willow nightingale

Willow Nightingale Hopes The Third Time Is The Charm At AEW Dynasty

Willow Nightingale hopes luck is on her side at AEW Dynasty.

WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard spoke with Willow Nightingale ahead of her TBS Championship match against Julia Hart at AEW Dynasty. Not only will the winner leave Dynasty as champion, but she also has Mercedes Moné waiting in the wings at AEW Double Or Nothing.

Willow spoke about her mindset going into the match with Hart, noting how it would be foolish of her to overlook her opponent at all.

“I just have to prove that I’m deserving”

“She won the championship off of an amazing champion in Kris Statlander. And while she never did pin her specifically, I think that is truly a testament to the start of her reign. And for someone who is so young both in their career and really in their life. She, I feel like has so much figured out and has made so many things click for herself,” Willow explained. “Every time I faced her in the past, I have not been fortunate, I have not been successful. So it’s hard to even really try to think forward to Mercedes [Moné] as a possibility. Because, Julia is, for such a small person, a very big roadblock in the way first. So obviously, my mind is set on Sunday. And trying to get through that.

“But, Mercedes is there. She is on every episode of TV that I am there, she is also there hovering over our shoulder to remind us like, ‘Hey, I’m here and I’m very instantly a big deal.’ And I think anyone in the locker room would be fortunate to be able to put themself against such a measuring stick the moment she got here,” she continued. “To be the first person to kind of challenge yourself against her would be an honor. But also for me it’s a little bit more personal than that to get that opportunity. And I think I’m deserving of it. I just have to prove that I’m deserving of that this Sunday.”

Willow Nightingale on Julia Hart

Willow has had two singles matches with Julia Hart thus far, with Dynasty marking the third encounter. She was asked if she wanted to give credit to Hart for being able to best her in the previous meetings. Willow says it’s very easy to be overconfident, but she doesn’t want to overlook anything Hart throws at her.

“Yeah I do. Because, Julia is — I believe I mentioned earlier — is somebody who is… does not have nearly as much experience as I do in the ring. And I think it’s very easy to walk into a match and think, ‘I know what I’m doing. I got this.’ And maybe even be a little overconfident in your abilities, in your game plan, and kind of have that backfire. And then when you’re kind of tripped up, you don’t really know where to go, and I believe that’s called hubris,” Willow said. “So, there’s sometimes a little bit of that. And while I don’t consider myself a particularly prideful person to a fault… I’m human. And I’ve succumbed to things like that.

“I’ve also been affected by her mist before. And haven’t fully been myself since the first time we wrestled. Where I am now? I am very confident of who I am, unaffected by any sort of supernatural phenomenon. And much more experienced in what Julia Hart brings to the table. And as they say, hopefully, third time can be the charm. Right?”  

Despite focusing on Sunday’s match, Mercedes Moné‘s presence still looms large. Moné has a guaranteed title shot at Double Or Nothing, and she’s made it clear it’s all about the title. Willow sees that, but she also wants to remind people that she’s a totally different person than their first encounter, more than just a “representative” of AEW.

A chip on my shoulder

“[Mercedes] has made it very apparent that no matter what is going on, whoever is the winner, whoever’s even a little bit linked to the TBS title. She’s out for it. She’s been hovering over my shoulder, she’s been hovering over Julia’s shoulder. But there’s also this sense for me, personally where she’s kind of been a chip on my shoulder this whole past year,” Willow explained.

“When I walked into Resurgence last year and I entered that tournament, I was just kind of… I was the AEW representative. But I don’t think a lot of people put their stock into me and believing like, ‘This girl is something.’ I don’t think I had that impact until after that. And then I went on to go to Tokyo and wrestle Julia, and I went to win the Owen Hart tournament, and I went to have that Main Event Match with Athena at Death Before Dishonor.

“And I think in wrestling her a year ago, it really did shift the way that people perceived me. It shifted the way I had to carry myself as a wrestler that point moving forward. All the while having this chip on my shoulder of like, ‘Well, would any of this even happened if she ever happened if she never got injured?’ So her coming up and while being physically in my face now, is a little bit different. It’s something that I’ve kind of been juggling internally for a whole year at this point. So, same business as always. Just got to keep my nose to the ground, do the work and just take it one step at a time.”

Willow Nightingale challenges Julia Hart for the TBS Championship at AEW Dynasty on Sunday, April 21. Check out our full interview with Willow Nightingale below: