Follow TV Tropes


Wrestling / Ember Moon

Go To

Adrienne Reese (born August 31, 1988) is an American gymnastics teacher and soccer player who became the cocktail waitress valet of a professional wrestling bouncer, and then decided to become professional wrestler herself.

She first trained under Skandar Akbar and Booker T, competing on the Texas independent as Athena, where she got into a lot of trouble because of her big mouth, to the point she was billed as "Trouble" for two straight years in Booker T's PWA. However as she grew as a wrestler and attraction she once again became more familiar to fans under the name Athena, even dubbing herself 'The Wrestling Goddess'. Companies that had closed their doors on Athena such as Anarchy Championship Wrestling and IWA Texas started opening their doors to Athena again, SHIMMER invited her over for a tryout in 2010, only decide to debut right away, with rival enterprise WSU following suit the following year. The year 2012 was very kind to her — featuring debuts at Northern Championship Wrestling Femme Fatales, All American Wrestling and Shine Wrestling. She quickly drew lots of talk for her notable finisher — a diving stunner from the top rope, named the 'O-Face'.

As WWE slowly took a renewed interest in women's wrestling and with Athena being noted as having the 'Diva Look', fans started to wonder if the promotion would ever come calling. They finally did in 2015, though it took another year to christened her Ember Moon, give her a contract and debuted at NXT Takeover Brooklyn II, though it was a victorious effort against Billie Kay. In November 2017 she became the NXT Women's Champion. She lost the title at NXT Takeover New Orleans and debuted on RAW the following Monday. After an underwhelming run on the main roster she was sent back down to NXT, then release in the November 5th 2021 round of talent cuts.

At the Double or Nothing pay-per-view event in May 2022, Athena made her debut for All Elite Wrestling. And at Final Battle 2022, she would defeat Mercedes Martinez for the Ring of Honor women's championship

Just remember one trope starts a list:

  • Always Someone Better: Athena thinks she's better than everyone else anyway, but she really came at the wrong time for Su Yung, who was just beginning to build her confidence as a wrestler in Memphis after winning her first title belt. Yung managed to keep her belt, but never in convincing fashion, being left laying several times and beaten decisively in a non title match. She decided to avenge this humiliation by traveling to Texas, where she found much success, but very little of it came at Athena's expense, who continued to beat Su for the most part when they were matched up. She eventually joined Athena's company and its representing team.
  • Amazonian Beauty: She's very thick and muscular, though she's rather short at 5'1".
  • Animal Motifs: She has lions and wyverns on her banner. In wrestling anyway. On twitch its turtles, or more accurately, koopas.
  • Appropriated Appellation - Her "Trouble" gimmick originated from the fact she had been labeled as such.
  • Arch-Enemy: In Traditional Championship Wrestling it was Malia Hosaka. In SHIMMER, Mercedes Martinez. In WSU, Hania The Howling Huntress. In NXT, Asuka and then Shayna Baszler.
  • The Artifact: "O-Face" gets its name from Jiggle-O James Johnson, who wasn't associated with Athena for very long and had a variety of other gimmicks where he used different names besides(most notably he was one of many to be Dark Dragon, while "Angel Of Misery" was at least as popular as his Jiggle-O gimmick). But the name O-Face stuck for Athena, aside from her Ember Moon run in WWE where it was called eclipse.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Her diving stunner finishing move. It's an amazing move that definitely shows how athletic Ember is, but its difficulty makes it very easy to botch and could potentially cause tailbone fractures.
  • Bad Moon Rising: Her entrance video shows a bright orange one.
  • Battle Couple
  • Big Damn Heroes: She saved both Aliyah and Liv Morgan from a double team by Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. Her debut on the main roster consisted of being a surprise tag team ally of Nia Jax.
  • Brawler Lock: She engaged Niya Barela in a collar and elbow style match that resulted in deadlock as neither could pin the other.
  • Brawn Hilda: A minor but real reason her initial attempts at being a baby face fell flat. While she was never butch there were audience members who teased her about her bulk when she was trying to work as a power wrestler. However no matter how many or how loudly fans expressed this opinion nothing could convince Athena that she wasn't the living ideal of beauty.
  • Call-Back: Athena is best known for jumping, diving and handsprings, but she usually has a fall away slam and torture rack in her back pocket from her beginnings.
  • Cool Mask: She sometimes makes her way to the ring wearing a mask lined with war paint.
  • Cool Teacher: She trained Danni Bee alongside Booker T at Reality Of Wrestling, and Ronda Rousey also credited Ember Moon for her training in professional wrestling.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Defied in SHIMMER, despite being literally curb stomped unconscious by Cheerleader Melissa. It might have degenerated into this or a No Holds Barred Beat Down, but the match was stopped before Melissa could do more damage.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite being presented as a 'dark' wrestling "character", she has played a face the entire time she's been on NXT.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Her heel persona as Athena fit quite close to this. There are also certain supernatural elements to her character on NXT that evoke this too, even if she is presented as a face.
  • David Versus Goliath
    • Athena's short enough to be David against the 5'6 Rebecca Knox and KC Warfield, however she's of larger than average frame and musculature than most women so she isn't always as outsized as it may appear. Athena slightly outweighed Knox and Warfield through sheer muscle mass in the beginning of her career and even after slimming down Su Yung, who is the same height as Warfield and Knox, still couldn't overpower Athena.
    • After her Heel–Face Turn five one three quarter inch Athena was the one who managed defeat the invading six foot German Wild Xenia.
    • It took two O-Faces to do it, but she ended a winning streak of Jessicka Havok, who outsizes Athena almost as much as Xenia.
    • She usually relied on multi person matches to hold onto the the Anarchy Championship Wrestling televised title belt but did successfully defend it in a one on one match with the 6'3 238 lbs Thomas Shire.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Defied on the unauthorized Ring of Honor A Night Of Hoopla, where she tagged herself in against Michael Elgin, pissing off his wife MsChif in the process, and then tried to tag in ACH against the incensed Chif. ACH refused to fight her at first, eventually gave in only to be taken down by Elgin. Athena herself also got in trouble with BJ Whitmer, who was on the other team and has no problem beating up women, but managed to get away from him.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: She once tried her hand at being a referee, but was more easily distracted than even professional wrestling promoters considered acceptable due to her fixation on a man known as The Centerfold. He and Athena would eventually get married.
  • Double Entendre: She had a signature move called the Ultimate Back Slash. It referenced that she was billed from several cities (with a backlash in between introductions) and that the move was a backbreaker.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Moon was in the 2018 Women's Royal Rumble, over two months before being called up to the main roster.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Athena started her professional wrestling career forty pounds heavier than the long jumper physique she became best known for, doing a lot of power slams and soccer kicks. Athena decided working like "a big man" just wasn't going to work out when she was "five foot nothing". Early clips surfaced of her training with Jazz where Athena was just as muscular and contrasted with a match later where Athena...wasn't.
  • Exact Words: Vowed that Shayna Baszler would never win the NXT Women's Championship as long as she was still standing. Come Takeover: New Orleans, she would lose the championship after passing out from Baszler's Kirifuda Clutch.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: As she challenged for the NXT Women's Championship, her blonde tips changed to silver. She added purple to her hair around the time she won the title.
  • Face/Heel Double-Turn:
    • In 2012 she made her SHIMMER debut as a heel against babyfaced Jessie McKay. In 2016 she made her WWE debut as a face against the same woman.
    • She initially competed as a heel against Mercedes Martinez. A match between them went to a double count-out, and Mercedes started attacking Athena and tried to break her ankle. This turned Mercedes heel and Athena face.
  • Fake-Hair Drama: A fan yelled for Thunder Rosa to "tear out" her "cheap weave" at Warrior Wrestling 19. Athena shot back that her weave cost more than he probably made in a week.
  • Finishing Move: Her famous diving top rope stunner, called the O-Face on the indies and Eclipse in NXT.
  • Force and Finesse: When paired with Nia Jax. She was the high-flying, acrobatic Finesse to Nia's hard-hitting, powergamer Force. Her partnership with Braun Strowman ran on the same lines.
  • Game-Breaking Injury:
    • Subverted with her torn ACL. She was supposed to take a couple of years out to heal it, but it proved not as serious as initially diagnosed and she returned with in the yea, simply working slightly fewer dates and even boasting she would do a ladder match if someone sponsored it. She ultimately claimed a WWE contract.
    • Briefly taken out of the NXT title picture thanks to a dislocated shoulder from Asuka.
    • This was played up again (although not with so much Continuity Nod to her earlier injury) during her angle with Shayna Baszler.
  • Gimmick Matches: In Anarchy Championship Wrestling she defeated Rachel Summerlyn in a 10,000 thumbtacks match and successfully defended to American Joshi Title belt in a six way ladder match. In WSU she defeated Hania in a tables ladders and chairs match but lost in an uncensored rules match.
  • Girls With Mustaches: She wears a mustache for appearances with the hedra group.
  • A God Am I
    • She named herself the Wrestling Goddess on the indies. She willingly downgraded herself to "The Fallen Goddess" after defeat and injury made her realize she wasn't invincible, but a fallen deity still better than you.
    • NXT occasionally references this by calling her the War Goddess.
  • Good Counterpart: Following her main roster debut she was built up as Alexa Bliss's Good Counterpart. Both of them were short, athletic high-fliers, and both were portrayed as friends of Nia Jax. But while Alexa was a False Friend who just wanted Nia to be her Dumb Muscle, Ember was genuinely Nia's friend.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: In Absolute Intense Wrestling she was asked about her first wrestling match, which she elected to not describe in great detail, calling it a "cluster fuuu...udge cake." before declaring the first match of hers she would talk about was with "Mind Of Wrestling" JT LaMotta.
  • Heel: She played heel a lot in her early career, but respect for her athleticism and high-intensity moves led to her getting more bookings as a Face. She was actually supposed to be a face from the start, but fans called her mannish and arrogant, so she was kind of forced to be heel and roll with the negativity to become a face.
  • Hero Worship: After her debut at NXT Takeover, she wished Bayley the best of luck and said she hoped she could fill her shoes.
  • Hidden Depths: The best way to beat a high flier is on the mat right? Much to Athena's chagrin, MsChif concluded Athena was deeper front bender than even shew knew while pursuing this strategy and sought out more matches with Athena to prove it.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: She was paired with Braun Strowman, all 6 foot 8 inches of him, during the second round of the Mixed Match Challenge.
  • I Have Many Names: Athena at first and again after a brief stint as "Trouble" when she had a reputation for causing it. WWE gave her a tryout under her real name before billing her as "Ember Moon" after deciding to debut her.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: Early in her career she drew heavily on association football. Then she changed her style and focused more on gymnastics.
  • Kick Chick: She uses a lot of kicks in the ring too. A soccer kick was one of her signature moves early on.
  • Mighty Glacier: While she decided to try being a wrestler after acting as the valet for one, Athena didn't enjoy working out, particularly cardio vascular conditioning, which she had lost after the knee injury halted her soccer career. Her strength training and muscle building was very successful, but since she was using as a substitute for cardio it lead to slow, methodical matches that bored fans, something a baby face shouldn't want to do. But after mostly abandoning the power style altogether she also resigned herself to getting her wind back. This lead to her being more like a Stone Wall, not as strong but still tough, quicker, more evasive, with a killer finishing move to make up for it.
  • Mythology Gag: Her code of "Skill, Honor, Heart" in NXT is one of SHIMMERS's taglines.
  • The Napoleon: If Athena's a heel she'll insist she's 5'2 or at least demand the inclusion of her three quarter inch if announced at 5'1. Conversely if she's a face she'll probably downplay her height instead.
  • One-Steve Limit
    • In PGWA she was preceded by "The Goddess Athena", who was more of a manager than a wrestler, and had been run out of the business by Christie Ricci a couple of years before this Athena showed up, nine years before this Athena officially debuted under the lady sports banner. PGWA still felt the need to call her "Athena Reese" at some points where they couldn't show pictures despite this, such as their interview with Tag Team partner Kowgirl Kissey.
    • Athena had "Angel Of Mercy" Claudia and Claudia del Solis on her "team" at the same time for QOW Vs MLOW.
  • Parts Unknown: It was a Running Gag on the indies that she would be billed from multiple cities at once. Usually with the announcer reading Chicago Illinois/Houston Texas/St. Louis Missouri as "back slash" with unwavering seriousness.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Athena was initially respectful, deferential and accommodating to Malia Hosaka, to an uncharacteristic degree. But she eventually reached her wit's end trying to get Hosaka to leave her alone and vowed to hold nothing back the next time they had a match.
  • Perky Female Minion: Was this to the Samoan Soldiers in Booker T's PWA promotion while they were the tag team champions. Also to the Mace Malone and James Johnson pairing in Professional Championship Wrestling, eventually graduating to their Tag Team partner.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: She's one of the shortest females on WWE's roster, but her athleticism and power are impressive.
  • Politically Correct Villain: Heel!Athena welcomes your insults, as it gives her the necessary inspiration to tear into the crowd. She does draw the line at ethnic slurs, however.
  • Power Stable: Submission Squad with Davey Vega, Gary Jay, Pierre Abernathy, Evan Gelistico, Dingo and Nick Tyson in Anarchy Championship Wrestling.
  • Progressively Prettier: Compare her transformation from Athena to Ember Moon.
  • Proud Beauty: No matter how she trains, diets, dresses, applies makeup or gets injured Athena remains gorgeous. To say otherwise is to be a liar, according to her.
"Let's just call it what it is! I'm sexy. You know it. And I know you know it."
  • Red Baron: Athena tried really hard to make "Hussy Buster" another of hers. She eventually made it "official" by forming a tag team with the name in Anarchy Championship Wrestling.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Ember Moon wore red contacts for a while to create an unnerving effect.
  • The Rival
    • From the moment of Athena's transition from valet to wrestler in Arlington based Professional Championship Wrestling, she had a rival set up in "The Angel Of Mercy" Claudia due to Athena's association with Claudia's nemeses "Angel Of Wrath" Mace Malone and "Angel Of Misery" James Johnson. They usually couldn't harm Claudia directly, so Athena would have to do it for them. After seven years Athena's association with Malone and Johnson became looser and she gained her own personal reason to fight Claudia:to defend her AIW Women's title belt when Claudia challenged her for it in Metroplex Wrestling. Their relations weren't all hostile though. Athena hired Claudia for and chose her as a representative of her own company, Queens Of Wrestling.
    • Alektra Blue was initially caught in the middle of Athena's rivalry with Claudia, but decided to side with Claudia against Athena and went on to become a persistent rival to Athena as "Angel Blue" in Anarchy Championship Wrestling, particularly over the American Joshi Title belt.
    • Athena may have been one of Anarchy Championship Wrestling's most popular wrestlers, but she was still in the shadow of Rachel Summerlyn and not content to stay there. Though Athena did beat Summerlyn in some Gimmick Matches, when it came down to one fall to a finish Summerlyn usually won and ultimately walked away from their feud with the American Joshi belt. Their rivalry also extended to SHIMMER, IWA Unlimited and Traditional Championship Wrestling, where Summerlyn tended to keep beating Athena, though Athena did beat Rachel at SLA in a number one contender's match for the American Joshi belt.
    • Jessica James and Athena started out as partners in Professional Championship Wrestling but every other promotion besides Shine Wrestling, where they were part of a team Valkyrie selected for destruction, pitted them against each other instead. They had a particularly long feud in Anarchy Championship Wrestling, particularly over the American Joshi title, with James alternating between herself and her "Lady Poison" gimmick.
    • Barbi Hayden is an upstart with a similar ego and in similar physical condition to Athena, but bigger, taller and with a more grappling heavy style. To the veteran's annoyance people were impressed that she could go hold for hold with Barbi, rather than the other way around. Athena won most of their matches but Barbi still ultimately ended up taking and keeping both of Athena's Anarchy Championship Wrestling title belts.
    • After Claudia del Solis defeated Athena at an MLW show in Tennessee, she showed up in Texas and announced her intentions to run Athena out of the state at a PGWA event. Athena was much more successful against Claudia on her "home turf" however. Claudia del Solis also accepted a job with and spot on the "team" representing Athena's QOW.
    • Athena and Heidi Lovelace joined forces to defeat The Killer Death Machines in All American Wrestling, but then Heidi challenged Athena for the AIW Women's title belt. After losing Heidi decided to join Athena again to try and win the AAW tag team titles, but when they lost in the finals of the tag tournament Heidi challenged for the AIW belt again, and won. Getting signed to WWE didn't put this rivalry on hold, as Heidi, now being billed as Ruby Riott, took Liv Morgan, who had been Athena's new Tag Team partner and formed the Riott Squad with her and Sarah Logan to continue antagonizing Athena, now being billed as Ember Moon. WWE had tested how Riott and Moon worked as a tag team on some house shows however.
  • Rivals Team Up: WSU did briefly put Athena in a team with Claudia del Solis and Barbi Hayden on a "secret show", but it wasn't a recipe for success.
  • Screaming Warrior: She's quite fond of battle cries during her matches.
  • Shout-Out: Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition's iconic monk character (a black woman who fights barehanded) is named Ember. And Ember Moon is a known D&D player.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Athena was initially supposed to be a baby face, but she rubbed fans the wrong way for being too cocky, so she became a heel. At Memphis Ladies Wrestling...
"I can be kinda spoiled at times, but for the most part I think I'm better than everyone else. I'm the best thing that has happened to every promotion I've been to! I love it when the fans go crazy for me".
  • Tag Team
    • The Hussy Busters with Davey Vega.
    • AK 47 with Kowgirl Kissey
    • Mission Inevitable with KC Warfield.
    • Monster Eclipse with Braun Strowman.
  • Tournament Arc
    • Defeated Jessicka Havok in the final match of the 2012 IWA Texas/Anarchy Championship Wrestling Queen Of Queens Tournament
    • Defeated Drew Gulak and Kimber Lee of the Campaign For A Better Combat Zone in the finals of WSU's 2013 Queen And King Of The Ring with AR Fox as her partner.
    • Entered the 2015 ACW Queen Of Queens tournament as the American Joshi Champion and successfully defended her belt in every round, defeating Angel Blue in the final match.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Athena's new company, Queens Of Wrestling, was supposed to go to war with Magnificent Ladies Of Wrestling, but this was overshadowed by the news Athena signed to WWE, and all traces of QOW vanished from the internet.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • As if being Tully's daughter wasn't enough, Tessa Blanchard was firmly established as one to watch in SHIMMER after she made a point of humiliating Athena, even after Athena got her revenge.
    • When Allysin Kay took charge of Valkyrie and tried to rebuild its reputation, she singled out three wrestlers in particular for destruction, gunning for Athena personally. Athena put up a pretty good fight, but Kay never intended to give her a fair chance at winning.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Jazz doesn't seem too found of Athena, but she saw potential in her and decided to give her further training alongside Rodney Mack, then put that training to the test.
    • MsChif may have made a point of seeking out matches with Athena and stretching Athena past her breaking point, but it was MsChif's way of helping her improve and sometimes Athena showed gratitude. She called Athena the most athletic woman she knew and put in a good word in for her in both SHIMMER and Shine, while selecting her as a third tag team partner with Christina Von Eerie in All American Wrestling.
    • Athena turned back a challenge from rising star Jordynne Grace and, after a single loss at MPX, beat Paige Turner all over the state of Texas. But then took both under her wing before turning them loose due to WWE.
    • She acknowledged Liv Morgan and Aliyah as such when she wrestled them in friendly matches.
    • Conversely, Asuka acknowledged her as this upon moving up to the main roster and re-solidifying herself as a face.
  • You Go, Girl!
    • Athena tends to seek out matches with men. In Anarchy Championship Wrestling she forced men to seek out matches with her after winning the televised title belt in a three way dance involving Davey Vega and Shawn Vexx, though before the men came she had to turn back a challenge from Shojo Machiko. Then another from Claudia Del Solis after she ran out of credible male challengers(having burnt through them rapidly in more multi person matches) and ultimately lost the belt to Barbi Hayden.
    • She defeated Lois Lyndon at Absolute Intense Wrestling's 2014 Battle Of The Sexes.

Alternative Title(s): Athena Wrestler