Willow Nightingale is one of the most recent women to receive her All Elite official signing with AEW. It took place on the Oct. 21 episode of AEW Rampage after a victory over Leila Grey. After the match, Tony Schiavone entered the ring to announce that Nightingale was official with an All Elite graphic appearing on screen behind her.
Nightingale has worked with AEW since April 2021 by working regular AEW Dark matches at Daily’s Place. She explains in a new interview that she felt this was a full circle moment and also that prior to becoming All Elite she was on a pay-per-appearance.
While speaking with Grapsody, she had the following to say about her signing.
“I, obviously knew I had been signed at this point, I signed the contract that morning. They had emailed it to me and I was standing ringside when I did the signature on my phone. It was really fresh and very full circle for me. Daily’s Place, the majority of the time I spent there in the crowd because the audience was people who came in for extra work or other people who were on the roster who weren’t wrestling. We filled the crowd, made all the noise and supported each other, and were there for hours at a time. We were there until two in the morning sometimes recording the show. We would do this every two weeks. It felt like I was putting in so much energy and effort and, is there the recognition there that I wanted? Is the payoff there? I don’t know. Now, a year and some change later, I have signed a full-time contract to the company that I want to work for, in the building where I felt some of my lowest feelings about myself and my career, and it was very full circle. To have the crowd there to cheer for me and be super into it, it was very overwhelming. Yes, I did not see [the graphic] on the big screen. At one point, I turned around and was like, ‘Wow, that’s me!’ I was responding to all the people around me. Tony Schiavone, a legend of the industry, putting it all out there. I was overwhelmed with a flurry of different emotions. That was a really cool moment for me.” (Fightful)
Nightingale has most recently defeated Trish Adora at ROH Final Battle and has picked up wins against Marina Shafir and Anna Jay in AEW. She has also won tag team matches alongside former AEW Women’s World Champions Hikaru Shida and Riho. She has challenged Jade Cargill for the TBS Championship prior to becoming All Elite.
She continues, “I had a pay-per-appearance situation. I was with them in a capacity, in an official capacity even, but to me it didn’t really feel the same. I wasn’t on the roster page. I don’t think the fans really looked at me as part of the team. Here and there, depends on who you ask. I still felt a chip on my shoulder because even if I hadn’t gotten the All Elite graphic, it just didn’t feel like I was fully welcomed in yet. The women in the locker room were great and had been treating me kindly and everything, but it wasn’t the whole thing. When it all happened, I was like, ‘Ahh! Yes!.'”
You can watch the full interview below –