wrestling / News

Willow Nightingale On Her Match With Julia Hart At AEW Dynasty, Mercedes Mone’s AEW Arrival

April 19, 2024 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
AEW Worlds End Willow Nightingale Image Credit: AEW

Willow Nightingale challenges Julia Hart for the TBS Championship at AEW Dynasty this weekend, and she spoke about the match and more in a new interview. Nightingale spoke with PWInsider ahead of the PPV and you can see some highlights below:

On giving off energy & passion during her ring entrance: “Thank you for saying that. I do radiate that kind of like passion because that is like basically like the goal of when I go out there is like just as much as I love it. Make everybody else feel the same way. But I’ve been a wrestling fan since I was a kid. And at that time, like when I was like eight, nine years old, I was like, Oh, I want to be a wrestler. I know this is what I want to do. And of course, like life. gets in the way a little bit like when I started getting into high school and thinking about like college and stuff that kind of sidetracked me a little bit but ultimately like I found my way back to wrestling and it’s always for me been like a combination of just so many things that I find entertaining and pull me in like you have athleticism and like spectacle There is like this theatricality of it I make my own gear, and I would be lying if I said the sparkly, colorful spandex wasn’t appealing to that also pulls me in and I do think to a degree the naturally aggressive nature of it is kind of part of human nature all of that tied into one, you get a little comedy sometimes, you get some drama, all of it, I was just like, wrestling is, It’s great. It’s amazing. As I say, that aggression is part of our nature. I’m looking at my two cats wrestle each other right in front of me. They’re playing and it’s just like you see it in nature. It’s like one of our first instincts. ”

On her match with Hart at Dynasty: “Julia, I think, is no small feat and I’ve at this point wrestled her twice. And have come up short both of those times, unfortunately in single competition. But one thing that I think may have affected me in the past is yes, like you said, she is, she’s a little bit newer and she’s really coming to her own and figured out what it is she’s doing in the ring in a very quick amount of time. But perhaps I’ve taken advantage of that. And that could be my own hubris where I’m like, no, I’ve got this. I know what I’m doing. I’ve been doing this for so long. Also last time. We wrestled or maybe the first time we wrestled, I was misted by her. So I think there is even a piece of that may have been like my downfall in the past, but I feel like if anything now, removed from that situation, it put me in her head a little bit better. I’m familiar with the way that she maneuvers, the way her game plan is in the ring. So I’m just hoping that’ll all come to my advantage on Sunday and I’m able to do the thing I’ve never done before.”

On Mercedes Mone’s arrival and debut promo: “[They] are pretty braggadocious claims, but I don’t think they’re necessarily out of line. I think we have a very strong women’s division. We have very talented, hard working and hard hitting women. So it’s not necessarily like she is going to be the single thing that changes who we all are, but I definitely think she helped tie together the division in the sense that she brings. This reputation and past and experience that a lot of us don’t have and really I do think she was instrumental in helping change the way women’s wrestling is perceived on such a grand scale, like on television. So there is something to what she’s saying, of course, I do believe that, but don’t just to come in out of nowhere and insert yourself into a, the title picture immediately. I’ve been with AEW for two years at this point, and all of that is what led me to what could be happening on Sunday for this title opportunity and I feel like constantly I’ve had to prove myself and fight and show my, show myself and everybody else that I could be worthy, a worthy contender. Here she is just showing up, unproven in AEW, hasn’t even had a match yet, and it’s ‘I’m going to go straight to the title.’ So there is a little piece of me that’s…you could maybe have a match or something, but I get it. I do think she is just doing what she is doing because she has that experience and reputation that precedes her. ”

On having opportunities via AEW in Mexico and Japan: “I feel so incredibly fortunate. One, I get to travel the world through AEW. Two, they also allow me to go work with the partners. I remember when I first got signed I already had a scheduled tour with TJPW coming up, and it was pretty much like I had that match in October 2022 in Jacksonville, where I got my All Elite graphic, and then I was off to work to Tokyo for TJPW and I remember thinking to myself at the time, I was like, man, this is probably the last time I’m going to be able to do this because I don’t know that AEW will give me the opportunity to do this…travel internationally and wrestle at another company like this ever again. Then, we fast forward and I’ve been so lucky to be someone who I consider like a global ambassador in a sense for AEW because I’ve wrestled for New Japan representing AEW, I’ve wrestled for CMLL representing AEW, STARDOM I think I’m one of the first people on our women’s division, who’s been able to do that. I think it definitely is opening the door so that so many other girls can go on excursions or can take a weekend trip and just get a little taste of different cultures of different wrestling styles. It can only make us all better. So I’m super excited.”

On Dynasty being available on more digital platforms: “I think the reason that I am excited to have more eyes on the product with a with more platforms for us to be able to see it, to be able to bring in more viewers. I’m excited for the same reason that you guys should be excited, and that’s because it is a privilege for me to be able to go out there and show off this thing that I’ve been training for years to do. I know I’m going to put on a great show. I know I’m going to bring amazing energy. I know that you people are going to be excited and I’m going to leave you feeling something. Leaving, feeling some kind of energy. You’re going to be thrilled. And that’s just me. That’s just the Willow promise. But if you look at our card, I know we have so many like amazing wrestlers. Truly AEW, where the best wrestle. So the only thing you have to do is check it out for yourself now. You’ve got to believe me.”