Since joining WWE's main roster after WrestleMania 34 in April, Ember Moon is quickly proving her worth.
"That weekend was such a blur, because it was coming off Mania Week," Moon said, "but I remember being pulled into a room with [WWE executive vice president of talent, live events and creative] Triple H, [WWE assistant aead coach/NXT producer] Sara Amato and [WWE head coach] Matt Bloom, and I thought I was in trouble for some reason. Oh no."
"I don't ever do anything wrong," she continued, "but I'm like, 'Oh God. I did something wrong. What is it?' Like it's a kid stealing a cookie and getting caught. They were like, 'We just want to thank you for the awesome match at TakeOver [New Orleans]. Thank you so much for everything you've done for NXT. You're going to Monday Night Raw.'
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"I was like, 'What? Hold on. Hold on,' and I remember I broke down, and I started crying, and a camera came out of nowhere, and it was in my face, and I was like, [sounding emotional], 'Why do you guys have to ruin everything with cameras.' [chuckles]. That's the first words I said, after finding out I'm on Monday Night Raw."
Emotions could take over again this weekend as the sky is the limit for this fast-rising Moon, a WWE Raw Superstar who can inch closer to fulfilling a women's title goal on Sunday.
If she can climb the ladder and grab the briefcase in the women's Money in the Bank ladder match from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, she'll be one step away from gold at any show, at any moment.
That's one small step for woman, one giant leap for Moonkind.
"It's awesome," Moon said. "I get to be in a Money in the Bank ladder match. I get to prove to the world what I can do. I get to prove to the world that I am worthy of their admiration, that I am worthy of their love, that I represent skill, honor, heart. That I'm gonna climb to the top of that ladder, grab that briefcase, and I'm one step closer to becoming Raw women's champion."
Fitting that the big ladder matchup occurs in Chicago, because the Windy City already elicits some fond memories for Moon.
"I kind of got known on the map on the independent circuit with Shimmer women's wrestling there," said Moon, formerly Athena on the indies. "Of course, there are a ton of memories there... You have to take a step back and remember, '[Wow], I did go there, like twice a year with the best women's wrestlers from around the world."
Moon, 29, who made her pro wrestling debut in 2007, wrestled for the first time for Shimmer in 2010.
She continued: "To see how far I've come. To take just a moment to look back, it's like, 'Woo, all that happened.'"
To hear Moon discuss that and more, click below.
This special stipulation match at Money in the Bank features a Who's Who of talent from Raw and SmackDown. You have Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Alexa Bliss, Naomi, Sasha Banks, Lana, Becky Lynch and Moon.
"They've all accomplished something so great," Moon noted, "and they've paved the way for me to even be here and be in this match. Every credit is to them ... but ... but I rise to every challenge, and I'm not intimidated by their accolades. I'm looking toward the future, and I'm looking forward to cashing in at Money in the Bank."
Originally from Garland, Texas, near Dallas, Moon now resides in Orlando — near where she learned the WWE way at the WWE Performance Center. She signed with WWE in 2015
"When I first got to NXT, I thought that's only the beginning," Moon said. "Now that that chapter has ended, I can say my career at Raw is only the beginning. I keep realizing that the sky's the limit, like constantly, over and over and over again...As long as I work hard and put in the effort, there will continue to be no limits for me."
To hear Moon discuss her wrestling journey, getting called to the main roster, playing Ember Moon vs. Stephanie McMahon in the WWE 2K18 video game, Dungeons & Dragons, UpUpDownDown with WWE Superstar Xavier Woods, cosplay, and more, click below.
Moon loves cosplayer almost as much as Woods, and she is really into Dungeons & Dragons. Speaking of Woods, he runs and hosts the gaming channel UpUpDownDown, which has featured Moon several times. The pair has something special planned. Keep an eye out for it.
WWE Money in the Bank
WWE Money in the Bank will be streamed live around the world on WWE Network.
Bell time is 7 p.m. ET.
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Moon said: "I feel like they have a lot to prove. Ronda, who is a newcomer to WWE, but who is considered the baddest woman on the planet, she paved the way for so many women in UFC. Now she's here in WWE to make a statement. Of course she has something to prove.
"And Nia Jax has something even bigger to prove. She has to prove that she can beat Ronda Rousey, and I think that's gonna be a massive challenge for her. I worked with Ronda on the UK Tour. I've seen her train, and I guarantee you she is gonna be a threat, and everyone is gonna be super shocked with what she can pull out of her pocket there."
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