AEW star and former NXT women's champion Athena recently spoke with NBC Sports Boston about a wide range of topics, which included the Fallen Angel's decision to sign with the promotion and how AEW did their best to keep her hidden prior to her Double or Nothing debut. Highlights from the interview are below.
How her AEW deal eventually came to be:
“I feel like it was one of those things as soon as I got released or mutually parted ways…. whichever way you wanna have it there, it was like man I don’t know how to get in contact with them, but I gotta get in contact with them and I told my agent I was like hey I’m really interested in going there I really want to go there you know and it’s kind of like a combination of we reached out and they reached back and it was like a six month are we interested are you interested because I think when I left I didn’t really know if I wanted to continue wrestling I just knew that like I loved and enjoyed watching the AEW product at home watching the pay-per-views watching just everything. I’m like oh this looks like so much fun and then I’d be like I don’t know, I don’t know so I had a couple matches on the indies and just those blew up uh and it just getting kept getting more and more attention and I think like we finally like just kind of hit the double tap on the phone call and it was like yeah let’s let’s figure out something.”
Details how AEW attempted to keep her hidden ahead of her debut at Double or Nothing:
“I get in at like eight nine o’clock in the morning and I was like you know what I’m not gonna go to the baggage claim for my airline I’m gonna go to the other one right and now I’m telling all my secrets so now I get lost I get very obviously lost and turned around because I’m terrible at navigating airports and I end up in the big baggage claim and all I see is piles and piles of AEW fans like stalking out the baggage claims with their binoculars. I’m 5’1″ so I can blend so I get in the biggest crowd that I possibly can and I get in the middle and I’m like head down like I have like my glasses on my mask on, I’m trying to hide."
On trying to avoid fans at the arena so the surprise wouldn't be spoiled:
So they put me at a different hotel that isn’t the TV hotel I get there my hotel is been given away so I’m sitting in the lobby and I’m like oh this is weird and like the travel team was like oh no this is like they tried to call they tried it they were like hey we bought this room day before blah blah blah and they’re like well you should have called and I’m sitting here like oh no uh someone is going to notice me because I was in that lobby for like an hour or two as we were trying to figure it out and I’m just head down just like oh my gosh this is the worst you know and eventually uh they’re like okay we’re sending a car for you we’re gonna put you up at the hotel where everyone else is at and I’m like how is that going to work because once again AEW fans or just wrestling fans in general are really good about ruining surprises for themselves. So they take me through like the basement level and they put my room name under someone else and we are like all right go up the elevator you’re on this floor and I get in the elevator and it stops on the lobby level and three AEW fans get in like they had the Jericho Society shirts and I’m like how and I’m just sitting there just like and I remember they went to turn and look at me and I start coughing and they’re like oh oh oh god please don’t get that on me and I was like so they totally know who I am."
(H/T and transcribed by Sescoops)