Over one year removed from her last appearance on WWE TV, Ember Moon returned to WWE NXT at TakeOver 31 on Sunday night and immediately made her presence felt by interrupting NXT Women’s champion, Io Shirai.
Moon suffered a ruptured Achilles in the fall of 2019 and had a long road to recovery due to the current conditions. However, she’s finally back and better than before as a member of the NXT roster for the first time in two and a half years.
The former NXT Women’s champion was a big part of the women’s division on the black-and-gold brand from August 2016 through April 2018 when she was called up to the Raw roster. In that time, she had many memorable matches with the likes of Asuka and Shayna Baszler but failed to make as much of an impact on Raw and SmackDown in the years that followed.
Being back at TakeOver 31 was nothing short of a thrilling experience for Moon, especially after going to great lengths to keep it a secret in the weeks leading up to the event.
“I’m still buzzing, man. I’m just super excited and I haven’t stopped smiling,” Moon told Daily DDT in an exclusive interview conducted over the phone on Tuesday. “I would say it’s like the class reunion, but you don’t know anyone there. You’re all excited like, ‘I can’t wait to tell everyone what I did,’ but then you’re like, ‘Oh wait, I don’t know none of y’all. Am I in the wrong year?’ I’m so happy, I’m so excited.” (Aliyah is one of her best friends, surprised when she came back)
Of everyone in NXT, Aliyah was who Moon was most excited to be reunited with backstage on Sunday night. The two came up in WWE’s developmental ranks together and formed a bond in the few years Moon spent there.
That said, not even Aliyah was aware that Moon was back in NXT until she popped up after the NXT Women’s Championship bout between Io Shirai and Candice LeRae. In fact, the decision for her to return to NXT was only made official a few weeks ago, right before the vignettes promoting her comeback started to air on NXT TV.
“I found out I was going back to NXT maybe a couple of weeks ago,” she revealed. “I threw out the feelers in January. It was one of those things where I was like, ‘I don’t know if they want me back, I don’t know how I fit in, I just don’t know.’ I talked to Hunter and asked, ‘How would you feel about me coming back to NXT?’”
During her time away from the squared circle, Moon made multiple appearances on WWE Backstage on FS1 as an analyst. For the role, she was required to consume more wrestling than she ever had before, including watching for potential prospects on WWE’s radar.
It was while she was doing her WWE homework that she fell in love with NXT all over again. She hadn’t been there in years but felt she would be a better fit there than anywhere else in the company once she returned.
“I was like, ‘Man, I’m really digging this NXT vibe right now,’” Moon said. “Raw and SmackDown are doing great, but I’m sitting here thinking, ‘I don’t know if I fit in there anymore.’ I didn’t know if Ember Moon still belonged on Raw and SmackDown. I was looking at NXT and all my friends from the indies were there killing it. Not that any of the other girls weren’t, I’m just saying that when you’ve traveled the road for a hot dog and a handshake, you have a different friendship and admiration for those people than you do with coworkers.”
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