Athena reflects on feud with Kiera Hogan in ROH, comments on facing Billie Starkz at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door

Photo Courtesy: Ring of Honor

Athena is inching towards seven months as champion. 

At Ring of Honor Final Battle in December 2022, Athena became ROH Women’s World Champion and she’s been reigning since then. 

Her latest program involving the title was with Kiera Hogan. They met in a Chicago Street Fight on the 6/22 ROH on HonorClub and the champion came out victorious. Athena looked back on their program during her appearance on Busted Open Radio

She spoke about the Chicago Street Fight and brought up that it was two Black women in that spot. She added that it is Pride month and that was another special element for Kiera. 

Kiera Hogan, I had my first match in AEW with her. Like my very first match, my very first week on the job was with Kiera Hogan and you know, she’s someone that was a minion of Jade (Cargill), for a while in The Baddies club. She broke free of that and she was looking to make a name for herself and honestly, when I went to the ring that time with her versus Vert (Vixen), I wasn’t even looking at Kiera, I was looking at Vert. She just happened to win the match and was in the way and then said some words that I didn’t appreciate. That’s how it all started and you know, I will say, Kiera Hogan, she has a lot of fire and she is hungry and that’s something I look for when I’m picking my opponents, when I’m selectively looking at the matches. It’s like, who’s next? Who has that fire? Who wants to succeed? And Kiera Hogan had all those elements and hell, I’ll say it, I don’t wanna say it, she got the better of me a lot of that time and I haven’t had anyone to step up and get in my face. I didn’t appreciate it first and foremost. But, she for sure showed me that she wasn’t gonna lie down and take anything and I showed her that I was gonna pummel her into oblivion. (On ROH TV), we had a Street Fight, Chicago Street Fight. It was fun, it was painful, it was vicious, it was violent and you know, I’m so thankful that I got to share the ring with her and make that art and show the world that she’s still not on my level. It’s one of those moments you can’t help but to be like, oh my gosh, yes, look at what we created. But fun fact is-is that crowd was going crazy but they said a lot of no-no words that cannot air on TV in the middle of the match so, it sucks and at the same time it’s like, it was really awesome to be able to share that in Chicago, one of my old stomping grounds from SHIMMER and just show the world what we can really do on that platform and I know the representation of two — not only two Black women but it being Pride month as well. I know that meant so much to Kiera. In the locker room, when I would walk by, she’d be like, ‘I got my flag! I got my hair!’ And it made me swell with pride a little bit on the inside to just know that she was gonna get that platform to show who she was as a person.

Athena is competing in the Owen Hart Foundation women’s tournament. Her first round match is taking place at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door and she’ll be taking on Billie Starkz. 

She stated that she’s not super familiar with Starkz, but she’ll see what the 18-year-old can do come June 25th. 

I will say this, I’m not super familiar with Billie (Starkz) other than she’s the indie sensation that everyone loves and honestly going through, looking at a lot of her matches that I’ve seen online, we’ll see what she has. At the end of the day, I don’t care if she just graduated from high school. She’s standing across the ring from a grown-ass woman that is ready to hurt her and I don’t think that she’s ready for that smoke. That’s it, right? I’ve watched a ton of film on Billie and I’m like, ‘Mhm, meh, okay. Let’s see what you got kid. Let’s see what all this hype is about.’ I hope that she proves me wrong. I hope she goes in that ring and tries her best, gives me everything she has but I think she’s gonna realize very quickly that she’s out of her league.

Since becoming champion, Athena has had 11 successful title defenses. 

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Busted Open Radio with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 8465 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.