Marti Belle began her career in wrestling under unusual circumstances. A model and actress, she answered a casting call for a role as a valet. Some months later, however, she began training to perform in the ring and has not looked back. She’s continued to gain experience and exposure, most notably in WSU where she formed a championship Tag Team with Tina San Antonio, known collectively as The Belle Saints. In recent months, that team has begun to disintegrate after Tina had to step away from the ring due to an injury. Now, both are focused on capturing the WSU singles Spirit Title this weekend. We caught up with Marti before this big match to talk her passion for wrestling, her team with Tina, and the allegation that she orchestrated the attack that put Tina out of commission.
Whenever asked about your goals in wrestling, you make a point that you really want to be in this sport for the long haul. What about wrestling makes you love it so much? What about your personality that makes you approach it differently than other models or actors who have come into the sport?
You know, I’m not exactly sure what it is about wrestling that makes me love it so much. It’s like asking a couple why they’re in love. They can tell you what they love about being together with that person, but you just can’t explain LOVE. Maybe its the camaraderie you sometimes find in a locker room, or the road trips and the memories you make at every show? Or maybe its just the joy and satisfaction of performing? I don’t know. I think I just have a very open personality, I may be afraid to try something for a day or two, but I’ll get over it and just go for it. I’m willing to take risks, listen and learn as much as I can. Plus, I think I have passion and I’m dedicated, two things a lot of people lack.
It must be a bit of a conflict to be both a model and a pro wrestler. How are the industries similar? Different? How do you manage to juggle them both?
It’s actually become easier now since I am shying away from doing modeling/acting and just focusing more on wrestling. There have been times though where I’ve had to tell photographers that I have bruises (especially chop marks) that they may need to work around. Like when before my second match, I had a bruised eye and had to shoot the next day, that was quite interesting. I think the similarities exist in that at the end of the day, you’re still competing against other women and men, and it sometimes comes down to being in the right place at the right time. The main difference is that I don’t really get hurt as much taking pictures as I do wrestling! Oh and the memories, I’ve made a million memories in these short years I’ve been a part of the wrestling business that I would never trade.
You’re most known for your work in WSU. What do you feel makes WSU special?
I think the fact that we actually wrestle. Yes, the locker room is full of beautiful women but, at the end of the day, we can go. If you’re looking for a company that actually has things that go further than “she stole my boyfriend” or “she stole my outfit” then this is it. We are passionate about this business and look out for one another. I can go to the back and speak to any girl and ask for advice from girls that have been in the business ten years, or five years. Everyone is treated the same.
On the next WSU show you’ll be competing for a shot at the WSU Spirit title. Tell us your thoughts going into the match.
I am actually pretty excited to be competing for a shot at the title. My waist has been kind of lonely since we lost the Tag Belts and I think it’s time people see that, yes, I can work well in a team but that if need be, I can stand on my own two feet. I’ve wrestled Niya before and enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to kicking Allysin Kay in the face for all the trash talking she does. Its going to be good!
Sassy Stephie, the current Spirit champion, is a formidable opponent and recently beat long time veteran Rain in both wrestling and a dance off. If you get a shot at her belt, how are you going to take her down?
I’ve never had the chance to wrestle against Sassy Stephie but I, like a good student of the game, have been watching her closely. I think she’s starting to get a little cocky, and she doesn’t think I’m coming for her. I’m coming, and I’m coming hard. I can’t reveal just yet how it’ll happen. Just watch and see.
Roxie Cotton, whom you teamed with as the Punky Bruisers, is retiring this year. Tell us about your partnership and how you feel about her retirement. [Note: This interview conducted prior to the shocking events of AIW’s Girl’s Night Out 4.]
I love Roxie. We had the chance last summer to travel a lot on the East Coast and I loved working with her as the PB, even if it was short lived! I think we just meshed well together (ask her about how we both eat out pizza). Roxie really looked out for me and helped me out when I needed her. I’m really sad to see Roxie Cotton retire, but I know there’s plenty more good things to come in her future. I don’t know if this is the last we’ve seen of Roxie!
You’ve had several tag partners, but none of those partnerships seemed to last or find the success you and Tina once had. What made the team of the Belle Saints different than those other teams?
Well, Tina and I, I guess you could say, “Came up together.” She was my first match (along with another girl), as well as my first singles match. When we were thrown together to team up, we just clicked. We can read each other in the ring and not have to say a word. I think the fact we trained together helped us a lot since we wrestle similarly. We are also friends outside of the ring. I consider her one of my best friends and my big sister in the business. We sometimes have little hiccups along the way, but what family doesn’t?
That success seems to be in the past though, as your team both lost the tag titles and any sense of cohesion in recent months. You’re even opponents in that 4 way for a shot at the Spirit title. What is the status of The Belle Saints now?
The Belle Saints are exactly the same way we always have been. We are a team. When it comes down to it, we work together and have each other’s backs. End of story. I don’t see her as my opponent coming into this match, Niya & especially Allysin Kay are. If at the end of the match, it’s Tina and I, then we’ll figure it out.
Things got heated between us a few days ago on Twitter, so let’s clear the air. When WSU asked, “Who do you think attacked Marti Belle,” we brought your name up. As any wrestling fan or journalist can tell you, you always look at the Tag Team partner. Why were you so immediately defensive? While WSU gave you an alibi, it’s certainly fair to ask if you were still, in some way, involved given you knew Tina’s whereabouts at the time.
The reason I got “defensive” as you said was that I didn’t see what the point in bringing my name into this was, except to create drama and stir things up. There is no possible way that I could have done something like this to Tina or that I would have wanted to. It was a ridiculous accusation based on no facts and I found it to be necessary. End of story.
In your response, you said that Tina being out put your titles at risk, but you two were already facing four teams, in an Uncensored Rules match, and coming off taking two singles losses on the previous iPPV. More than that, Tina was already injured before the attack. Your titles were already at great risk. Wouldn’t almost anyone in the WSU locker room be a safer choice as a partner than Tina for such a brutal match? Wouldn’t almost anyone jump at the opportunity to team with you if it meant them getting to hold the gold?
Exactly. Tina being hurt would put our titles at risk. Why in the hell would I want to hurt her and really cost us the titles?! I went out there for that match ready to hand the titles over, I really thought we were going to have to forfeit our titles. Tina is my first choice and then, was my only choice when asked who should be my partner. She is tough as nails, with her foot hurt, she would have gotten through the match and I would have made sure to take care of her and protect her to avoid her being more injured. Jazz just happened to step in at the last second and help me out. Going through that curtain? I thought I was going in alone.
You’ve said that teaming with Jazz was a dream of yours. Tell us what it is about Jazz that you admire. Are you looking forward to partnering with her in the future?
My favorite thing about Jazz is that she’s as tough as they come and still so humble and willing to listen and help you grow in this business. She is one of the women who I looked up to as a young girl. She was different from the other girls and in a way, I could see myself in her. She has done so much in this business and it’s all been because of who she is. She’s fought for every opportunity and earned every spot she’s had, nothing was handed to her. I look forward to the three of us working together very soon.
Enough with the tough questions. What are some of your favorite things to do in your down time. Favorite music, movies, TV shows?
Ahh, yes, the easy stuff now! Love this! I don’t really have much of a chance to catch up with whats on TV right now, which is why Netflix is such a blessing. I love, love, love The Office & Criminal Minds. If I wasn’t in the entertainment business, I’d probably be back in school right working on getting into the FBI as a criminal analyst (crazy huh?) I love scary movies and anything that makes me laugh! Wedding Crashers is my ultimate favorite & I love all of Rob Zombie’s films. Music? I like a lot of different kinds. I love a lot of rock, metal & Spanish music!
What are some places you haven’t wrestled that you’d like to?
I would loooove to wrestle in Mexico, Puerto Rico & Japan but, mostly, I’d love to wrestle in the Dominican Republic. I got a chance to train there for two days and loved it. I would really love to wrestle in the place where I grew up, especially since there aren’t many Dominicans in this business and even less Dominican women. I have yet to meet another one!
Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans?
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I know everyone says it but really, without our fans, who would we be? Whether you love us or hate us, at the end of the day, if it wasn’t for our fans, we’d be alone. I check my twitter constantly and reply back as much as I can, as well as on my FB fan page. Thank you for the support and keep watching, I’m just getting started!
You can learn more about Marti Belle by following her on Twitter (@MartiBelle) and adding her on Facebook. Also check out her very eclectic Amazon wish list. See her this Saturday live in Union City New Jersey for WSU!