AEW star Athena has hit back at criticism of her in-ring style and says she wouldn’t receive the same comments if she was a man.
Athena entered AEW as a fan favourite but in recent weeks has embraced her darker side, showing a more vicious in-ring style and even attacking referee Aubrey Edwards. Her particular style has attracted detractors in some quarters but the star has no time for them.
Speaking on Busted Open Radio, the former NXT Women’s Champion explained that the same backlash she receives doesn’t happen to her male counterparts and suggests that some critics will never be happy either way:
“People forget that the girls can hit just as hard as the guys. I have to sit there and see Jon Moxley and (Chris) Jericho and (Wheeler) Yuta and all these guys hit the tar out of each other. I guarantee you if I was a man, I feel like there wouldn’t be as much backlash or anything like that.”
“It’s all these old, bloated farts that wanna sit there and tell us, ‘Oh no, we need to go out there and look pretty’ and then they complain when it’s a dance. They complain when we hit hard. Get over it. We’re out here to be just as good as the guys and we give it our all. We put in all of this time and effort to hone our craft and I feel like sometimes, we are underappreciated when we do things like that.”
Athena will challenge Mercedes Martinez for the ROH Women’s World Championship when Ring of Honor presents Final Battle on the 10th of December.