NXT Takeover featured the much anticipated NXT War Games PPV. Fans around the world tuned in to see some epic matches featuring a plethora of talented WWE NXT Superstars. And I have to say, the War Games PPV more than made up for NXT's absence from this year's Survivor Series PPV. Among the standout matches according to a poll on my social media was without doubt The Women's War Games match! What a way to kick off a PPV! Leading up to the event we saw the two immensely talented teams form. One under Shotzi Blackheart and the other with Candice LeRae. The ladies took to their social media's to describe their thoughts about setting foot in a steel cage to come out victoriously with their hands raised. The true spoils of a wrestling war the likes of War Games. One immediate standout in my mind was undoubtedly Ember Moon.
Coming straight from of the WWE social media, just a few months back Ember Moon thought her career was over. The dreaded reality every Pro Athlete faces at least once in their career. The harsh truth that their career could be ended far too soon, without warning, or consent. A bonafide living nightmare of equal parts frustration, what if's, passion, creative spikes, bitterness, heartbreak, and motivation. In not entirely unfamiliar territory, Ember Moon soon found herself at that exact place. Sitting at home injured while the WWE continued on. Upon finding herself injured with multiple tears in her Achilles, Moon had the seemingly insurmountable journey to recovery - a come back story you didn't know you needed as an NXT fan until she quite literally eclipsed through chairs inside a steel cage all in the name of love. Love for wrestling. Love for the WWE Universe. Love of a dream. And passion for this business.
Almost an entire year came and went since Moon last appeared on WWE programming. Becky Lynch vacating the title. Sasha Banks and Bayley putting all women's rosters on notice. Charlotte defeating Rhea Ripley. Split up of The Iconics. Io Shirai's intense intense title run as the current NXT Women's Champion. Kairi Sane's retirement. Deonna Purrazzo's WWE exit. The brand new Thunder Dome. Shayna Baszler's main roster call up… Ember Moon was watching uncertain views of her future…
Almost an entire year with Covid layoffs, quarantine, shut downs. Waiting. Rehabbing. Wondering. Preparing for the best. Pondering what's next if it's the worst. Almost a year later Ember Moon is back reemerging at NXT Takover 31. Furthermore, in my opinion, (pun intended) she eclipsed her prior value with pure tenacity and grit. Her performance kicking off War Games representing Team Shotzi was nothing short of inspiring. Completely indicative of the passion Moon possesses for what only she can do. She laid it all out there in that steel cage for herself and her team as if to punctuate the last sentence of her own comeback story. Ember Moon's comeback at NXT Takeover 31 and her subsequent performance at NXT War Games is the incomparable spirit exemplifying the type of Superstars Triple H wants to see. To see in his long term vision for NXT and the Superstars worthy of it. The next generation of WWE if you will.
As a woman who was at the same WWE Tryout as Ember Moon in 2015, I can only express immense happiness at seeing her come back better than ever. Back then hearing her journey over the years from her wrestling debut in 2007. On to the feelings of elation at receiving several WWE Tryouts. Then to feelings of defeat after the aforementioned tryouts didn't go her way. To the decision to give herself one last shot in 2015. That one last shot being the last chance to fulfill the dream. To then finally fully realizing that that dream had come true. When that one last shot turned into her big break - being signed to the WWE.
Fast forward to the journey of becoming NXT Women's Champion. Only to have that entire journey become a distant memory after twelve years of literal blood - sweat - and tears. Fast forward again a year later to War Games. Team Shotzi may not have won, but the respect they earned and the entertainment they created was impeccable. Ember Moon is a testament of the ultimate comeback that's so low key that you don't realize how much you needed to hear it until it's broken down for you.
This story would have ended years ago had Ember Moon not bet on herself one last time. Had Moon not loved wrestling so much that she sat on the sidelines for almost a year doing everything she could amidst a pandemic to come back a stronger and even more passionate Superstar. Thus proving as I continuously say with redundancy, "all you need is love, guts, and gumption." The self love to bet on yourself and your dreams. The guts to go after those dreams. And lastly, the gumption to see those dreams through. Ember Moon's NXT War Games performance was an impressive example of set backs leading to even better stories of bigger comebacks… Afterall, any story worth reading has twists and turns for those who dare to go after their dreams…
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