Last night at AEW Double or Nothing, wrestling fans were treated to two big free agent signings in one moment. Athena (formerly known as Ember Moon in NXT and WWE) and Stokely Hathaway (fka Malcolm Bivens). Hathaway’s appearance created a distraction during the end of the TBS Championship match, leading Cargill to hit her finisher, Jaded, from the top rope to retain her championship against Anna Jay. After Kris Statlander ran out to stand by Jay’s side against the three Baddies, Athena appeared to even the odds, setting up a potential program between the six women, with Hathaway now managing Cargill and her faction.
“He’s the best talker in the game,” Cargill said of Hathaway during the AEW Double or Nothing post-show media scrum. “Who would want anything less than that? Somebody to represent a superstar that’s about to just come forth in front of all you guys’ eyes.”
Hathaway was released by WWE on April 29, leaving his 90-day non-compete period with the company to end at a very opportunistic time for All Elite Wrestling. AEW President Tony Khan has previously stated that he’d never spoken to released talent until their 90-days expire, and with this situation, Khan vehemently stuck to his word.
“It was pretty unusual, Stokely’s 90 days expired yesterday,” Khan said, referring to the standard 90-day no-compete clause to which performers are subject when they leave WWE. “‘I’ve never met him or spoken to him until today … I’ve him in mind since 2018, actually. I remember being way back in the day, actually with Cody (Rhodes), and I was saying ‘I really like Stokely Hathaway. I’m a big fan of him’ … I wanted to pair him with the world’s greatest network champion, the world’s top undefeated wrestler two years in with such a sparkling record.”
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