Source: Josh Stewart of Newsday
Recently, the TNA World Heavyweight Champion talked to Newsday about a variety of topics. Subjects covered in the interview include Austin Aries‘ size versus what a typical wrestling champion looks like, his work with Hulk Hogan, his meteoric rise in iMPACT Wrestling over the last year, and working with the ring veterans employed by TNA. You can read the highlights of the interview below or use the link above to read the entire article. Enjoy!
On His Rise Over the Last 18 Months
When I think about it, the progression in the last 18 months, I have always been confident that I could be in this position. I don’t know if surreal is the word. It’s more like ‘finally,’ that the hard work, the moments of doubts, in the end all those things work themselves out.
On His Size Versus the Typical Wrestling Champion
I think at the end of the day this is the entertainment business. There is definitely an athletic, physical nature to it, but it’s about entertainment. In the history of wrestling you’ve had people of all shapes and sizes… The major companies are seeing that talent is talent, and whatever talent you want to utilize that can make money you’ll use, regardless. You see it now along the lines of guys like the Daniel Bryans, the CM Punks. You had it with guys like Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Sean Waltman, HBK, going back to Jerry Lynn, who I always loved watching. There’s a long list of guys who didn’t meet the hulking 6-foot-4, 270-pound idea of what a wrestler is.
On Working in Promos with Hulk Hogan
That’s been great. That’s maybe when the word surreal comes in. That’s where my mom calls and says, ‘Did you ever think that when you were little and playing with those rubber wrestling dolls that you’d be in the ring with Hulk Hogan?’ When you have those moments you go back into your childhood. Who knew how many years ago that you’d be doing this? He’s been in the business so long and has been so successful, and knows how to make money. I’m trying to suck up as much knowledge as I can from guys like him, guys like Sting. He’s always willing to help the young guys out. When you see guys like him helping out the younger guys, it makes us want to go out there and work hard.
On Working with Industry Veterans in iMPACT Wrestling
I think it’s important to say that things you’ve might have heard are coming from people who are disconnected with what’s actually going on with the promotion. When you’re talking about ‘names’ versus homegrown talent, there needs to be balance. You need Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, guys like that to put homegrown guys on the map… When you give a Bobby Roode a guy like that you raise his pedigree. It’s all about balance. You see it in successful companies, sports teams. It’s putting guys in the right place to be successful. We’re doing a good job of that, and we’re seeing guys running with it and taking advantage of that opportunity.