ROH Women’s Champion Athena on whether she’s in the midst of the best fun of her career, her trust in Tony Khan, what Mercedes Mone brings to AEW

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Good Karma Wrestling with guest Athena
Hosts: ESPN Chicago’s Jonathan Hood, ESPN Milwaukee’s Gabe Neitzel, and ESPN West Palm’s Brian Rowitz
Twitter: @GKW_Wrestling

Athena on whether she is in the midst of the best run of her career? “I am, a lot of that, well, a good chunk of that is due to Tony Khan having faith in me and trusting me with some of these storylines, having faith in me with me as a character, as a Minion overlord. And, you know, it’s something that turned into something really special. And then it turned into MIT with Billy, and that turned into something special. And I think like we have, me and Tony have such an amazing collaboration when it comes to everything with Ring of Honor, everything that I have my hands on as well.

And I really think because of Tony, this has taken off. This is the platform that I needed at the time. This is the faith that I needed to go in the ring and just show the world what I can do. And without Tony, none of this would be possible. But just he allowed me to be me, right? Like when I was in WWE, like I was a highflier and I could do all of that. I’m not taking any of that away. But before I was a technician, I did a little bit of high flying, just a smidge of high flying here and there. But I was mostly a technician and a striker, you know, and I’m getting back to that, which I absolutely love. Like I love beating the tar out of people and kicking women in the face. It’s amazing, you know, finding new, innovative, ways to do that. But being able to have a platform with no restrictions is awesome for me.”

On her trust in Tony Khan: “So it actually was like one of those things, Mercedes Martinez was my opponent for the pay-per-view. The pay-per-view was in my hometown. And honestly, I had no clue that I was winning until like maybe 40 minutes before the show started. Tony brought me into his office and he goes ‘alright champ.’ I go ‘what?’ and he goes ‘alright champ, lets f— go.’ And I was like ‘oh’, he’s like ‘yeah, you’re winning tonight.’ And I was like ‘wow.’

“Like, you know, like it was really cool cause my parents were in the crowd, like, a whole bunch of my friends were there, my husbands there. It was a really cool moment that was very much so unexpected. Walking through the door and you know, it just kind of took off from there. He’s like, “what do you want to do next? What do you want to do here?”

“You know, fast forward to him having that trust with me and Willow. I’ll have ideas, like, for example, like Minion Graduation was my idea, and Tony made it larger that life….. We have this amazing team now that helps build this up to make it larger than life. So, like that trust that he has in me, I also have in him. But I think that’s why this works so well and just is really just skyrocketed.”

Whether she will she appear on AEW TV in 2024: “You’re going to wait and find out. I think it’s very likely. It’s something that Tony and I have talked about. I won’t go into detail, but it is something that is happening. It’s something that we’ve been talking about for almost 8 months now, just waiting for the right time, the right moment. But that moment’s coming very soon. That’s all I can say about that.”

What Mercedes Mone adds to the AEW roster: “She adds star power. She adds confidence, right? Like I think for so long, like we as a women’s division, especially in AEW, we’re having these great matches and we had stars, right? But we were trying to breach the ceiling of star power and I think Mercedes Mone brings that to the table. From her being in The Mandalorian to her being a multi-time world champion to like just the charisma and aura that she brings into every moment that she’s on TV.

“I really feel like that is what’s going to set this women’s division over the edge in AEW on top of that, like, it’s not that she’s doing it by herself. She’s bringing these women up with her, right? Like your Willow, Kris Statlander, Julia, Skye Blue, right? They’re all in the same scene as her. And I think that’s really cool that we’re doing that. Now, with that being said, your Minion Overlord is just tiers above her. Tiers above her, like she’s doing great over there, we’re doing the Minion Overloads work over here.”

Other topics include her pride in Billie Starkz, stories she tells want to tell, and more.


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