Austin Aries Comments On The Reaction To His Infamous Incident With Christy Hemme

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During a recent edition of Ryback’s podcast, Austin Aries commented on his infamous incident with Christy Hemme in 2013. During a pay-per-view event, Aries and Bobby Roode come to the ring for a tag-team match and Hemme went to the corner after announcing them. Aries then “trapped” her in the corner, climbed the ropes, and put his crotch in her face. Hemme later issued a statement on TNA’s website, noting that she did not feel sexually harassed and he apologized to her over it. Here are some highlights from the podcast:

On the industry changing from where it used to be: “You know what? Let me also put this out there — it’s changing. And that’s part of the appeal why I’m like, open to coming back. But the pro wrestling I grew up in, you know, in 2000 is a lot different than it is now. And the culture and what was accepted and — the s**t I had to navigate around not being like a lot of the people that were in positions of power? That took a toll. I’m very proud of where I got and the things that I achieved without having to kind of sell-out to that, and not really changing my moral compass.”

On the effect of the initial backlash against him over the Hemme incident: “After that incident in 2013 — Again, that on-air interaction between me and the ring announcer [Hemme] — I got classified as a sexual harasser. And that, for me, was really difficult. And I — it turned me very dark, and I really leaned into it. ‘If this is what you think of me and who I am, well then, I’ll give you that.’ Because as we know as wrestlers, the most important thing is to listen to the reaction. I don’t care if it’s good or bad, so I leaned into the bad because it was easy. But that slowly started to erode [me] personally; it takes a toll. You start to blur those lines.”

(h/t – 411 Wrestling)


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