ROH Death Before Dishonor scrum notes: Athena, Tony Khan on company differences

July 23, 2023 0 By JohnValbyNation

Several of the champions who retained their titles tonight were part of a media scrum that took place after Death Before Dishonor.

ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli, ROH Pure Champion Katsuyori Shibata, ROH Women's Champion Athena, and Tony Khan all took questions following Friday’s show in New Jersey. Here are the highlights:

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Claudio Castagnoli

He did a mostly in-character interview. He said Mark Briscoe and Eddie Kingston were not ready, and he was proven right when asked a question about the changes and how it had an effect on him.One question was regarding William Regal, and if they are living up to the Blackpool Combat Club name. He said yes, that they have always strived to be the best.

Katsuyori Shibata

Shibata answered questions via a translation machine and also through Tony Khan, who talked a lot for him. Khan said that he’s not currently a part of NJPW’s LA Dojo and right now is more focused on being the ROH Pure Champion.Khan said that wrestling Orange Cassidy was Shibata’s idea.When asked about Daniel Garcia, Shibata said Garcia is a great wrestler and said that he felt the future of pro wrestling in him, then later corrected himself by calling Garcia a sports entertainer.Shibata said one of his goals right now is to become the longest reigning Pure champion, the record currently of which stands at close to a year.


Athena was emotional at the start of the interview, saying in her career she had never had a main event on a pay-per-view until Saturday. She said that it meant so much for her to be given that opportunity as she felt that both she and Willow Nightingale earned something. She said that the sky’s the limit as to what is next and that she is open to all challengers.When it was mentioned by Jon Alba that two African American women headlined Friday’s show, Athena said that representation is key. She remembers being the only African American woman on indie shows she would be on. She said that she wanted to inspire everyone of all races.She said that they felt tonight that they’ve made the statement that they are not going anywhere. Tony Khan said they earned the position of being in the main event, citing their ROH match. He thought there was potential for a great trilogy. He said that Death Before Dishonor was one of the best shows they’ve ever done.Corey Lieb pointed out that there were a lot of “love letters” during her match, and asked if she would like to face Giulia. Athena said that she did. She then shouted out some former ROH star names including MsChif, Sara del Rey, Alexis Laree (Mickie James), Daffney, Allison Danger, Sumie Sakai, and Daizee Haze, among others. She said that they inspired her to become more than just a pretty face and that those women don’t get enough credit.She mentioned names such as Kairi Sane, Mayu Iwatani, and Guilia as potential opponents in the future.

Tony Khan

Regarding numbers, Khan said that preliminary numbers before the show were good. He wasn’t sure about the buys, but he thinks it did well. He said that this was one of the more successful shows in the company’s history and pointed out that a lot of the successful shows have happened during his ownership.One person asked about heading to Orlando for future studio tapings. Khan said that he was open to utilizing studio tapings, but there’s benefits to having ROH tour with AEW Collision, like ROH stars being able to work on the Collision show.When directly asked about “the point” of ROH, Khan said that the company is focused on a hardcore audience and the promotion delivers matches to that audience. He said that AEW is more aimed towards a bigger crowd. Khan said that ROH was still a major company in the world and he doesn’t think the company has ever been more influential.Regarding keeping ROH ‘fresh’, Khan said he’s bringing in international talent. He also pointed out that ROH doesn’t have time constraints or commercials. He said there were “nuanced” differences between the two companies.When asked about Kota Ibushi possibly being on the card, he said that Ibushi had just made his AEW debut. He thought that Claudio vs. PAC was perfect to bring in given their storyline from AEW Blood & Guts this past week.Khan said that he “definitely” wants to keep the spirit of independent wrestling and thinks both AEW and ROH are a good platform for that.