Allysin Kay's appearance in the 2018 Mae Young Classic almost didn't happen.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp (full interview above), Kay recalls trying out for the WWE in 2015 but being signed by IMPACT shortly thereafter. During her nearly two-year stint with the promotion, Kay performed under the name of Sienna and was a two-time Knockouts Champion. As for how she wound up in the tournament, she detailed the situation.
"No. I think that they probably just had my file. It sounds so corporate, but I did my tryout with them in 2015 and got signed with IMPACT right after that. So, while I was injured or sick, I don’t know what you want to call it, but I was out from IMPACT. My contract expired during that time. January 2018 was my last taping with them. Then I couldn’t wrestle for six to eight months. I was on blood thinners. So, during that time my contract expired and WWE happened to reach out and asked if I was available and I was. During that time—I know I talked about with IMPACT, it was a contract expiration. We ended on good terms as far as I’m aware."
During the time that she was injured, Kay reveals that she tried pitching ideas to IMPACT. By the time her contract ran out, however, she isn't even sure they knew it expired.
"One thing I don’t think I’ve ever said in an interview is I was trying to pitch things to IMPACT while I was injured," Kay remarked. "I was trying to pitch different ideas of what I could do even while I was injured. But, it just wasn’t happening. Then the contract expired. I don’t even know if they knew. I don’t know if they realized my contract had expired. One of my friends that worked there, ‘Oh, make sure you tell so-and-so. They might not even know.’ How do you not know? I guess that is having this crazy polyamorous relationship with thousands of people."
Although she had ideas for her character, it didn't seem as though IMPACT was interested in what she had been envisioning. As a result, when WWE came calling, it felt like the right time for Kay to try something different.
"I mean, yeah, I guess if I had that many relationships I would need a spreadsheet, some reminder in my phone. ‘This is your anniversary,’ you know? So, that was kind of what happened. I was out of the picture, too. Not so much on social media. I tried to stay as relevant as I could. But, yeah, I think that they might have just forgot that my contract expired. They weren’t really biting on any of my ideas," she explained. "They didn’t seem to really have any ideas for me. So, when WWE reached out, I was like, ‘Okay.’ When you feel like you’re an option or a second choice or not being appreciated, when something else comes along, that’s how life works."
Kay would eventually face off against Mia Yim in the first round of the Second Annual Mae Young Classic. The two had worked together countless times before, having not only wrestled at IMPACT together, where Yim performed as Jade, but also all around the world. In terms of having a great match after being out of the ring for an extended period of time, Kay couldn't have drawn a better opponent.
"Oh, absolutely. I was like, this is why the Frenemy WorldTour happened," she said. "It all was for this moment. It culminated in this moment, you know? I’ve wrestled Mia Yim literally all over the world. We wrestled in China. She broke my nose. We have so much history. I was so relieved that I had her. Even though, of course, I’m out the first round, I’m like, ‘Awh.’ But, this is the way I want to go and, fun fact, Serena Deeb was our agent for that match."
Their chemistry shone through on that night, with Serena Deeb even thanking them for making her job a lot easier.
"Yes. I remember her telling us, ‘Thank you so much. I didn’t have to do any work on this.’ We pretty much, ‘Alright, we got it.’ In five minutes we had everything. We got it. Let’s go," said Kay.
The two have not had a chance to work together in the three years since Mia Yim was hired by WWE soon after.
"No. We wouldn’t have because she got signed after that."
Kay then added that she almost wasn't able to participate in the tournament. After suffering from blood clots in her lungs earlier in the year, she needed a clearance letter from her doctor but didn't think to get one ahead of time thinking she could pass whatever physical WWE gave her. Naturally, a comically long and nerve-wracking process to get the written consent from her physician forced Kay to miss all of her workouts and practice sessions. Luckily, it eventually arrived at the last minute via a text message photo. Thankfully, again, Kay's history with Mia Yim came in handy yet again.
Yes, actually I totally forgot about that until just now," Kay began by saying. "I almost didn’t wrestle in the Mae Young Classic because I needed another clearance letter from my doctor saying that I was okay to wrestle. I feel like, why would I have known this? But, at the same time, I should have known this. When I went in I knew we were going to get a physical. For some reason, I thought like, ‘Okay, I’m going to pass this physical and they’re gonna say I’m fine.’ No, of course, when I mentioned I had blood clots earlier this year they’re gonna be like, ‘Um, we’re gonna need further clearance.’ I didn’t think about that because I’m just thinking like, ‘Yeah, whatever physical they give me, they’re going to see that I’m fine. ‘Cause they don’t have a CT scan there to check and make sure your lungs are okay.’
So, I had to message my doctor and it was a comical hurdle of events those next two or three days. So, while all the other girls were allowed to get in the ring, try stuff out, do whatever they had to do, I wasn’t allowed to get in the ring. I wasn’t allowed to touch a weight. I wasn’t allowed to do anything until I was medically cleared. So, I just did promos and hung out, basically for the next few days because my doctor, for some reason, could not get that note to me until the very last minute. They had an issue back home in Michigan where her car went out, they couldn’t fax something. It was hilarious to me now. Wasn’t hilarious then. I was like, you gotta be kidding me. I got this far and now they’re gonna be like, ‘Sorry, you can’t wrestle.’
So, it was like down to the minute when I had one of the nurses at my doctor’s office text me a picture of the letter because they were having issues with their power. It was so bizarre. I remember it being down to the minute and then they were like, ‘Alright, you’re good.’ So, that being said, we never got to go over anything for our match, either. Whatever we did out there, that was my first match back truly. There was no rehearsal for that. So, if I didn’t have that experience and with Mia, I don’t know what the hell would have happened."
Yim would come out on top in their first-round match, but it was Toni Storm who would eventually top Io Shirai in the finals.
It was recently announced that Allysin Kay will be a part of the Ring of Honor Women's Championship tournament. The former NWA World Women's Championship received her golden ticket from Maria Kanellis on May 19 and officially will be a part of this summer's tournament which will also include Rok-C, Miranda Alize, and Trisha Adora.