Athena Talks About Her AEW Debut
Athena became 'All Elite' at Double or Nothing 2022
AEW PPVs have become known for putting on high intensity matches, and for more than their fair share of surprise debuts.
The recent Double or Nothing show was no different, as Athena (fka Ember Moon) made her debut, staring down TBS Champion Jade Cargill on the show.
Speaking with Complex Unsanctioned, Athena revealed why she chose to sign with AEW:
“I knew for longer than what people know that that’s the place I wanted to be and I’ve talked about this briefly on the Chris Van Vliet interview,” started Athena. “It’s just like, when you look at the AEW pay-per-views and I’m seeing all of my friends that I used to roll with on the indies and they’re finally getting the platform that they deserve and it’s just like, man, they look like they’re having so much fun and I gotta be a part of it, you know? And it just kept sitting and the more time went on, the more I was just looking at AEW, the more I was like longing to be at AEW and then, you know, you see — maybe this sounds cliché, maybe this is a weird segue and it’s not even really a segue but like, then Jade Cargill came on my radar with that Storm cosplay she did and I was like, oh my God, this girl is fire and that’s the first moment where I was like, oh, there’s something here. Oh, there’s something special and I remember then she came out with the Jade-Mortal Kombat cosplay and I was like, damn! She got that and it’s just seeing from day one where the company started all the way to now and seeing how much love and passion goes into every match, that goes into every talent that steps foot [in AEW] and you can see it on their face and it made me long for that again.”
Athena received a loud reaction when she made her presence felt at Double or Nothing, and the enormity of the event was not lost on her:
“And for me to come out at Double or Nothing, I, one, was super shocked,” Athena continued. “I didn’t know what the reaction would be, which like I said, I try to be extremely humble in that is that I do what I love because this is what I love, you know what I mean? And you just never know what the reciprocation is going to be when that happens and for me to walk out and I just remember in the backstage area, right before they hit my music, I was just holding my stomach because I was like, ‘I think I might puke. I am so rattled with nerves right now. I think this is it, mama’s gonna puke on TV, this is it’ and the music hit, ‘The Fallen Goddess’ hit and that place erupted and I just was like, I remember in my head thinking, I’m gonna walk to the ring all smooth and cool and be like a badass and then all of a sudden, the crowd’s energy just kind of went through me and I was slapping my chest, I was like — I got extra sassy and chaotic and I just was loving every moment of it and I just remember coming down, staring Jade [Cargill] in the face which is the first time we met face-to-face was in the ring, Kiera [Hogan] and Red Velvet and just being like, ‘Yeah, you messed up now! That Twitter got you in trouble,’ because that was the first interaction we had.
“Her saying, ‘Who’s next?’ And me going, ‘Hmm…’ and it just — the conversation went viral, it went crazy and like, I never would’ve thought that-that in a million years would have led to a face-to-face — to be honest with you — in the ring but it did and I am just — I’ve never been happier to feel everyone’s appreciation. Just of the moment, just me being in the ring, just feeling it in my heart and I promised myself when I got to AEW that I wasn’t gonna cry anymore, that I was just gonna be appreciative and just be happy to be in there and I remember putting my foot on the second rope and kind of leaning over and just grabbing my chest because I was like, don’t cry. It’s your first night here, don’t cry and I wanted to so bad just because I was so happy and it’s been the first time in a very long time that I had just felt that way and it was just so pure and raw and there’s no way to describe it.”
Whilst many assumed Athena would eventually become All Elite, she chose to keep her signing a secret from her friends in the industry, in both WWE and AEW:
“I didn’t tell any of my friends that I was coming [to AEW], none of them. Mind you, I have a lot of friends at AEW that I’ve known from the independent scene and just in life and when I came back through the curtain, they were like, ‘Oh! Screw you! You couldn’t tell me!?’ And it was just like the warmest embrace. Nyla Rose was the first one. I thought she was gonna powerbomb me through a table backstage, she was so p*****, because I have also known her since I first started wrestling. You know, Leva [Bates], Thunder Rosa, she was like, ‘You couldn’t tell me!?’ And I’m like, ‘I wasn’t gonna say nothing.’ That’s how secrets are kept. Ruby Soho, same thing, just like, ‘You couldn’t tell me!?’ And it was so nice to just see people genuinely happy for me in that moment and just knowing that we’re all ready to go, we’re all ready to go out there and kill it and just show them why this is gonna be or that we are the best division on the damn planet and then seeing Tony [Khan] after my entrance, he was just like, ‘That was so great, I’m pumped, you pumped?’ And mind you, he got me so pumped up after the entrance, I don’t think I slept ‘till like 3 or 4 AM. I was like, ‘Yeah! Yeah! Let’s go!’ And then realised I wasn’t wrestling and I had to walk around and do nothing after but he has that charismatic energy of just like, yeah! Let’s do this! And he’s so hype that you wanna get on his level. You’re like, yeah! I’m hyped too! Let’s go! I’m doing nothing. I have nothing else to do for the night. I finished everything. Thank you Tony for this energetic pump that I can’t use for a gym because there’s not one in the arena.”
H/T: POST Wrestling