Athena reflects on her AEW debut, recounts how amped-up Tony Khan was when she got backstage

Originally published at Athena reflects on her AEW debut, recounts how amped-up Tony Khan was when she got backstage

Athena tells all about her AEW debut.

After TBS Champion Jade Cargill retained her title at Double or Nothing, she was confronted by the debuting Athena, formerly known as ‘Ember Moon’. Moon’s first win in AEW took place on the June 3rd episode of Rampage where she scored a win over Kiera Hogan.

Athena looked back on her AEW debut, the details surrounding it and coming out of it when she joined Complex’s Unsanctioned show. She knew for quite some time that she wanted to land in AEW although she did not know if that was a possibility. She mentioned seeing Jade Cargill on shows and seeing her cosplay outfits and that catching her attention.

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. 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 and you can see it on their face and it made me long for that again.

She was unsure of what the crowd reaction would be like at Double or Nothing. She planned to come out to the ring and play it cool but the crowd’s energy took her in a different direction.

Athena shared that she was holding back tears and did not want to cry on her first night. She added that she’s never been so happy feel everyone’s appreciation.

And for me to come out at Double or Nothing, I, one, was super shocked. 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 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.

She kept her debut a secret from her close friends such as Nyla Rose, Leva Bates, Ruby Soho and AEW Women’s World Champion Thunder Rosa. They all jokingly questioned how Athena could not tell them she was coming in.

The reaction from AEW President Tony Khan was one that got Athena fired up. She stated that his energy had her ready to compete and added that she ended up staying up into the early hours of the morning.

I didn’t tell any of my friends that I was coming 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 realized 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.

Along with Athena, Stokely Hathaway debuted in AEW in that same segment at Double or Nothing. He is now the on-screen manager for Jade Cargill and The Baddies (Kiera Hogan & Red Velvet).

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Complex Unsanctioned with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.