Athena main evented her first pay-per-view last night, and that meant the world to her.
Ring of Honor Women’s World Champion Athena took part in the Death Before Dishonor Media Scrum to answer a wide variety of questions. When asked about what’s next for her after main eventing a pay-per-view and defending her title against Willow Nightingale, Athena said tonight meant the world to her, and now it’s about who steps up next.
“I don’t know. I’m just very thrilled right now. It’s very hard for me to articulate things. I’m trying not to cry. I’m trying not to be a sad sap, but this meant the world to me,” Athena said. “I’ve never gotten to main event in my entire career on a pay-per-view. And when Tony approached me a couple of weeks ago about like, ‘Hey, we’re giving you the ball.’ It just meant so much to be given that opportunity because it felt like me and Willow earned something.
“Despite the fact that she gave me probably my best match in my career thus far, I still came out on top. As far as what’s next, the sky’s the limit. I’m looking for more women to step up in Ring of Honor. I’m looking for women in AEW to issue that challenge the forever Ring of Honor champion. I’m open to all challengers. It’s not a matter of what I do next. It’s a matter of who steps up next.”
When asked if she’s had a chance to put tonight into context and what it might mean for the industry going forward, Athena said representation is key, and she hopes that she’s inspired others to know they can do anything they set their minds to.
“I’ve said it before representation is key,” Athena began. “When I was starting out on the independent scene, I remember being the only African American woman on every show I was on, and they were like, ‘No, you’re that person. You’re our African American woman on this show.’ And it was just a niche thing. To see how much it’s blossomed. It’s not about race. It’s about your ability and your talent in the ring.
“It’s awesome to be given that platform, not only as an African American woman, as a woman, as a performer, and being able to deliver, that’s what matters. And everyone that’s looking at home, whether they’re Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, or Middle Eastern, I want everyone to take this opportunity and look and say, I can do it, and I can do anything I set my mind to.”
What do you make of Athena’s comments? How important do you think last night’s main event was between Athena and Willow Nightingale? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit the Death Before Dishonor Media Scrum with a link back to this article for the transcription.