Austin Aries joined Doug Mortman and Dave lagreca on SiriusXM's Busted Open. You can hear Busted Open on Sports Zone; Sirius 92, XM 208 and on the app Here are the highlights and the video of the interview…
Difference a year makes: "It kind of just snowballed. I was given opportunities obviously I felt I took advantage of them. The people with the company agreed with me and I kept getting bigger opportunities which obviously cumulated in Bound for Glory with Jeff Hardy and winning the World Heavyweight Championship. Before that I was excited for the momentum I had and for whatever reason it came to a halt and now I'm trying to rebuild that and I think I'm slowly doing that and hopefully in a year from now, we are talking about me in the main event at Bound for Glory once again as World Heavyweight Champion."
The buzz behind TNA fading: "I know why it's gone and I'll keep that to myself. I don't control those decisions, all I can control is what's in front of me and I feel whatever you put on my tee, I'm going to knock out of the park. I've always felt that way and the decisions that are made and what's going to happen creatively that's above my pay grade as they say and quite frankly, it's not something that I want to stress myself out too much because I'm a passionate guy, I'm an opinionated guy. I love the industry and I've followed it ever since I can remember and I got to control the things that I can control and that's usually with a microphone in my hand and when I step in between the ropes."
Turnover in the TNA locker room: "You look at it two ways. Some people look at the turnover and the releases and they put a negative connotation on it but I think in any business and especially in the sports world, you need to keep that middle ground fresh and in wrestling, it's the same way. You give guys opportunities , some guys run with the brass ring and some don't but you can't stagnant with that, you need turnover because it keeps that fire lit under everybody, keeps everyone performing to the best of their abilities, no one gets comfortable, you don't want anybody getting comfortable and going to work and collecting a paycheck. You want to keep people on their toes and I don't think the turnover is a bad thing. It gives new guys opportunities, it keeps fresh faces for the fans and they don't get sick with the same old, same old and that's a successful recipe for any business."
The feeling in the TNA locker room: "I think it's the same as it's always been. I'm sure it's like here when you guys come in and you got a great feeling in things and other weeks, your down about this, that and the other but overall, I haven't seen a huge change in the locker room. I think we all understand what the company is structured like, why things happen and again, I think a lot of the guys take the same approach I do on let's focus on what we can do and make the best of what we are given."
Being a leader, professional, company guy and helping the X-Division: "I wouldn't define and say I'm back in the X-Division per say. Right now, I started a little something with Chris Sabin and interjected with him, a little banter back and forth and we will see where that progresses to. I do think I have always been a company guy and I think that my passion and outspokenness can be misconstrued. I never been a selfish performer, I'm always coming up with the best ideas for the company to succeed. It's never really been about myself and I've always prided myself on where ever you need to slot me in on the card, I can do that. If you need me to get the card off on a good start, I can do that. Opening the night out, I can do that. You need to give me a thirty minute, main event caliber match, I can do that. You need to put me in the tag (team) division, I can do that. You need me to go into the X-Division, I can do that. I think that was something that was important to me since I broke in; I never wanted to be pigeon holed as just this and just that. I want to be well-rounded and versatile as I can because that just means you are much more valuable to whatever company you work for."
Bring reality to wrestling: "I've always said that the best pro wrestling is from when you pull from reality the most you can. The more authentic you can make it, the more tied to reality it is, the more people grab on to it. I think that's the reason why people have gravitated to my character over the years, there's an authenticity to it. I'm not putting too much of an act, I might be turning up the dial one way or the other but I am who I am and that comes out in my character when I'm on screen. As the fans get smarter or think they are getting smarter, we have to find ways to keep them on their toes, off balance and keep them guessing because that's the name of the game and that's where the drama comes in."
Crowd reaction during Bound for Glory: "Absolutely not! I told the powers to be that's exactly how it would be whether or not I kicked Jeff Hardy in the balls a week before, they disagreed with me and well, I was right and they were wrong and I have a job there and they don't. Something too that I didn't make public at the time was for about four or five months before that and year after that I was dealing with an annular tear in my lower back and a bulge in the herniated disc in my back so I was battling through a lot of injuries so from a personal standpoint, I was taking a lot of pride in my performance cause the pain I was dealing with to perform at that level but when you have those limitations and create that kind of atmosphere and put on that performance, its satisfying and that's not to say that we all don't do it at some point in our careers, Jeff (Hardy) has done it at some point of his career, he'll do it again, I'll do it again, it's part of the game. I think one place where wrestling is progressing and needs to progress is that in life, there is not... (Continues on next page)