Willow Nightingale Addresses Controversy From Bloody Street Fight

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Willow Nightingale opens up about her recent street fight.

AEW is not one to shy away from bloody battles, whether it’s on their weekly programs or in marquee pay-per-view matches. On the January 13 episode of AEW Rampage, Ruby Soho and Willow Nightingale beat Tay Melo and Anna Jay in a bloody street fight that drew criticism on social media.

In particular, viewers were critical of how much Soho bled, while Jay suffered a nasty bump during a table spot that didn’t go as planned. Nightingale recently appeared on The Sessions with Renee Paquette to provide her thoughts on the bout she was part of.

“The toughest part for me, is that I like to uphold my work and what I do in a wrestling ring to a certain standard. That includes the way I execute moves, the safety of my opponents, and generally if I feel like it clicked, like did it flow well, did it feel right? At the end of the match, I definitely knew that it was something very special. Obviously, Ruby was bleeding like crazy. I looked over at her and was like, ‘You look awesome,’ right in the middle of the match. I am like, ‘What a badass.’ Then, the table spot with Anna. That has been a big thing. Before getting anybody’s response to it, it was a thing where, when I walked back through the curtain, I was immediately like, ‘Where is Anna? Is she okay?’ She was like, ‘I’m fine. I’m going to the doctor right now, they have to check me out, but I’m okay.’ ‘Are you sure?’ Checking in with everyone else, talking to our producer and they take us back and stuff.

Nightingale noted that she was “very emotional” because she was worried about the people she shared the ring with and felt that she didn’t uphold elements that she expected from herself as a performer. On top of that, she had two days of anxiety while waiting for the world to see the match as it aired on Friday after being pre-taped on Wednesday. She added, “You have to wait two more days to wait and see how everybody reacts, and it’s gut wrenching.. ‘What’s the response?’ That’s a different nerve.”

When it came to the criticism that followed, Nightingale expressed that they were all excited to be given the opportunity. Melo and Jay had a similar bloody street fight on Rampage at the end of 2021, and now they had another chance to have fun with it. However, there were limits.

“There are limits on how grotesque it’s allowed to be. I can only speak from my experience, I don’t know if this is the case with other matches, other tag matches, men’s wrestling, I don’t know what those conversations are like. I only know the conversation we had. For us, it was one person from each team was allowed to bleed. We all wanted to get our hands dirty and do crazy stuff, but it was ‘we can’t go overboard.’ ‘Okay, understood.’ We didn’t have to worry about it because Ruby bled enough for everybody.”

Nightingale shared that she held Soho’s hand after the bout while she was stitched up and received injections. They both thought Soho’s bloody display looked awesome despite the double standard conversation.

“I think if people are getting their panties in their bunch about it, that’s the least of your concern,” she said. “We bleed every single month, nobody talks about that. I’m sure if that had happened, people would make a big deal about that. If someone were to bleed through their gear. We bleed the same as men do. We take the same bumps, we’re at the same risk as they are. I don’t understand why there has to be a double standard about physically seeing blood.”

RELATED: Willow Nightingale Explains Origins Of Her Ring Name, Reflects On Being WOW’s Eye Candy

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