Athena Beats Willow Nightingale, Retains Title In ROH Death Before Dishonor Main Event

ROH Women's World Champion Athena and Willow Nightingale made history Friday night by becoming the first pair of women to main event a Ring of Honor pay-per-view. 

While the back-and-forth contest presented Nightingale with plenty of opportunities to defeat Athena for the gold, it was the champion who eventually prevailed by locking in her cross face submission hold, forcing Nightingale to pass out with the referee calling for the bell. Earlier in the contest, Nightingale appeared to have the match won with her signature Babe with the Powerbomb maneuver, and seemed to doubt herself when Athena kicked out and got back on her feet. This led to Athena seizing the advantage with a brutal O-Face followed by a cross face, bringing an end to Nightingale's valiant effort. 


After the match, Athena raised Nightingale's hand to offer her respect, with the announcers acknowledging that they just made history by closing out a ROH pay-per-view event. Friday's contest was a rematch from their Women's Owen Hart Cup semifinal bout on the July 14 episode of "AEW Rampage," where Nightingale prevailed victorious by countering Athena's Wrath of the Goddess into a pinfall combination.


In the post-Death Before Dishonor media scrum, Athena admitted that she had yet to "really process" the feeling of main eventing a PPV, thanking the other women before her for laying the groundwork for her achievement. Athena would also praise Nightingale for being a worthy adversary, stating that they were "creating the standard for women" and "showing the world what we can do" when given the platform to shine.