This week on “Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia,” Lilian sits down with WWE Superstar Ember Moon.
This episode dives into Ember’s WWE journey from her NXT beginning, until her debut on Monday Night Raw, the day after Wrestlemania 34. Ember also emotionally discusses growing up as a bullied child, how she was able to overcome those negative experiences, and how she was introduced to pro wrestling as a form of coping. Ember opens up and reveals something she has never talked about before that stemmed from the years of being bullied, and why it’s important for her to be actively involved in the Be A Star movement.
Moon also talks about her experience of training with Skandar Akbar and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T, all while keeping it a tight-lipped secret from her parents. Hear about Ember’s time in the independent scene while consistently getting turned down by the WWE, along with her dealings with TNA. All this and so much more in Ember’s first exclusive podcast interview since signing with WWE.
Making her debut on RAW: (17:28 – 18:22)
“We were the first match. I was introduced by one of my close friends, Nia and it was amazing. I think it’s one of the few times that I‘ve just taken a step outside myself and just enjoyed something in the moment and not thought about, ‘Okay, I’m gonna have to go down there, I’m going to do this to this girl, I know her weaknesses, I know this.’ My music hit and little kid in me was just jumping up for joy, teenage me that went through so much in middle school and high school. It was so amazing and to just know my grandfather who had always pushed me into following this dream when I had gotten older. It was great, it was like a sense of accomplishment, but never ever have I just sat there and just revelled in it for a moment.”
Being bullied as a kid: (21:44 – 23:00)
“I tell people this all the time, I was maliciously bullied as a kid, which I why I’m such a huge advocate of Be a STAR and I try to do as many as possible. I was bullied for being too small, growing up on the wrong side of town, liking video games, liking chess, everything that seems to be so cool now and seems to be accepted by the world-which I’m super ecstatic that it is, that’s what I was bullied for. There were only so many schools in the district once we all go to middle school which is grades 6th through 8 in Texas and when I got there, the kids from the bad part of town came too. I grew up in the suburbs and I never really had interaction with that part of town, never really went there, never had that interaction and vice versa. I remember the first day of school, I got into a fight with this girl because I wouldn’t scoot my chair up so she could pass by. Vice versa, they had never experienced people from my side of town. So when you have this merger of different parts of the world coming together, obviously there’s going to be a little chaos.”
Having suicidal thoughts and how WWE got her through bullying: (30:02 – 30:42)
“I don’t think I ever would have gone through with it, but I was like, ‘Man, if I just wasn’t here, life would be better’. God, I’ve never told anyone that. Like I said, I’m a big advocate of Be a STAR and this is for that reason because without WWE/WWF at that time, I don’t know if I would have been able to endure that going through high school. I became such a big fan of WWE.”
Her grandfather’s support of her wrestling dreams and his passing: (38:47 – 40:21)
“I remember watching Monday Night Raw, girl’s match came on. I had kind of been told he was fading, but I didn’t quite comprehend what was going on. We were watching and I was just being crazy, fangirl me, and I remember him turning to me and saying, ‘You really love this, don’t you?’ and I go ‘Yeah!’ and he goes, ‘You really want to do this, don’t you?’ I go, ‘Man I’d love to do this, but nah, I won’t be able to do it.’ and he’s like, ‘Don’t let anyone take that away from you. I can see you up there one day. You don’t listen to anyone else. If thats what makes you happy, you do that.’
“A couple of weeks later, he passed away. That was the last time I saw him. He kind of talked me into it and for a year after that, I was angry. I was so bitter and it reminded me of being bullied because I didn’t have that light. I love my grandma don’t get me wrong, I went and spent tons of time with her, but there was just something missing. I stopped watching wrestling because he loved it so much, I felt like I couldn’t be happy without him.”
Revealing her secret wrestling career to her mom before her surgery: (49:44 – 50:31)
“I remember my mom had a tumor that may have been cancerous in her ovaries and this is how I actually told them. They cut this from the documentary, so you can see how terrified I was to actually tell my parents. So they had just put the anesthesia in, give it a good 5 minutes, they said, ‘Hey, remember before they go under, you got a good 5 minute window where they won’t remember a thing when they wake up,’ and I was like, ‘Mom, for the past 8 months I’ve been wrestling. I love you so much. It was my dream and I had to do it, but I had to tell you just in case this goes wrong,’ Boom, she’s out. Told my mom!”
Her reaction to not making her third WWE tryout: (01:02:40 – 01:03:37)
“I got the news that they weren’t going to hire me the third time right before school started, and I just took that semester off because I was just bummed out. I remember getting that phone call and they said, ‘It’s a no.’ I said, ‘Is there anything I did wrong?’ ‘Nah, it’s just a no.’ and beforehand when I’ve gone to FCW, they were like, ‘Oh, you just don’t have a Diva look, you’re not a Diva. Yeah you’re cute, but look at them, look at you.’ It was a different time period and those girls were drop dead gorgeous, but at the same time I’m like, ‘Man if I would have gotten hired then, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, I wouldn’t be the athlete and the entertainer that I am today,’ because once WWE gave me that third no, I basically was like, ‘Screw you, I’m going to go make a name for myself on the Indies and I’m going to make you take me. I’m going to make you want me.’”
Her advice on being different and self-acceptance. (01:12:54 – 01:13:31)
“I’m not afraid to be Ember Moon, I’m not afraid to be Adrienne anymore, I’m not afraid to be Athena, I’m me and I’m finally so happy to be able to say that. If anyone feels that way, just know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and there is a light for you and it might not be the same as everyone else. I hated being different, but being different is what made me who I am today and I’ve embraced that. Now I even try not to follow the status quo. I don’t try to be like everyone else.”
Listen to the full episode on LilianGarcia.com and on YouTube.