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Ember Moon on WWE departure: 'I wasn't having fun anymore'

The 33-year-old was released from the company on November 4, 2021

Athena (FKA Ember Moon) has opened up about her final months in WWE. 

During an interview with Chris Van Vliet, she detailed her frustrations with the company beginning with when her former tag team partner, Shotzi Blackheart, was moved to Smackdown. 

"My last four months was just one of those moments that I wasn't having fun anymore. It started with Shotzi being gone and Shotzi being drafted," Athena says in the clip. "I was sitting at home and I got a phone call saying, 'Hey, we don't want you to be upset but Shotzi just got moved to Smackdown and she is debuting with Tegan Nox as a tag team.'"

"I was like, 'But we're the tag team and we have merch and we're doing fun things and we had just finally gotten into our groove.'" 

She continued to say that she spoke to Triple H shortly after and he expressed that he wasn't sure what was happening. She also mentioned that members of the writing team told her they had no idea her and Shotzi had been a team in NXT. 

The decision was then made that she would turn heel.

"I was like, 'Hey, let me go on a losing streak, let me get super frustrated, and let me turn," she continued. 

"Then the first match happens and then I'm off TV for four weeks."

The planned heel turn kept getting pushed back after Triple H took leave following his cardiac event last September. 

"Then Hunter disappeared. I was supposed to do a match with Sarray and I ended up getting a rash on my arm. I had an allergic reaction to something that they thought was something else, so they pulled me from the match."

She was then asked to turn heel in a 205 Live match against Cora Jade. 

"They go, 'You're turning in this match but we want to make it subtle.' So, they kind of turn me but they don't. Then there was a lot of confusion on what was supposed to happen."

"I was like, 'I don't know if I turned heel or not.' Then [I'm] off TV for three weeks and I have the match with Mandy and they're like, 'We're finally pulling the trigger on this.' I get a note that week saying, 'Hey, in two weeks, we need you to dye your hair fire colored again, we need you to get the red contacts, you're going back to the old Ember Moon character. This is per Vince [McMahon]. You're going to turn heel but you're going to turn heel as your old character.'"

Two weeks later, Athena had shot a video for her return when she was told that she would not be returning to TV. 

"I get the video ready, I'm ready to show everyone after TVs and they're like, 'Hey, we have some bad news. Vince is pulling you off TV indefinitely.' I just kind of sat there and was like, 'What did I do wrong?'"

She then got emotional talking about her frustration at the time. 

"When you care about something and you care about this business so much more, not just for yourself but for everyone involved, it hurts so much more," she continued. 

Athena then mentioned there had been a meeting about talent dressing sexier and looking more like Mandy Rose as well. The accumulation of frustrations led to her wanting to quit. 

"On some level, I knew that I was leaving," she continued. "I had already gone and bought an extra bag and kept it in the locker room so I could pack all my stuff and leave. It had been there for like a month."