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RECAP AND REVIEW: Talk is Jericho with Austin Aries on why TNA suspended him in 2007, his current contract status, what made him come back to Impact, why right now might be the right time to remodel the pro wrestling business model

Talk is Jericho – Austin Aries is Bound for Glory

Release date: October 10, 2018

Recap by: Caitlin Lavelle

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

5:15 – Austin Aries on TNA “forgetting the cages” for TNA Lockdown 2007

Of TNA Lockdown 2007, Austin Aries says, “That was the old regime of, formerly known as TNA. They had the all-cage pay-per-view in St. Louis, which is a good place to have an all-cage pay-per-view because you can’t bleed in St. Louis, and they didn’t bring the cage. I was always trying to decide if it was worse if they forgot, or if someone made the decision not to bring it.

“Then they had the crew there trying to build a cage. We called it ‘six sides of string’. We were all instructed where we could and couldn’t stand as we were scaling the cage.”

6:40 – Aries on his 2007 suspension from TNA

Aries says he was suspended from TNA following TNA Lockdown 2007 for a, “bad attitude.” He elaborates that, on a day off of shooting, shortly after the TNA locker room was informed that management would no longer be paying for talents’ hotel rooms, Vince Russo told Aries that he would need to be on standby to record vignettes the next day.

Aries says, “I asked too many questions. ‘How long is it going to take? Is there a reason I couldn’t do it tomorrow when I’m there for 8 hours? Am I going to be paid?’  Which (the answer) was ‘No.’  ‘So I’m paying all my expenses today, but you want me to work, but you don’t want to pay me? How does that work?’

“Basically, I had a bad attitude. I didn’t say, ‘Yes, sir.’ I said, ‘Why, sir?’”

Aries says TNA notified him of his suspension via voicemail during his flight home from the pay-per-view.

11:55 – Aries on his post-WWE career

Aries says, “A lot of things changed very quickly for me, personally and professionally. It takes sometime to get your feet back underneath you and get recalibrated…I haven’t had more fun in professional wrestling in my eighteen years than I’ve had in the last six months.

“I got to really get my creative freedom back, which is something I really value.”

14:45 – Aries on the changing landscape of professional wrestling

Aries says, “There’s a way to do things where everybody wins. I think a lot of times, in this industry, people don’t put a lot of thought into that extra step where everybody wins. To be able to go and work with promotions and have promotions start working together…something that brings eyes to both promotions instead of splitting your fan base.

“I think that’s what companies are starting to see now. The pro wrestling scene, with the way that we take in content now, has changed. Everyone has their own platform. As performers, we all have a platform to build our brand. As promotions, we have ways of getting the content out there without national television. It’s allowing people from all over the world to watch it, and create demand for guys like me, in places in the world where maybe it wouldn’t have been five or ten years ago.”

16:45 – Aries on his current contract status

Jericho asks Aries about working for both Ring of Honor and Impact. Aries says, “At the time, I didn’t have a contract anywhere. I still don’t have a contract that restricts me from working anywhere, which is, I think, beautiful, and I think, as an independent contractor, the way wrestling could be.

“I’m trying to show wrestling companies that you can do that, and it can be successful, and you don’t have to have people under your thumb for it to be good business.”

Aries says he had been set to join Ring of Honor at one point, but then decided he wanted to help rebuild Impact after the new leadership (Scott D’Amore & Don Callis) was in place.

20:00 – Aries on returning to Impact

Aries says that when Sonjay Dutt initially reached out to him about rejoining Impact after WWE, Aries told Dutt he wasn’t interested in joining as talent, but would entertain the idea of joining Impact’s Creative Team.

Aries says he told Impact, “I don’t have the desire to come in (to Impact) and work for anyone again. I’ll work with anybody, but I don’t want to work for anyone there.”

Aries says these negotiations broke down for a while, but picked back up when Don Callis & Scott D’Amore joined Impact.

33:55 – Aries on being the Belt Collector

Aries talks about the feedback he’s gotten for his post-WWE ‘Belt Collector’ gimmick. He says, “Everyone was like, ‘Oh what a great idea!’ Like I sat in my room thinking of ideas and said, ‘Oh, I’ll just win all the belts!’”

Aries says he acquired championships organically and, “ran with it”. He talks about the different titles he’s won in the UK, Australia and the United States. Aries says it’s been difficult to travel with all of his championship belts.

46:30 – Aries on the changes in Impact Wrestling

Aries says, “This is the one thing I keep stressing to people…They’ve cleared out all the old regime (at Impact), too, and all the old mindsets and all the old thought processes. I wouldn’t be there if they hadn’t. It’s really a new place there. It’s got the structure and the foundation and the bones of the ship, but we’re all there now and we’re rebuilding this thing, and it’s going to be great. I think there’s a lot of potential.

“I think right now Impact Wrestling is the most fun place to work. I think it’s the place I look forward to going. It’s the best locker room.”

Aries thinks Impact just needs to stay the course and take their time to be successful. He also says Impact should resist the temptation to, “Throw big money at people because of what they’ve done in other places.”

49:10 – Aries on why he should be “Booker of the Year”

Aries talks about a match he recently booked where The Briscoe Brothers and Austin Aries faced The Young Bucks and Marty Scurll.

Aries says, “I’ve got my hands in a lot of cookie jars. I’ve been joking, and some of my friends have been joking, that I should nominate myself for Booker of the Year. If you really knew all the things I’ve been doing since, say, January for all of these promotions, and it’s all been at my device, I’d put my booking up there against anybodies.”

57:00 – Aries on the potential to restructure professional wrestling’s business model

Aries says, “If there’s ever been an opportunity to revisit the way that we structure this whole business model between independent contractors and employees, and the way wrestlers have been classified forever, maybe it’s now. I see that, if I’m not mistaken, WWE is trying to put their hat in for Emmys, which is great. Shouldn’t every man and woman on that show be (in the) SAG-AFTRA (unions)?

“If you want to get the recognition for being what you are, then the actors and actresses and stuntmen and stuntwomen who put their lives on the line should absolutely be getting that credit, too.”

Timestamps:

0:40 – Introduction
4:50 – Interview starts
5:15 – Austin Aries on TNA “forgetting the cages” for TNA Lockdown 2007
6:40 – Aries on his 2007 suspension from TNA
11:55 – Aries on his post-WWE career
14:45 – Aries on the changing landscape of professional wrestling
16:45 – Aries on his current contract status
20:00 – Aries on returning to Impact
21:25 – Advertisement
24:47 – Interview resumes
33:55 – Aries on being the Belt Collector
39:05 – Advertisement
43:55 – Interview resumes
46:30 – Aries on the changes in Impact Wrestling
49:10 – Aries on why he should be “Booker of the Year”
57:00 – Aries on today’s potential to restructure professional wrestling’s business model
1:03:12 – Outro

Rating: 7/10

Austin Aries is full-blown Austin Aries in this interview – assertive, self-assured & passionate. I like him, but you may find him off-putting. Proceed with caution.

Writer Bio

Caitlin is a wrestling fan who hopes to one day discover that she is the illegitimate daughter of Vincent Kennedy McMahon and the rightful Anonymous RAW General Manager. Until then, she’ll keep on living in Orlando, Florida with her husband and son.

 

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