It is Friday night, and you know what that means. Time for another episode of AEW Rampage! It is the go-home show before Full Gear. However, Full Gear is not the only PPV coming up. We are just under a month away from ROH’s Final Battle, and Rampage provided a little taste of what might be coming as Athena took on Madison Rayne.
This match was short and sweet. As has been the case with most of Athena’s matches recently, the fallen goddess dominated from start to finish. Attacking Rayne from behind before the game could begin to get the advantage.
From there, Athena continued to assert her control, tossing Rayne into the barricade and landing a back spring into a backhand slap. There was some slight confusion when Rayne reversed a stalling suplex into a DDT, which the crowd did not pick up on.
Ultimately Athena scored an easy victory after hitting double knees from the torture rack position to get the three.
But the big heat came after the match. After beating down a defeated Madison Rayne, Athena struck referee Audrey Edwards in a moment that got a massive reaction from the crowd. It wasn’t until the ROH Women’s Champion, Mercedes Martinez, hit the ring that Athena made a sharp exit.
While the in-ring action was nothing spectacular, the post-match served to help solidify Athena as a heel. Audrey occupies a special place in fans’ hearts more than any other ref. She is a referee with personality, both on and off camera. Attacking someone so beloved is a surefire way to get booed. Also, ref bumps are rare in AEW, making Athena laying hands on a referee more devastating. Exactly what you need when you want to build a new heel.
Those are my thoughts. But what do you think? Is a heel turn the right way to go for Athena? Do you think she is the woman to take the ROH title from Mercedes Martinez? Let us know what you think.