Austin Aries
Photo Credit: Impact Wrestling

Austin Aries On Starting With ‘Secret, Double Probation’ In WWE, Taking Risks During His Final IMPACT Run

Austin Aries joined VOC Nation’s In the Room podcast this week for a 45-minute in-depth discussion on his career, his view of the world, his departures at both TNA and WWE, and much more. Here are some highlights:

On what went wrong with WWE:

“I can give you six different answers depending on what talking point I want to use, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t my decision there. It was nothing that I asked for, and it was nothing that I was given a heads up that was coming. That question is probably better to ask Vince or to the people that were in charge. I’ll be honest…I came in as a short old white dude. I’m 5’8, 5’9 in my boots; I was 38 years old. I came in basically on secret, double probation; that’s what I was told…I came in being told that, not that I wasn’t welcome, but that I had to be on my ‘best behavior’… Despite all of that and them really not having a plan for me, I get my eye hole broken and I offer to do commentary and I spin that into the main roster run into a Wrestlemania match. I did all of that in 18 months. I don’t know what else I was supposed to do or what people were expecting. I don’t think walking in there I felt like this was going to be a fit for the next 10 years of my career. I think we both went in there with some reservations, and I think we both proved each other right as far as what they thought of me and what I thought of the system….Ultimately it was their decision to move on and I can only go by what I’m told.”

On potential fallout with WWE writers:

“I’m sure I can be a pain in the ass because I have my own opinions. Those aren’t always welcome in a high-pressure situation where they’re just trying to dump out content. I’ve used the analogy: When you’re hired there they want you to be a line cook. I’m a gourmet chef. When I’m trying to add some of my own ideas on how the recipe can be improved, they say that they’re McDonald’s – – we sell a billion hamburgers.”

On his controversial departure from TNA:

“It was never intended for me – the way I walked out at Bound for Glory – that was not supposed to be the last that you saw me (there). That was never the intention. I certainly wouldn’t be trying to create a bunch of controversy for no payoff…Did it come off exactly as I envisioned in my head beforehand? Probably not. Could I have done a couple of things that still would have maybe gotten the point across, without maybe taking on some of the criticism that I’ve seen? Potentially… Tweets I put out, they started that controversy for that whole angle – You’re always taking risks. If you don’t step on the line enough, people don’t care and they don’t notice and it didn’t happen. You step over the line too much, and especially in this culture they want to cut your head off.”

He also covered AEW and WWE running shows during the shutdown, the state of the country and the world, his work with BioXcellerator, and much more.