Photo Credit: AEW
Athena may be with AEW now but, for months, there was no guarantee that she would wind up signing with the company.
While on NBC “Sports Boston”, former WWE NXT Women’s Champion Athena revealed how long she was gone from WWE until AEW contacted her in a serious manner.
“It was like a six-month, ‘Ah, are we interested? Are you interested?'” Athena stated. “Because I think, when I left, I didn’t know if I wanted to continue wrestling, I just knew that I loved watching the AEW product at home … I had a couple matches on the indies and those blew up – Shane Strickland, Taya Valkyrie, Mia Yim, and it just kept getting more and more traction. I think like, we finally just kind of hit the double tap on the phone call and it was like, ‘Yeah, let’s figure out something. Let’s do this.'”
Athena debuted in AEW on May 29th at Double or Nothing 2022, saving Anna Jay and Kris Statlander from The Baddies, a group comprised of Jade Cargill, Red Velvet, and Kiera Hogan, following a TBS Championship match between Cargill and Jay. The match that night was won by Cargill. This immediately thrust Athena into a big-time feud, considering that Cargill is the inaugural and current TBS Champion.
Athena competed in her first AEW match on AEW “Rampage,” going against one of the Baddies, Hogan. Athena defeated the self-proclaimed ‘Hottest Flame’ after almost eight-and-a-half minutes of action. Athena has also competed in the most recent set of AEW “Dark” tapings in Orlando, Florida, defeating Amber Nova.
Prior to debuting with AEW, Athena had already wrestled eight matches since being released by WWE, mostly for Warrior Wrestling where she fought AEW contracted talents such as Thunder Rosa and Skye Blue. In her first post-WWE match, Athena fought Thunder Rosa to a 30-minute draw at Warrior Wrestling in an attempt to win the Warrior Wrestling Women’s Title.
Athena finally won the Warrior Wrestling Women’s Title two-and-a-half months later after it had been vacated by Thunder Rosa, defeating Skye Blue and Shazza McKenzie, who competed in two AEW matches in 2019.
Athena, formerly Ember Moon, was released from WWE on November 4th, 2021, after being with the company since 2015. In her seven years there, she won the NXT Women’s Championship and the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships with her partner at the time, Shotzi. Unfortunately, Ember Moon did not having any success on the main roster in her pursuit of championship gold. The Fallen Goddess was released along with other notable names like Keith Lee and Karrion Kross, both of whom won the NXT Title while in NXT.
Other releases that day included Nia Jax, Eva Marie, Mia Yim, Harry Smith, Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik, Jeet Rama, Katrina Cortez, Trey Baxter, Jessi Kamea, B-Fab, Oney Lorcan, Franky Monet, Scarlett Bordeaux, and Zayda Ramier. The latter would go on to sign with AEW under the name AQA following her release.
Courtesy of Wrestling Inc