After suffering a shoulder injury that derailed her career for two months, Ember Moon is back. This week, Moon speaks to WWE.com about her injury, frustrations and her belief that she still has what it takes to defeat NXT Women’s Champion Asuka.
WWE.COM: How does it feel to be back on the active roster of NXT?
EMBER MOON: I feel like I’ve lifted a huge weight off my back. I’ve always known that every time you step into that ring, you run a huge risk of getting seriously injured. I’m just relieved my shoulder is 100 percent and I’m back in the mix.
WWE.COM: What exactly was the injury to your shoulder?
MOON: I had a grade-one AC joint tear or, in layman terms, a separated shoulder.
WWE.COM: Take us through that moment last May when your shoulder slammed against the ringside barricade, thus causing the injury.
MOON: When I hit the barricade, I knew that I was hurt. I heard something pop in my shoulder and I initially thought it was my collarbone. The pain didn’t hit until I rolled over onto my back. I remember telling myself that it hurts, but it won’t be too bad. As soon as the medical trainers tried to move me, I realized that it was worse than I thought. I remember literally hitting the floor with my hand, realizing that I was probably going to miss NXT TakeOver: Chicago.
WWE.COM: What was your rehab like?
MOON: The first two weeks after the injury, I was mostly only allowed to rest. Resting was the hardest part because I’m used to being in the game. I’m used to being at the WWE Performance Center six hours a day, training and working on getting better. After two weeks, I was able to get more aggressive with electrotherapy and light weight-training. I would start with two pounds and then bump up to five pounds, then 10 pounds, etc. It got to a point that instead of training six hours of day, I was doing therapy for six hours a day.
WWE.COM: In your return match against Peyton Royce, you were greeted with “Welcome back!” chants from the NXT Universe. How did that feel?
MOON: I was honestly taken aback. After TakeOver: Orlando last April, when I was unable to defeat Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship, I felt like I let down the NXT Universe. I dropped the ball, and I got humbled, a lot. Right when I’m on the verge of getting another opportunity, I get injured at the hands of Asuka. After those two moments, I felt like I had nothing left for the NXT Universe to believe in. So, when I heard that crowd erupt, it gave me something to fight for, and it showed me that the people still believe in me and still believe I can defeat Asuka. I want nothing more than to make those people proud.
WWE.COM: What’s the difference between the Ember Moon of today compared to the Ember Moon who was injured two months ago?
MOON: Two months ago, Ember Moon thought she was invincible. I thought I could take the world by storm with no consequences. When I lost to Asuka, I began a downward spiral, which culminated with my injury. When you lose the ability to do what you love, it makes you rethink some life decisions, and I realized I needed to make some changes. Today I realize I’m not invincible, but I’m also in a much better mindset because I am truly ready for anything, and I train to make sure that’s the case.
WWE.COM: You’ve always been known for your incredible drive when it comes to sports-entertainment. Where does that come from?
MOON: I’ve always been a family-oriented person. I always tried to be the perfect daughter or the perfect sister, and I’ve always tried to do everything I could for everyone else throughout my life. Wrestling was the first thing in my life that I was able to do for me. I have a lot of heart and passion that was given to me by my grandfather. Before he passed away, he told me that if my goal was to make it to WWE, don’t let anyone take that goal away from me. I guess you could say that drive has made me a little stubborn because I truly feel the ring is my home and it’s where I belong at all times. The feeling of relaxation that someone gets when they sit down on their couch after a long day of work is the same feeling I get every time I step into a ring. Ever since I started wrestling, I’ve had people doubt how much I can achieve. But now that I’m back inside my home, I’m going start proving people wrong all over again.