Athena enjoyed a successful six-year run with WWE as Ember Moon, where she added the NXT Women Championship and the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship to her accolades. After her release in November 2021, Athena was determined to become All Elite. It almost wasn’t that was if Impact Wrestling has anything to say about it.

After a short stint in the independent circuit, Athena made her AEW debut at AEW Double or Nothing after Jade Cargill’s match to confront her. Appearing on Talk Is Jericho with Chris Jericho, Athena recalled the period following her WWE release and how she had her eyes set on AEW.

“When I left WWE, that was the one thing I wanted to do, I wanted to figure out a way to get to AEW. When I walked out of that building, I thought, ‘How in the blue hell do I get ahold of Tony Khan?’ Between my rep and everything, we had kind of been in talks in December to see if there was interest. During my 90-day situation where I couldn’t do anything, ‘Ah, just kind of threw away the dream job. Do I want to wrestle anymore?'” 

The former Ember Moon reflected on the astonishment she felt having bookings fall into her lap after her WWE release, which was a welcome change from having to run after promotions prior to her WWE run. She revealed that even TNA IMPACT wanted a hold of her. Despite all the special treatment, her desire for AEW was unwavering.


“All of these requests came in from the Indies of, ‘we want you to come do our show, we want you at our show.’ ‘Well this is new,” .I remember having to run to everyone else to get a booking.’ All these old promotions that I used to work for were like, ‘Hey come work with us. Come do this.’ ‘I don’t know man.’ I remember this promoter at Warrior Wrestling goes, ‘whatever match you want, I’ll pay your rate, you get to pick your opponent and who you want.’ ‘Thunder Rosa.’ I threw out a name because I recently met her and she was awesome. I went down to Mission Pro and worked out to see if I still wanted to wrestle.

She got me some really good girls to roll around with. We went broadway, 30 minutes, and it was so much fun. I was so emotional after because it was like, ‘I thought I was going to throw this all away again.’ It got the bug going and that’s when I told my rep, ‘Let’s do it, if he wants me let’s do it.’ It became, IMPACT wanted me, there was interest at AEW but we could never get ahold of Tony because he’s so busy.

IMPACT would be like, ‘Hey, hey girl, hey.’ ‘Yeah, yeah, I know, hold on.’ My friends would be like, ‘Girl, I heard you’re coming here.’ ‘We’ve not talked to them. We only said, hey, we’ll talk to you next week.’ It became this weird, where do I go? What do I do? I had two companies showing interest and it was like, ‘I think I want to go to AEW. I have friends at IMPACT, but I want to do AEW because I’ve had my eye on it for so long.’ Fast forward to May, it happened so quickly. Tony called my rep, ‘Let’s do it.’ Within the next week, I was on a plane to Las Vegas.”

Athena had her first AEW title shot at All Out against AEW TBS Champion Jade Cargill at All Out, which turned out to be unsuccessful. Athena eventually got her first title after defeating reigning champion Mercedes Martinez for the ROH Women’s Championship at ROH Final Battle. Athena recently defended her title on Monday’s AEW Dark: Elevation against VertVixen.

How do you feel about Athena’s run in AEW? Sound off in the comments below!

Talha Asad Iqbal

Talha Asad Iqbal is an mechanical engineer who just loves everything wrestling. From spending his childhood collecting wrestling action figures to spending his adulthood writing about wrestling, he really seems to enjoy wrestling a bit too much. Outside wrestling and his work, he loves spending time in the gym and playing video games.

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