ROH Women's Champ Athena Boasts About Dominant 2023, Sets Ambitious 2024 Goal

Arguably no woman has had a greater 2023 than ROH Women's World Champion Athena. Not only has she held that championship for over a year, after defeating Mercedes Martinez at Final Battle 2022, but she has defeated a long list of challengers to do so, including Skye Blue, Kiera Hogan, Martinez, and Willow Nightingale twice, including in the first-ever women's match to main event an ROH pay-per-view at Death Before Dishonor 2023. Surprisingly, however, Athena entered 2023 with a lot of uncertainty, as she revealed on "The Battleground Podcast." As such, the successful year has grown to be very significant for Athena, who saw it as returning to her roots as a performer from her early years.

"It's meant the world because I think for so long I was in a lot of self-doubt," Athena said. "Even after losing to Jade [Cargill], I was having a lot of self-doubt, like 'I don't know if I can do this anymore. I don't know if I'm as good as I think I am.' And then you see the comments 'Oh, Athena's so great. Athena this, Athena that.'"

"But then in your brain, you're just like 'I don't really feel it. I don't feel it.' And I think 2023, as a year for me, was saying 'Hey, let's just show the world what you can really do. Let's bring back everything that made you great, everything that got your foot in the door in WWE. Let's bring all of that back and make Athena who she was on the independent scene before WWE, before Ember Moon existed if you will.'"

Athena Wants To Be Women's Triple Crown Champion

While Athena has been conquering ROH, she's been scarcely seen in AEW, making only a handful of appearances on Zero Hour events, as well as participating in the Women's Owen Hart Cup, where she lost to Nightingale. Athena is looking to have more of a presence in AEW throughout the upcoming year, and wants to carry over her success from ROH into capturing AEW championships after she faces Billie Starkz in the Final Battle 2023 main event.

"2024 is looking even better for me right now because I'm sitting here with the Ring of Honor Women's World Championship around my waist," Athena said. "Not only am I about to beat the breaks off of Billie, I'm going to solidify that 'Hey, I am the best female wrestler, not only in this company but in the world, by the end of this year.' And I'm going to continue to do it next year. I'm going to take the AEW Women's World Championship, I'm going to take the TBS Championship."

"My goal by the end of 2024 is to be the forever Triple Crown Champion. Like, what else would you want ... when you look at all these women on the Ring of Honor brand, they go out and pour their heart and soul out into every match, hoping to just get some teeny, weeny shot from your forever Women's World Champion. And I sit here and I look at that, knowing that I've literally beaten everyone on my roster, and I want more. I want more trophies. And I can only get that on AEW."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "The Battleground Podcast" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription