In a recent interview on AEW Unrestricted, Athena discussed nearly quitting the wrestling business after her WWE release, how she regained her passion for wrestling, and much more. You can read her comments below.
Athena on nearly quitting the wrestling business after her WWE release: “So when I left the other company, I didn’t know if I wanted to wrestle again. It was just like, ‘Oh, this was like my big dream.’ There had always been AEW, right? It was just always like, ‘Man, it looks like they’re having fun. That’s what I thought I was signing up for,’ and just watching and dealing with what I was dealing with, and then seeing this, I’m just staring and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, so much fun. It looks like so much fun.’ Once I actually left, I was like, ‘I think I’m good.’ Then it became, ‘Crap. How are we going to pay the bills?’ Because we had just bought a house, and it’s like, ‘Well, I guess I gotta wrestle to pay these bills.’ I don’t have —I went to college for like, six, eight years, but I never want to pick up a book ever again. I don’t want to finish any of those degrees that I started, just not my jam.”
On how she regained her passion for wrestling: “I was like, ‘Alright, let’s lace up the boots.’ So, I have my first match back with Thunder Rosa. We did a 30-minute time limit draw, and I remember being so emotional after, which I don’t really get emotional about things. But it was just like, I had all these feelings going through my head of like, ‘I almost threw this away, I almost let this go.’ Just being out there on the indies, where people like appreciate every tiny little thing, every tiny bump, every intricate transition. People just appreciate it so much more than where I was. It was just like, ‘I almost threw this away,’ and I forgot what it was to love what I do in the ring. I remember just like, there was like a rude fan, Thunder told him off because she’s a bomb chick like that.
“So she hands me the mic, and I didn’t even want to say anything because I knew as soon as I started talking, the floodgates were gonna open, which they did. I just was like, ‘Thank you for just making me fall in love with this again.’ That was kind of my upswing to be like, ‘Okay, well, it was just one match. One match isn’t gonna make the world of a difference.’ Then, I had another match, and another one, and another one, and then I became DJ Khalid. It was just like, I love this. I started watching old wrestling again, whereas, when I left, I just didn’t watch wrestling at all. I was like ‘nah.’ I didn’t watch anything. I was like, ‘This isn’t fun for me anymore.’ I just got angry watching it. I became a Scrooge pretty much. But like, with every match that I had, it just felt like more and more like love, and my passion was returning. I just became so much more driven and motivated.”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit AEW Unrestricted with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.
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