Episode 40 of ROH started out with ATHENA telling Billie Starkz that she expected her to be the weak link in their tag match last week. She told her minion that she could make things right by beating the brakes off of Marina Shafir.
Then, she called out World Champion, Eddie Kingston, with Lexy Nair backing her up at her request. Two weeks ago, “The Mad King” had some choice words for ROH champions. The women’s champion didn’t take kindly to his message.
“Eddie Kingston. I know you don’t come to my show very often and you haven’t been here for a while, but the next time I hear you talk about my show and me, as ROH’s Women’s World Champion and not carrying my weight, I’m going to backfist you back to the future.” She reminded him that she is the standard and the backbone of Honor Club and it’s time he put respect on what she’s done.
Following Starkz beating Shafir, ATHENA came to the ring with Nair for a Minion in Training graduation ceremony. She put over this minion for all their hard work and improvement before naming Nair as the valedictorian and gave her Minion Bestie, the highest honor. This sent the crowd and Minion #400,237 3/4 into a rage.
Starkz stepped to her Minion Overlord, who advised her to step back. The two left the ring and we’re posing on the ramp with Nair when Starkz threw ATHENA into the barricade. She pushed the champion again before grabbing her title. Instead of being angry, ATHENA laughed.
During a backstage segment, Tony Khan congratulated Nair on her accomplishment. Starkz walked up and demanded a title shot at Final Battle for the ROH Women’s Championship. Khan granted her the match.
This match should main event Final Battle. It’s the most compelling story in ROH and has been the focal point since August. The story has elevated Starkz to being a contender while ATHENA has continued to dominate ROH as both its champion and its star. Nair has been excellent in her role as well from supportive friend to Starkz to blossoming as MIT valedictorian.
Even if Starkz isn’t quite ready to be champion, she is well on her way. She is a star on the verge and is every bit the prodigy she’s billed as. Pairing her with ATHENA was a smart move and has really solidified her in her short time in ROH.
Final Battle is where ATHENA began her run as champion and comes 5 days after her one year reign began. This is the match that ROH fans have been waiting for and it deserves to headline the show.