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Welcome to Diva Dirt’s Five to Watch 2015! This annual list compiles five rising talents in the world of women’s wrestling that we think have what it takes to be the next big thing.
From their in-ring abilities to their unique personalities, we aim to spotlight some of the upcoming female talent that you may not yet know about. Each day until Christmas Eve, we will unveil the names that the Diva Dirt staff have handpicked.
Who is she?: Athena should be a familiar name to most Diva Dirt readers, and not only because she’s the first woman to make our Five to Watch list twice. She’s been an indy standout since we last honored her back in 2010, and her popularity has only grown since then, building to her much-celebrated WWE signing in September. Why is she here for a second time, you ask? Well, she’s occupying the spot we’ve designated for NXT Divas since 2013, following in the footsteps of Lana and Alexa Bliss. It’s fitting that this year’s NXT selection perfectly encapsulates the brand’s new endeavor to sign female indy wrestlers. No longer are we waiting for Divas to “break out”: we’re waiting for the rest of the world to discover a talent that we’re already well familiar with.
Her story so far: Since we last honored her back in 2010, Athena’s gone on to build an even bigger following, winning the ACW American Joshi Championship two more times as well as the AIW Women’s Championship. She’s made waves in countless promotions, putting on matches with the likes of Mia Yim in SHIMMER, Allysin Kay in AIW and Hania in WSU that have dropped jaws and shown off her impeccable range. Clearly, Athena was one rising star that never burned out.
Why we chose her: Athena has yet to make an NXT television appearance, so her debut is easily one of the most anticipated moments for the brand in 2016. All of the talent and magnetism that drew us to her back in 2010 has increased exponentially in the five years that have passed since, and it’s only a matter of time before she’s eliciting the kind of reactions Asuka gets from the Full Sail crowd. Even if you’ve followed Athena for years, there’s a certain excitement in awaiting her NXT debut, as this new chapter in her career will likely allow her to grow into an even greater performer. In that way, she is the very definition of “One to Watch”.
Follow Athena on Twitter: @Athena_Reese06.