New Champion Set For First Defense on AEW Dark: Elevation

All Elite Wrestling is closing out 2022 with a drastically different array of titleholders compared to the start of the year. The AEW World Championship has hot potatoed into MJF's hands, tag gold migrated from Jurassic Express all the way to The Acclaimed, and Britt Baker's women's title underwent both lineal and interim champions before ending up around Jamie Hayter's waist. Those three belts are just a few in Tony Khan's collection, as the AEW President acquired the treasure chest that is known as Ring of Honor earlier this year. While ROH gold changed hands less frequently, no wrestler who started 2022 with an honorable title remains champion in the present day.

That is especially true for the ROH Women's Title, a championship that was only introduced in Fall 2021. Inaugural champion Rok-C (WWE's Roxanne Perez) dropped the belt to Deonna Purrazzo, who held it for just under four months as then-interim champion Mercedes Martinez unified the straps on a May episode of AEW Dynamite. Martinez's dominance carried on until December, where she fell short to Athena.

Before 2022 comes to a close, Athena is set to make her first ROH Women's Title defense.

"The Ring of Honor Women's World Champion Athena defends the title against Vert Vixen TONIGHT on 'AEW Dark Elevation' at 7/6c on YouTube!" AEW announced on Twitter. "Don't miss it!"

This is not the first time Ring of Honor gold has been defended on AEW YouTube programming before. Wheeler Yuta has put the ROH Pure Title up for grabs on AEW Dark, Dalton Castle and The Boys were challenged by the Trustbusters for the ROH Six-Man Championships, and Martinez herself made a ROH Women's Title defense against Hyan on AEW Dark: Elevation earlier this year.

Athena debuted with AEW this past May at AEW Double or Nothing, confronting AEW TBS Champion Jade Cargill. This was Athena's first appearance on a global stage since being released from WWE in Fall 2021.

"When I got to the other place, it wasn't necessarily about the wrestling, it was about the entertainment, which isn't bad. We tried that, it wasn't a fit for me," Athena said on her WWE tenure. "But I think a big difference here is that, one, I know I'm good in the ring. It's taken a while and I think I've proven myself to Tony Khan and just showed that I can do both. But mostly for me personally, especially with a Ring of Honor championship, this is a wrestling championship. I am a wrestler."

AEW Dark: Elevation airs on AEW's YouTube channel tonight at 7 PM ET.