In an interview with NBC “Sports Boston”, Athena described working under Tony Khan, as opposed to her former bosses in WWE.
“Tony is extremely busy, but my interactions with him have been insanely different than that of my former boss,” Athena said. “Because he’s just excited, he’s pumped, he wants to get everyone pumped up as he is. It’s the first time I think I had a show … He’s just going up to every match like, ‘Let’s go! Let’s get this!’ I’ve never had that. And it’s just energy on cloud nine, every step of the way. Sometimes, the couple of days I’ve been there, we’re there for like fourteen hours and his energy doesn’t drop. He’s so motivating, he’s so pumped about everything that’s on the TV product, which I’m not used to on any level.
“Normally it’s like, ‘Alright. Go out there, blah, blah, blah. Cool, you know what you’re doing.’ And then on the other end, you’re getting Tony like, ‘You pumped for this?! You ready to go?!’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah! Let’s go!’ I don’t know how to explain it. He’s so high energy and so positive that you just want to feed off that aura. I’m like, ‘I want that caffeine level that you’re at, but I’m afraid I might have a heart attack!’ For fourteen hours, there’s not a drop. Not a drop. And he’s extremely appreciative that everyone is there. I don’t know how to explain it, but so far, I’m just like, amazed. I could people watch Tony all day long because you want to go so much harder for him, out in the ring and stuff. You’re like, ‘Yeah! He’s pumped! He loves it! Yeah!’”
Athena continued to delve into the differences between AEW and WWE, where she worked from 2015 to 2021.
“I think the best way to describe it is I think the former place, if you will, demanded perfection,” Athena said. “It didn’t matter what curveballs were being thrown at you, there was just very stoic energy of, ‘Alright, this is what we expect out of you. Do it.’ And if you don’t do it, you get ripped a new one. Sometimes it’s like, ‘Okay, cool, we understand problems happen.’ But there was never that high energy. Hunter was the exception to that, I will say that. But coming into AEW, you get pumped, you get excited. Every match, he (Tony) is there. He’s in the huddle with everyone. I’m like, ‘Where did you come from?’ I feel like he’s just teleporting backstage; I’ll leave one area and see him talking here, but in some kind of way, he’s doubled in front of me. I’m like, ‘How? You were…’
“He cares, and he shows outwardly that he cares. And it’s not demanding perfection, it’s like, ‘Hey, you go out there and do the best damn job. And if it’s perfect, I’m happy. If it’s not, I’m happy. I’m just excited that you’re here, willing to put your body on the line for this company.’ That’s the type of energy. So it’s like, ‘Alright, I’m going to go put my body on the line! Let’s go!’ The energy, the aura backstage, it’s so different, it’s so positive. Everyone wants to help each other, everyone is just excited to be there, right? Which is weird because I’m not used to that on any level. It’s so exciting.”
What makes it so exciting besides Tony Khan’s enthusiasm? According to Athena, the enthusiasm of the locker room in moments such as one example she provided.
“I remember hanging out in the ring one day before the show started,” Athena said. “I’m just watching everything, and everyone has smiles on their faces. People were doing random wrestling stuff, like, ‘Okay, I’ve got this idea, blah blah blah.’ ‘Hey, I want to try this!’ No one is wrestling each other on the show at this time but everyone is just having fun and enjoying each other’s company, which is just bizarre, bizarre because I came from a place that was so extremely structured.”