Willow Nightingale Addresses Backlash To AEW Street Fight With Ruby Soho, Tay Melo & Anna Jay

Willow Nightingale on the backlash to the recent AEW Rampage Street Fight

In the final match of their feud, Ruby Soho and Willow Nightingale clashed with Tay Melo and Anna Jay of The Jericho Appreciation Society in a Street Fight on the January 13 edition of Rampage. 

The match featured several weapons, including barbed wire, and Ruby Soho ended up bleeding like a stuck pig, as Jim Ross would say. Anna Jay and Willow Nightingale had a rough moment towards the end of the match too after Nightingale put Jay through a table with a Powerbomb but there weren't enough tables to break their fall. 

Due to the violence and bleeding, the match received a backlash from some quarters, something which Willow Nightingale reflected on during an appearance on The Sessions with Renee Paquette

"Very emotional (is how I felt after the Street Fight on AEW Rampage). The toughest part for me is that I like to uphold my work and what I do in a wrestling ring to a certain standard and that includes the way I execute moves, the safety of my opponents and generally, if I just feel like it clicked, did it flow well? Did it feel right? And at the end of the match, I definitely know that it was something very special but I think obviously, that one, Ruby [Soho] was bleeding like crazy which I looked over at her and I was like, 'You look awesome' right in the middle of the match. When I finally saw her covered (in blood), I was like, 'You look awesome.' A lot of people online maybe didn't take it that way. But I am like, what a badass and the table spot with Anna [Jay], right? That has been a big thing and before even getting anybody's response to it, it was the thing that when I walked back through the curtain, I was immediately like, 'Where is Anna? Is she okay?' And she was like, 'I'm fine. I'm gonna go to the doc right now because they have to check me out but I'm okay' and I'm like, 'Are you sure!?' And checking in on everybody else and checking in with our producer and they take us back and stuff but it was just like, to me, those are the two things that I was just most worried about and it left me very emotional because I felt like I was just worried about the other people I was in the ring with and I don’t think I upheld the elements that I respect or expect from myself," Nightingale said.

"We (Nightingale, Anna Jay, Tay Melo & Ruby Soho) were honestly all very excited to be given the opportunity to do something like this. Anna and Tay have already done this a year ago on television. They had a lot of fun with it and there are limits, I guess, on how grotesque it's allowed to be and I can only speak from my experience. I don't know if this is the case with other matches, either other tag matches or men's wrestling or any - I don't know what those conversations are like. I only know the conversations that we had and for us, it was one person from each team was allowed to bleed. 

"We all wanted to get our hands dirty and we all wanted to do crazy stuff and it was like, we can't go overboard so we were like, 'Okay, understood' and we didn't have to worry about it because Ruby bled enough for everybody but I mean, I thought it was awesome, I thought she looked killer, she thought she looked great. She had to get stitched up after. I held her hand as they injected the anaesthetic and everything and stuff. I was like, '(gasps), oh my God. You're so tough.' But we were just really excited about everything and I think that if people are getting their panties in a bunch about it, that's the least of your concerns," Willow continued.

"We bleed every single month, nobody talks about that. I'm sure if that had happened or whatever, people would make a big deal about that too, right? If somebody were to bleed through their gear...We bleed the same as men do. We take the same bumps in the ring they do, we're at the same risks as they are so I don't understand (why) there has to be a double standard about physically seeing blood.

"Again, going to the Street Fight, I'm at peace with Anna, I'm at peace with Tay, I'm at peace with Ruby and likewise and we all know the set of circumstances that brought us to that match but I think there was a level of backlash that I received from it that I was really unfamiliar with and that to me was like a big punch to the gut and from here, I'm just trying to recollect and think, what is the next step that I need to take? Who am I now? I still have this positivity and this hope for the future of course but now I have this extra grit and what does Willow Nightingale look like with this grit? And what does my future in AEW or outside of AEW - wrestling has been my life for this entire time. Is there anything outside of here that I'm interested in doing? Those are the things that I'm really trying to figure out before I manifest them. I wanna be sure that whatever I'm working towards is something I really do wanna do and I'm really passionate about. I don't wanna be busy just to be busy."

Since the match, Willow Nightingale and Ruby Soho have entered a feud with Toni Storm and Saraya after the latter competitors turned heel on last week's episode of Dynamite. 

H/T to POST Wrestling

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Twitter: @theaidangibbons