Since returning to the independent wrestling scene following her WWE release, many have wondered when, or if, Athena would be joining the promotion. In an appearance on Insight with Chris Van Vliet, the former Ember Moon did not indicate if she’d be showing up in AEW anytime soon. She did however talk about how much she enjoyed watching AEW, even while she was in WWE, and how she’d talk to AEW star Dustin Rhodes about AEW’s environment.

“It was literally up until maybe August or September that they were still trying,” Athena said. “I remember saying that I would love to take the money, but you have given me no reason to stay. I remember that being my point of dispute with them. I wanted them to make me stay, but I was seeing everything going on in AEW and I’m like that looks fun! For a while we couldn’t talk about it, but how else do you expect us to outshine them.

“But I wasn’t watching them for film, I was watching them because I was envious. I remember I would text Dustin from time to time to see how he was and he would say ‘we are sure having fun over here.’ ‘I see that Dustin! But how are you?’ Dustin was great and he always gave me great advice on my character. I’m there like ‘this is f*cking Goldust taking an interest in my character.'”

Athena worked for a little less than a decade on the independent circuit before signing with WWE and told Van Vliet that she had been rejected several times before getting the WWE offer. She revealed she had been told that she didn’t have the right look WWE was looking for, alluding to issues she had discussed earlier. Ultimately though, Athena was proud to eventually be signed by WWE without changing anything about herself.

“I got told ‘you’re not pretty enough, you need to lose weight, you’re not what we are looking for, you’re too buff,'” Athena said. “All of these comments have been said in my previous try-outs, and then I finally got the yes. It meant so much more to me that I wasn’t going to be a Diva. I’m not a Diva.

“Do I like putting on makeup and looking pretty? Who doesn’t? But when it comes to my aesthetic and the fans that I cater to, I don’t promote sexuality like that. I never have and I don’t think I ever will. I’ve never been that type of person. I am a nerd, so it meant so much more to be merited on my performance instead of my appearance.”

Athena has been tearing it up on the independent scene once again since leaving WWE, winning the Warrior Wrestling Women’s Championship just a week ago. What she likes the most about the indie scene is the ability to create with fewer restrictions, as well as the support she receives from people backstage, fans, and independent promotions.

“It’s great to create without a filter,” Athena said. “I am getting to do that and also get the support of the backstage crew, the companies, and the fans. I am getting support in front of the people that I thrive in front of. Athena was the villain, but it’s not hard to be the bad guy again. I feel like the indie fans are more appreciative and understanding when they see you go through 20 chairs.

“I do stuff because I know it’s safe, but I feel like because I had another main event the next night, people underestimated me. But it’s fun and I think sometimes the chaos of making money and fighting for a spotlight, which you shouldn’t have to do, but wrestling should be fun for all of the parties involved.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Insight with Chris Van Vliet and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription

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