Athena thanks Tony Khan for chance to headline ROH PPV, says her goal is to create spots in ring that turn into GIFs, grateful for being in Wrestler of Year conversation

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

Athena (photo credit AEW)


Athena, previously known as Ember Moon in WWE, is receiving a ton of acclaim for her work off a lot of wrestling fans’ radars in ROH. This past Friday, she headlined the ROH Final Battle PPV against Billy Starkz, retaining her ROH Women’s Title. PWTorch’s Brian Zilem asked her at the post-event media Q&A how she feels about being in the Wrestler of the Year conversation.

“Texas born and raised here, I should be used to it, but it means the world to me that that is the conversation,” she said. “It’s not like, ‘Hey, she’s the best female wrestler. No, she’s the best wrestler this year.’ And that is what this is all about. Every time any of these men and women step into the ring, it’s about equality. It’s about the art of what we do. We make art out of war, and we entertain you in the process. We take years off of our lives to do this because we love this so much. We sleep this, we eat this. I can’t tell you how many times I have texted TK at 02:00 a.m. Be like, ‘Hey, man, sorry about this. This is the idea.’ And he’s like, ‘Let’s fucking go.’

“And it’s awesome to have that, to have that collaboration not only with TK, with the women in the locker room, because it doesn’t take just me to build up this roster Layla, Hirsch Willow Nightingale, Kiara Hogan, so many countless others – Yukasakazaki, Emi, Sakura like, there are so many women that made this possible, that trusted me. Sky Blue as well that little hussy Spooky Sky. There are so many women across the board and I know I’m missing out on a few that helped me on this journey as I have helped them and it’s a collaboration and we love this.

“And just to be considered like, hey, you had the top Match of the Year and it’s not a conversation to be a man, woman, African-American. It’s just, ‘It was f—ing good.’ That’s what it’s all about, that.”

She talked about her goal being to incorporate spots in her matches that will go viral and generate buzz in part motivated by the idea that male wrestlers are typically the ones renowned for those types of moves. “I felt like there was a massive double-standard when it came to men and women in pro wrestling,” she said. “The guys can hit hard, do crazy situations, jump off balconies. And I just wanted to be in that conversation. When I say that, I go in there every day and I’m like, ‘What can I do? What’s the next thing? How can I destroy this broad that I’m in the ring with? What’s going to get the gifs, whatever you want to call them? That’s what I do day in and day out, to put not only myself on the map, but Ring of Honor on the map.”

She thanked Tony Khan for positioning her in the main event of two ROH events. “I take a lot of pride in being the Ring of Honor Women’s World Champion,” she said. “Not only that, I am the first woman under Tony’s banner here to main event two, like, which means the world to me that he trusted me and trusted me to deliver, especially with so many talented people on the card. It means the world to me that people are just finally realizing we are wrestlers. We go out there, we take the same falls, we do the same chaos, and this fly is murdering me.”

RECOMMENDED NEXT: ROH FINAL BATTLE PPV ON-SITE REPORT (12/15): Zilem’s in-person details on FTR & Briscoe vs. Moxley & Castagnoli & Danielson, Ethan vs. Nese, Vikingo vs. Taurus, Athena vs. Starkz

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: McGuire’s Mondays: Five things that dominated the year in pro wrestling

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