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The following is an interview transcription from PWTorch Contributor, Brian Zilem, and the new ROH Women’s World Champion, Athena. It was conduct in the post ROH Final Battle 2022 media scrum.
Hi, Athena. Great job tonight. Congrats on the championship. This is Brian Zilem from PWTorch.
You’re pretty familiar with winning championships in the state of Texas. What does it mean to you to not only win in your hometown at ROH Final Battle 2022, but to be the first black female women’s world champion?
Athena: It’s really cool. I think when I was driving to the building today, it was pretty surreal because I actually to live at that dormitory right across the street and very weird because this wasn’t here. This was like an empty parking lot where I got parking tickets all the time, I think. And it’s just really cool to just kind of know that I made the right decision because I actually ended up dropping out of college to become a pro wrestler. So coming to this venue, to this arena at UTA Mavericks, and just being here, not only in front of my parents, in front of that hometown crowd, doing what I do best, calling my shot and winning the ROH Women’s Championship, like, no greater feeling right now.
AEW in general, has been so vocal about representation. I know you had mentioned earlier, nobody can be you because you’re you. But what does it mean to you that you have the opportunity to reflect who you are to maybe a little girl, a little boy that might be of a different color or different race, gender, and they may want to pursue being a professional wrestler.
Athena: I think representation is key. Just in general, it doesn’t matter what your ethnicity is. It doesn’t matter how old you are just having a representation. I’m going to make a terrible analogy because I didn’t have this as a kid. I watched up and watched Craig of the Creek one morning with my niece, and one of the coolest things was, like, her seeing someone, a person of color, just like her, having fun with everyone else. I’m not a big person about promoting race or anything like that because I feel like our ability and what we do in the ring speaks for ourselves. We just happen to be that ethnicity. We just happen to be that race. Though I will be a flag bearer for the African American community, I have no problem with that. I’m black girl magic. I am that nerd girl, that goth girl. I am everything everyone can’t be. But at the end of the day, it does mean a lot to stand up for people that don’t have a voice, whether it be children that are bullied, because I cannot stand that, even though I’m a little bit of a bully of myself. But just to stand up for people that can’t speak for themselves, that means the world to me. And that’s something that I heavily promote on all of my platforms.
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