Welp. Looks like it’s time to debut this new version of Athena on AEW proper television. Athena has been brutalizing women on Dark/Elevation the past month plus so now that she was going to do it on Rampage, I couldn’t hide my delight.
Athena makes her entrance with her funky cyberpunk wings. The kinda funny part of this entrance is, I guess there’s a stagehand who takes the wings from her (I mean, rightly so if the alternatives are her either plunking this machine with moving parts on the ramp or watching this supposed badass place it gently on the ground) but at first glance, this stagehand has long platinum blond hair, is wearing a vest with lights and shiny bits and she looks fit so I’m like “Oh who’s this running down the tunnel to attack Athena?” I thought someone was debuting, lol.
Excalibur puts over Athena’s “unchecked aggression” while JR justifies this new attitude for the wins and money it brings. Next we get Madison Rayne giving a promo during her entrance admonishing Athena for attacking opponents after the match. Oh, you better believe that’s foreshadowing.
Despite getting jumped before the match, Madison takes control early and sends Athena out to the floor. Pursuing Athena proves to be unwise as Athena is able to hold up Rayne in a catapult position and bash her off the barricades. Back in the ring, Athena sets up a multiple handspring back elbow but instead stops and chops Madison.
There was a spot in this match that was pretty creative but was so easy to miss that I think it confused a lot of fans. Athena lifts her opponent for the stalling standing suplex but when she comes down, Madison rearranges her hands, reversing it into a cutter. Luckily Chris Jericho on commentary jumped on this to get it over for the TV audience.
Athena hits a flip-over stunner and then caves in Rayne’s face with a diving forearm. Lungblower. 1-2-3. Athena wins again.
A moment that will live in infamy
As expected, we get the obligatory post-match beatdown. As someone who’s followed Athena closely on AEW’s YouTube offerings all this time, this is a bit “old hat” to me but just as I’m thinking this is necessary to establish this to a wider audience on TV…
JESUS #ALLELITE CHRIST! Athena just ENDS Referee Aubrey Edwards with a punch to the face! I couldn’t believe my eyes. This absolutely took my breath away. I’ve always said one day Ref Aubrey will take a big bump and it’ll generate big heat but I always imagined it’d be an accident in a Chris Jericho match or something. This was just… By the way, this post-match angle isn’t figured into my match rating if you’re wondering, if it did this is an easy 5-Stars …but this was just the absolute best example of how something can come across on TV if you save it and don’t abuse it. I’m shook all over again just re-watching the match back.
I FUCKING HOPE!!!!
…the ramifications of this angle are played off for weeks to come and it doesn’t just turn into a stunt that happened on a Rampage. Namely:
- Athena should be suspended indefinitely. If this is to be a sports emulation and a wrestler doesn’t get suspended for striking a referee, what are we even doing here?
- Have Chris Jericho put this over. Next time Chris Jericho does a promo, I want Aubrey Edwards nearby so Jericho can say, “First off, I just want to say to Aubrey, I know we’ve had our differences but what Athena did to you on Rampage is unspeakable!” Yes, Jericho is a heel but part of Jericho’s heel schtick is that he chastises others for things he’s done (or worse).
- Mercedes Martinez forces Tony’s hand. Playing up that this is a serious offence, I want Mercedes Martinez to be the one who forces Tony to book the match between herself and Athena at ROH Last Battle.
As far as the match goes, it was essentially a squash once Athena decided to end it. I didn’t think it was even one of Athena’s better matches she’s had lately but as an angle… All-time stuff here. And when you combine it with the pre-match video packages including the promo from Madison Rayne, it all just beautifully interwove together to make this story and this whole world feel so very real. Chef kiss.
Watch this match on YouTube
Note: Just because I give a match a low rating doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it for what it was nor is it necessarily a commentary on the competitors. Not all matches are meant to be 3-to-5 star matches.
Athena wins via pinfallAthena wins via pinfall
- AUBREY NOOOOO!!!!
- Match was okay, segment was an all-timer tho