Thursday, June 30, 2022

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Athena Debuts in AEW

Athena made her surprise debut on Sunday at Double or Nothing. She debuted after Jade Cargill defeated Anna Jay to retain her TBS Championship. There was some fighting happening between the Baddies (Keira Hogan and Red Velvet) and Anna Jay and Kris Statlander. Athena came to even the odds and received an enormous reaction. She also hinted at possibly coming for Jade and her championship in the near future. So, who is Athena? Let’s take a look at this incredible wrestler and what she will bring to the AEW Women’s roster.

Athena began her professional wrestling journey in 2007, when she trained at Booker T’s Pro Wrestling Alliance. Under the name Athena, she also wrestled for Anarchy Championship Wrestling during this time where she had many memorable feuds and also was a three-time ACW American Joshi Champion. She then debuted in all women promotion Shimmer in 2010. In Shimmer, she wrestled many women such as Mercedes Martinez, Candice LeRae, Kay Lee Ray, Kimber Lee, and many others. She also wrestled in Women Superstars Uncensored, All-American Wrestling, Absolute Intense Wrestling, and several other independent promotions including Ring of Honor.

In 2015, WWE began calling and Athena would sign a contract with NXT. She began using the name Ember Moon at a dark match at NXT Takeover: The End in 2016. She made her television debut for NXT when she defeated Billie Kay at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II. Ember began an impressive winning streak during her start in NXT and wouldn’t lose until she was defeated by NXT Women’s Champion, Asuka, at NXT Takeover: Orlando in 2017. Ember Moon would receive a second shot at the championship but would once again fall to Asuka.

After Asuka announced an injury and that she would be vacating the NXT Women’s Championship, Ember Moon was put into a fatal four-way match against Peyton Royce, Nikki Cross, and Kairi Sane to determine the new NXT Women’s Champion. Ember Moon was victorious and therefore held her very first (and only) NXT Women’s Championship. She even got the opportunity to compete in the first ever women’s Royal Rumble match in 2018 as the NXT Women’s Champion. She would hold on to her title until April 2018 when she lost it to Shayna Baszler at NXT Takeover: New Orleans.

Ember Moon made her main roster debut on the Monday Night Raw after WrestleMania 34. She teamed with Nia Jax to face Alexa Bliss and Mickie James. She wrestled various matches throughout the year, including being a participant in the Money in the Bank ladder match, which she unfortunately lost. Ember Moon was also a participant in the 2019 Women’s Royal Rumble match where she lasted an impressive 52 minutes, but unfortunately suffered an elbow injury during the match which would take her out of action until WrestleMania 35. After returning at WrestleMania, Ember Moon had various feuds on the main roster and was involved in different stories until she became injured once again.

She returned to NXT at NXT Takeover 31, confronting Io Shirai after her successful title defense against Candice LeRae. In November 2020, she started teaming with Shotzi Blackheart and the duo wrestled in the first ever Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. They lost the tournament but would later win the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship against Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzales. They would lose their titles 55 days later to Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell. On November 4th, 2021, Ember Moon was released from her WWE contract, effectively making her a free agent.

Ember returned to the independent circuit following her release and started going by Athena once again. One of her bigger matches during this time was challenging Thunder Rosa for the Warrior Wrestling Women’s Championship. The two women went to a 30-minute time limit draw, with Thunder Rosa retaining her championship. This brings us right to last Sunday at Double or Nothing where she debuted for All Elite Wrestling.

Athena will bring a positive light to the AEW Women’s roster. Although the roster has been improving drastically over the past year or so, it is always nice to have another veteran on the roster to help younger talent look and feel their best in the ring. Athena provides a believable challenger to either the TBS Championship, the AEW Women’s Championship, or both. I believe she is going to do great things in the company and would not be surprised if she is the one to finally de-throne Jade as TBS Champion. She is fun to watch, and I think AEW audiences are really going to enjoy having her around in the company.

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