Athena Retains ROH Women's Title, Continues Historic Reign In Final Battle Main Event

ROH Final Battle 2023 was headlined by Athena defending her ROH Women's World Championship against 19-year-old Billie Starkz. This was the culmination of a months-long storyline where Athena attempted to take Starkz under her wing as her "minion," but Starkz had finally had enough.

What made this clash even more intriguing was the fact that Athena suffered a deviated septum during her last brawl with Starkz which aired on December 14. As a result, the champ sported a protective face mask that was eventually ripped off by the challenger who had been busted open herself early on. At one point, Starkz managed to superplex Athena off of the announcer's desk, but Athena soon came back with a huge German suplex off the top rope.

In the end, Athena trapped Starkz in her submission and she had no choice but to give it up. The referee awarded Athena the victory, thus prolonging her historic ROH Women's World title reign past the 370-day mark. Post-match, Starkz attempted to walk out on Athena, but Athena pulled her back in and told her she still wanted her as her minion. Starkz seemingly accepted and hugged her frenemy to conclude the show.

This marked the first time a Women's Championship match headlined Final Battle, and it was only the second time the women's division headlined a Ring of Honor pay-per-view. The first occurred in July when Athena successfully defended against Willow Nightingale at ROH Death Before Dishonor.

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