Source: Phil Strum of the Poughkeepsie Journal
Recently, former TNA World Heavyweight Champion, TNA World Tag Team Champion, and TNA X-Division Champion Austin Aries talked with Phil Strum of the Poughkeepsie Journal. Topics included what it’s like for Aries to be working in iMPACT Wrestling right now, being in the Ultimate X Match at Bound for Glory, and the long-term viability of having smaller wrestlers on top of the major promotions. You can read highlights of the interview below or you can read the entire interview by clicking here. Enjoy!
On What It’s Like for Austin Aries to Be in TNA
It’s just, obviously, a combination the second time around of timing and opportunity. For me, the nice thing is I think I have a good amount of creative input into my character. That’s important to me. We get into this business, most of us, because we don’t want to answer to the man. I like a little more of a creative outlet. It provides a nice balance of being on the road and also being at home, while helping the company. I’m a guy who likes to maybe push the envelope a bit and maybe more than a bit and see if anybody notices. Our industry is so unique in that you’re like a live-action sports hero. You can go out there and try things and learn how to manipulate crowd emotions. I like controversy and to stir things up a bit and step on toes.
On Being in the Ultimate X Match at Bound for Glory
You can expect the unexpected. I know it’s a cliché, but the Ultimate X is a unique match to TNA Impact Wrestling. You have ring ropes and an X above the ring and the object is to pull the X down. I’m not a fan of the match and I’m not a fan of ladder matches. Eddie Sharkey never taught me that stuff and brought a ladder in the ring and explained the psychology of the ladder match or the Ultimate X match. It takes me out of my comfort zone and I always like those challenges. I prefer one-on-one in a wrestling ring for 30 or 60 minutes, but whatever kind of hoops I need to jump through or trusses I need to climb is fine. Whatever I need to do to put on a performance. Jeff Hardy’s made a career out these type of matches. He’s taken all sorts of daredevil types of falls and keeps getting up to tell about it. Manik’s been around and he wants to prove himself against the biggest names in the company. Chris Sabin’s got the post heavyweight championship blues, which I can relate to. He’s done a 180 in attitude since losing the bet. To make a long story short, there’s a lot of moving parts and it adds to the excitement.
On The Long-Term Success of Cruiserweight-Type Wrestlers
In an industry based on size, it’s awesome that TNA wrestling lets cream rise to the top. There are a lot of guys that are 6-feet-tall or less and 200 pounds or less, who are cut from the same cloth. You don’t get that everywhere else. They will support you if you’ve got the goods. I was never promised anything other than one paycheck. One match. One opportunity. They gave me another opportunity and I excelled at that. Not to say that it doesn’t cross anyone’s minds. I love the opportunity that’s been presented to me in TNA. Is the X Division a cruiserweight championship? It doesn’t seem to have a definition. It can come and go in relevance. For some people, how important is it? Is it a secondary title? Is it weight restrictions or is it not? What’s the best use for it? It’s something the company was built on. The X Division is unique to TNA and it’s important for us to accentuate it.