Eight days before ROH’s Death Before Dishonor and there are still a lot of unknowns. On last week’s episode, Mark Briscoe vs. Claudio Castagnoli was announced to be the main event of the pay-per-view, even with very little build.
On Thursday night, Tony Khan announced that Mark Briscoe was injured and he is not cleared to compete at the pay-per-view. Castagnoli is preparing for both AEW’s Blood & Guts match and Death Before Dishonor. His challenger will be announced next week.
Fightful Select reports that Briscoe has a knee injury that will likely result in surgery. It’s a huge blow to ROH, especially when the last few shows have been struggling to keep their previous momentum. Castagnoli isn’t on ROH programming often as he was in Japan during the last ROH tapings in Orlando and has been more involved in AEW. His former contender, Eddie Kingston was out due to surgery and is now in Japan competing in the G1 Climax tournament.
Briscoe was very likely going to win the ROH World Championship and that’s why it was given a main event spot with little build. They likely wanted to send fans home happy with the feel-good moment of Briscoe being the face of the company. It would’ve been great for everyone, however, Athena should be the one to main event Death Before Dishonor. It should’ve been her spot to begin with and it should absolutely be her spot now.
Athena is the true star of ROH
On Thursday, Athena won her 30th consecutive ROH-sanctioned match. She is on a streak like no one else right now. It is Athena who is the true star of ROH. She is heavily featured nearly every week. Even when she isn’t wrestling, she’s usually in a backstage segment, moving her story forward. She is the most consistent performer in the company and is the champion that’s most featured.
The ROH Women’s Champion is doing some of her best work to date. After a lackluster run in AEW (through no fault of her own), she found her momentum as a heel. Following her brutal match with Jody Threat on Dark last year, she has been on an absolute tear, in and out of the ring. Her promo work is fantastic.
She is a workhorse, whether it’s defending her title or making women prove their worthiness in Proving Ground matches. She has main evented ROH four times and had some matches go 15 minutes. No other champion — save for maybe Orange Cassidy — is doing what Athena is doing in ROH or AEW.
Athena is the best women’s champion in the world right now and it’s time that people start paying attention. She has earned the position of headlining a pay-per-view. That’s something that not even AEW has done (while WWE and IMPACT have done it). Athena should go in the record books as the first.