AEW star Athena recently joined Rick Ucchino of the Bleav in Pro Wrestling for an in-depth conversation about all things pro-wrestling, including how the former NXT women’s champion was limited in her abilities in WWE, and how she doesn’t want her size to dictate what type of wrestler she should be. Highlights from the interview are below.
Says before she was a high-flier she was a powerhouse:
“That’s just the small window of what I’ve given. And I took advantage of it to the nines. And like that’s, that was the challenge given to me. You are a high flyer go out in high fly and do your thing woman, right? Because I’m short, right? I get it right. But before I got there, I was a technician, I was a powerhouse. I didn’t do any of the high-flying stuff. You know, I learned that to get a job because I saw that no one else was doing that at the time. Now everyone can do everything.That’s amazing, but that’s that was when I got signed. That was the role I was given. And I was like, ‘Ah, this is just kind of like ugh.’”
Says having an unfiltered moveset is more interesting to her and doesn’t want to feel limited due to her size, citing Hurricane vs. Rock as an example:
“But having an unfiltered moveset, not having to worry about so much of who does what but what works for your match and your story within the match. Like, there’s so much more entertainment value to that to me. And a lot of that is like one of my favorite things I saw as a kid because I feel like I have to say this because then you’ll understand where my mindset is. Hurricane versus The Rock. Mind you didn’t realize hurricane was like six foot something till I met him in person but still, like Hurricane versus a rock? How many times? Did he tease that chokeslam? How many times? Chokeslam? No, no one’s taken the chokeslam. And then he finally gets to that championship match with The Rock on SmackDown. And he hits him with the choke slam boom. The crowd loses their crap because for six months, he’s been teasing this chokeslam, The Rock finally takes it that place explodes and everyone thought he was gonna win the match. Like that’s the type of like, I don’t want to be limited by the way I look. Right?”
Wants people to look at her ability and think she’s just as good as the men:
“But like, I just I want that excitement back. And I feel like that’s just me as a performer. That doesn’t apply to everyone. Some people are comfortable doing what they know. And that’s absolutely fine. But I want to push the limits. When I first signed, it’s because I wanted to change the world of women’s wrestling. I’m not a porcelain princess. And I want people to know that like, I am a warrior to and through. And I just want people to know that like whatever the guys can do. I can do it. And I’m going to try to do it better than them. And that’s what my whole life in this pro wrestling world has been is. I want people to see me as a performer, not a great women’s wrestler, a great wrestler, great performer, and I want them to look at me and say, oh my god, Athena is one of the best in the world. It doesn’t matter if she’s a man doesn’t matter if she’s a woman, she can do her job and she does it well.”
(H/T and transcribed by Sescoops)