ace austin

Ace Austin’s Gimmick Has Video Game Origins, Teases ‘Can’t Miss’ Match At Over Drive

Ace Austin always had a clear vision of the wrestler he wanted to be.

During a recent interview with WrestleZone, Ace Austin spoke about his evolution in the wrestling business and career in IMPACT Wrestling. Austin explained how his in-ring persona developed from an idea he had playing video games and he ultimately made it permanent in the form of a tattoo.

“Well, the showmanship just kind of comes naturally from I mean — it’s honestly just kind of the way I’ve always been, but it comes greatly from my background in musical theater. The name itself was kind of an idea that I’ve always had when I was when I was a kid and I used to play [wrestling] video games. I would always put a specific tattoo on my character. For some reason I was just drawn to the four ace cards,” Austin explained. “It was always like a tattoo preset you could use and put on your character. So I would always do that, and then I just kind of stuck with that.”

Austin explained how he envisioned himself being a wrestler his whole life and imagined himself getting the real tattoo one day. As far as his name goes, Austin says that he originally used his last name (Highley), but was encouraged to drop it in favor of just “Ace Austin”.

“I was reluctant at first because I didn’t want to change anything, but they were right. I mean, Ace Austin by itself flows a lot better and it’s alphabetical. It puts me at the top of most lists with the AA,” he noted. “It’s just an idea that I had based off of this tattoo that I have. I did get the tattoo on my shoulder, of course. I have it on my left shoulder now. But yeah, it just kind of sparked from that, from that idea of getting a tattoo.”

Asked if there was any inspiration from the Marvel X-Men character Gambit, who also has an affinity for playing cards, Austin said that part happened by accident.

“I really wasn’t going for Gambit at first, but when I chose my color scheme and I put the whole thing, the whole presentation together,” Austin explained, “that’s when fans started coming to me and saying like, ‘Oh, I love the Gambit reference, I love the Gambit vibe.’ So that’s kind of when I realized how on the nose it was, and so I kind of leaned into it after that.

“When you’re first starting out, it’s good to find a niche to fit in. And so the comic book superhero thing, that’s always been such a huge influence in my life, superheroes and pro wrestling. They had the biggest influence on my life growing up, so it was a great way to kind of merge, to just lean into that, merge the two,” Austin noted. “It really helped me get my feet off the ground and it helped me a lot with merchandising. So yeah, it all worked.”

Ace Austin and Chris Bey will team up for a four-way tag match on the November 17 episode of IMPACT Wrestling. From there, he’ll compete at Over Drive on the following night before heading off to Japan for the Super Junior Tag League. Asked if there’s anything in particular he’s looking forward to in the next few weeks, Austin noted that he won’t be doing IMPACT’s retro IPWF show this year but teased what’s in store at Over Drive.

“I always love the IPWF stuff, but unfortunately this time I will not be able to be a part of it because I will be in the middle of Super Junior Tag League. It’s going to be amazing regardless. Gia [Miller] is going to get to reprise the Rusty Iron stuff. It’s always really a good time and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing it,” he explained.

“As far as Overdrive goes, I know that me and Chris Bey have an unbelievable match lined up for us. It’s not been announced yet, so I’m not going to reveal that,” Austin teased, “but it’s definitely going to be one that you don’t want to miss. It’s just going to really give us a good send off into the Super Junior Tag league because we’re going to go straight from Over Drive to Japan. So it’s going to be awesome.”

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