AEW has a special skill in turning real-life situations into intriguing storylines on screen. One such example is the recent idea that Athena, formerly known as Ember Moon, is working too stiff in the ring. That rumor became an angle where the former babyface is no longer playing “nice” with her opponents in the ring, instead beating them down any way she deems fit. That’s led to her capturing the Ring of Honor Women’s Championship and is one of the best angles in the promotion today.
December 10 was filled with excellent wrestling action from both WWE and AEW. One of those matches that stood out was the contest between Athena and Mercedes Martinez at Ring of Honor Final Battle. The two ladies worked a stiff affair that saw Athena pick up the win after nearly 15 minutes. On one hand, it’s unfortunate that Martinez was unable to get the same level of feature on AEW television due to an injury, but this was the right direction to take to build the future of the division around Athena.
Questions are still surging around what is next for Ring of Honor. Tony Khan announced the relaunch of Honor Club with a potential television deal coming in 2023. Honor Club comes with a 10-dollar entry price and the challenge comes with finding ways to keep fans invested with their time and their money. A part of the solution requires putting the titles on attractions that fans want to see, and Athena is one that fills that void for the women’s division.
This character turn for Athena is the best direction she’s seen during her run with AEW and her time with WWE. As a babyface, she was never given the opportunity to run as the central figure of the division. Even her title run as NXT Women’s Champion was in the shadow of the massive run that Asuka put together before heading to the main roster. Her NXT tag team run alongside Shotzi Blackheart didn’t click with fans either, as that division was marred by lackluster booking. Athena with the ROH championship is an opportunity to really show what she can do with the spotlight on her shoulders.
There was a lot to enjoy across professional wrestling last weekend. One of the biggest moments saw Athena capture another singles title for her resume. This run as Ring of Honor Women’s Champion should be a fun one from start to finish.