Willow Nightingale Signed AEW Contract Morning Of 10/21 AEW Rampage, Before Announcement

On the October 21 episode of AEW Rampage, Willow Nightingale scored a victory over Leila Grey. After her win, Tony Schiavone announced that Willow Nightingale had officially signed with All Elite Wrestling and the "Willow is All Elite" graphic was shown on the screen.

Nightingale made her AEW debut in April 2021, regularly working AEW Dark tapings at Daily's Place, the same place she was announced as being "All Elite." She remained a regular when the company returned to the road, working tapings and a handful of television matches.

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Speaking to Will Washington, Righteous Reg, & Phil Lindsey of Grapsody, Willow reflected on the All Elite announcement and how things came full circle for her.

"I, obviously knew I had been signed at this point, I signed the contract that morning. They had emailed it to me and I was standing ringside when I did the signature on my phone. It was really fresh and very full circle for me. Daily's Place, the majority of the time I spent there in the crowd because the audience was people who came in for extra work or other people who were on the roster who weren't wrestling. We filled the crowd, made all the noise and supported each other, and were there for hours at a time. We were there until two in the morning sometimes recording the show. We would do this every two weeks. It felt like I was putting in so much energy and effort and, is there the recognition there that I wanted? Is the payoff there? I don't know. Now, a year and some change later, I have signed a full-time contract to the company that I want to work for, in the building where I felt some of my lowest feelings about myself and my career, and it was very full circle. To have the crowd there to cheer for me and be super into it, it was very overwhelming. Yes, I did not see [the graphic] on the big screen. At one point, I turned around and was like, 'Wow, that's me!' I was responding to all the people around me. Tony Schiavone, a legend of the industry, putting it all out there. I was overwhelmed with a flurry of different emotions. That was a really cool moment for me," she said.

Since Willow had been with AEW for over a year, had challenged Jade Cargill for the AEW TBS Championship on multiple occasions, and had merchandise in the AEW Shop, many assumed that she had been under contract before her signing was official.

"I had a pay-per-appearance situation," she clarified. "I was with them in a capacity, in an official capacity even, but to me it didn't really feel the same. I wasn't on the roster page. I don't think the fans really looked at me as a part of the team. Here and there, depends on who you ask. I still felt a chip on my shoulder because even if I hadn't gotten the All Elite graphic, it just didn't feel like I was fully welcomed in yet. The women in the locker room were great and had been treating me kindly and everything, but it wasn't the whole thing. When it all happened, I was like, 'Ahh! Yes!'"

Since defeating Grey and signing with AEW, Willow has picked up singles victories over Marina Shafir and Anna JayAS. She's also won tag team matches alongside Riho and Hikaru Shida.

She most recently defeated Trish Adora at ROH Final Battle Zero Hour.

Fans can check out the full interview with Willow in the video above.

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