Former NXT Women's Champion Ember Moon made her surprise return to the Black and Gold Brand on Sunday night at NXT TakeOver 31, revealing she was the mystery motorcycle rider who had been featured in vignettes in the weeks leading up to the show. Prior to Sunday Moon was a member of the Friday Night SmackDown roster but had been out of action since late 2019 after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon during a 24/7 Championship segment. At one point she was worried about just how long it would take to recover from the injury, telling ComicBook in July that making it back in less than two years would be considered "a victory."
Triple H revealed in the post-show media conference call that the decision to move Moon back to NXT had been in the works well before her injury.
"It was hard not for her to be smiling, so excited to be here, so excited to be back and ready to do the thing that she loves to do. I asked her who she was looking forward to working with the most and she gave me about a 12-person list. It just speaks to the division and how strong it is and why people want to be a part of it because the competition is the best and it makes everyone rise to a higher occasion," Triple H said (h/t Fightful for transcript).
"As far as the timing of her return, the timing was based on when she was available to return. We had been talking about her coming back here for a while, probably since she was injured, maybe even before that. The timing was just here. She just got cleared. She's healthy. The door was open for her."
Moon returned moments after former NXT UK Champion Toni Storm appeared on the screen, alerting NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai that she's coming to the brand to chase for her championship. Between Storm, Moon, former champion Rhea Ripley and contenders Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai and Shotzi Blackheat, the race for Shirai's next challenger is becoming increasingly more crowded.
Check out the full results from NXT TakeOver 31 below:
- NXT Championship: Finn Balor def. Kyle O'Reilly
- NXT Women's Championship: Io Shirai def. Candice LeRae
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar def. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott
- Kushida def. Velveteen Dream
- NXT North American Championship: Damian Priest def. Johnny Gargano