Willow Nightingale

Leading with Humanity: An Interview with Willow Nightingale

Wrestling in a Tag Team

We’re finishing up Women’s Tag Team Appreciation Week at Bell to Belles, so I want to know: what does it mean to you to wrestle with Solo Darling and to be a part of what seen as a pioneering women’s tag team for today’s era?

“So, the way we became a tag team goes back to Beyond wrestling. We were wrestling for Women’s Wrestling Revolution, also run by Drew Cordeiro, and we had wrestled each other at a show. And we’re talking after the show, we’re trying to get some feedback, and Drew was like, ‘how would you two feel about teaming together?’ And we both look at each other because nobody ever really wants to be [thrown into a tag team], so we were like, “Yeah, that would be cool.” One, if you’re going to book us of course we’re not going to have a problem with it, and two, if I have to be in a tag team with anyone, I thought to myself, Solo’s pretty cool. We have similar energy, this could work. I learned after that she had very similar feelings. So then when we finally had that first show together where we wrestled as a tag, we always joke that it’s our first date, testing the waters. Does she like me? Does this go together? Do we have chemistry? Oh my god, we DO! Oh my gosh, she said yes to a second date, thank GOD!”

“I don’t think we intended for this to become such a huge act because, honestly, I get booked pretty regularly as a tag team performer. People know me as a member of The Bird and The Bee, not just from my singles work. So we’ve become best friends through that. I think that’s a key point of being a good tag team because it’s hard to mesh and really get your ideas all on the same page when you’re not connected in that sense.”

Like being in a band.

“Exactly! And when you’re constantly on the road with this person, when you’re constantly sharing ideas for what we’re gonna do on stage, you really do have to like that person, not just pretend you do. So I think it was beneficial for me as a human as well as a pro wrestler because I gained a lifelong very good friend from that.”

“[Also], we get to explore being a female tag team, which there are so few established on the indies. There was the Twisted Sisters with Holidead and Thunder Rosa, who are AMAZING together, separate they are two of the best wrestlers going right now. Thunder Rosa, I wrestled her in a singles match, and let me tell you, I feel like I got my ass beat. I was like, I need to work on my cardio, I need to stop eating carbs. She will make you work. She will pull out the best in you; every single ounce of energy you have she demands of you. She’s awesome. The Sea Stars [are another team], which are very good friends of mine, too.”

“When this whole AEW women’s tag team tournament happened, first of all, when AEW started, Solo and I were like how do we do this because they’re big on tag teams in general. Obviously, the foundation of the Young Bucks and constantly pushing and propelling tag team wrestling as a whole forward, we were like, we gotta get in on this, right? We’re doing the thing, we’re women, they need to build their women’s division.”

“So then when they announced the tournament, it was like, how do we do this? And then us looking at Twisted Sisters and Sea Stars, and we feel like we’re that Spider-Man meme where we are pointing at each other like, you feel the way we feel, right? But then it was like, oh well, it’s happening next week, and we haven’t heard from anyone, so this not happening.”

Happening next week, not happening on TV, and talked about on TV after it’s happened.

“At the end of the day, I want to see [the Deadly Draw] succeed, a part of it or not. That is huge for what I do in general, and if that’s elevated on that stage, it would be elevated where I am. It’s cool that, in a sense, they did get their own show and they have the time to put together their own matches. And even it being tucked away on YouTube, that’s cool because it’s accessible for everyone. But I DO wish there were more mention of it, especially on tag team appreciation night.

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