dreams will come true!’ Because that’s not always true but, I do believe that if something is for you and that you do work your ass off and you do take those opportunities that are presented to you, you can make stuff happen for you and so, it’s incredible. Like the For The Culture show  was awesome. It was just an incredible moment and I’m so excited that there’s more opportunities out there right now like that.
In November 2020, All Elite Wrestling presented their Full Gear pay-per-view and on The BUY-IN, Allysin went one-on-one with Serena Deeb. She felt that the reception to the match was mostly positive from what she saw online and noted that every time AEW President Tony Khan saw her backstage that day, he continuously told her how much he enjoyed her match.
Kay: My perception was that [it was a positive reaction to my match with Serena Deeb at AEW Full Gear]. I remember going to my Twitter after that match and it was blown up of course and I didn’t see one negative thing. Granted, they might have been saying bad things about me but I didn’t see one bad thing. I wasn’t vanity searching either. I will go on the record and say I don’t do that, I don’t have time for that, I’m busy. But you know, I looked at my mentions and they were all positive and I was like, what? I don’t know. I’m just used to — when I was on IMPACT for example, you know there’s always people out there just saying terrible things and I feel like the girls in IMPACT get it so bad for some reason. Obviously, everyone does. I know the girls at AEW and WWE do as well but for some reason, sometimes I feel like the girls at IMPACT just get it so bad. So, with that being my experience, I was expecting, you know, some, just some negativity and I actually didn’t see any, so maybe I didn’t dig deep enough but I was like, oh, this seems really positive. I remember Tony Khan, after my match, said, ‘Great match, happy birthday’ because that was my birthday weekend… and every time I saw him that night, he was like, ‘Great match, great match’ so, everyone that I talked to — I mean of course my close friends, they had critiques for me because that’s what I expect. I remember a couple people, I’m like, you know, give me some — I don’t wanna say ‘negative feedback’ but, give me a real critique. What could be better? And you know, my — the real ones know. They know that I just don’t want smoke blown up my ass but, as far as the overall reception, everybody seemed so positive and happy about it. So yeah, that’s all I can really say is it seemed positive.
At the NWA’s ‘Alwayz Ready’ pay-per-view on June 11th, it’ll be a rematch from Crockett Cup 2022 as Marti Belle and Allysin Kay defend their titles against Kenzie Paige and Ella Envy. It’ll be their 12th defense of the belts.
Marti Belle can be found on Twitter @MartiBelle and on Instagram @marti.belle. Allysin Kay can be found on both Twitter and Instagram @Sienna. Our full interview can be watched via the video player at the beginning of this article or on the Andrew Thompson Interviews YouTube channel.