Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast Interview Friday
Release Date: 10/12/18
Run Time: 1:09:10
Recap By: Joe Aguinaldo
- Austin Aries just before BFG. Opponent will be Johnny Impact and they got into an exchange that got heated.
Johnny Impact vs. Aries and crossing a line
- Wade says the hype for Austin vs. Impact has been fun to talk about from the promo to the twitter battle
- Aries says everyone draws their own line and we can debate what the line is but all that really matters is what happens on Bound For Glory
- Aries took issue that he and others have been carrying the company while Johnny was away but then came back and announced himself as number one contender. None of this matters when they step in the ring.
- Johnny is going to have to earn respect from Aries and show him he can be what he (Johnny) says he wants to be
- Austin says fans and even John himself are trying to figure himself out who exactly is Johnny Impact.
- Going into the promo. Austin did most of the talking while Johnny just stared him down.
Promo Leading Up to Bound For Glory
- Austin says there’s an understanding between pros (he hopes) what their job is but some people don’t understand that.
- Austin says why make stuff up when you can tell the truth. He would rather talk about reality. In the promo Austin didn’t take any personal shots. He talked about his lack of focus but didn’t cut him down personally.
- Wade agreed that Austin didn’t go there. Austin talked about what fans already knew about Johnny.
- Austin says there were a few ways Johnny could have reacted. There are layers to what they do. Physical is only one aspect and Johnny is upper echelon when it comes to the physical impact.
- Aries says their match started the minute they start talking and Johnny came out saying he was number one contender
- Austin touched on a nerve and feelings got hurt which they’ll have to figure it out at Bound For Glory
Working With Heat
- Austin has never had a problem of maintaining professionalism once the bell rings regardless of what goes on prior to the match
- Everyone in the industry lives by that motto because if you break that code you won’t find yourself working.
- When the bell rings, you try to put emotions aside but sometimes, having some real animosity can help the emotions of a match because it’s real and the audience can feel it (e.g. Shawn vs Bret).
- Aries is able to work at different levels and speeds depending on how his opponent wants to wrestle. On Sunday, they’ll see how hard Johnny wants to go.
The A-Ha moment
- The A-Ha moment happens all the time for guys and girls at all levels. Austin remembers having those types of moments early in his career.
- When Austin wrestles with local guys in smaller promotions, he’ll ask them how it felt in the ring. The answer he is getting is that it’s intense and real, which is what he wants it to be.
- Austin had one definitive moment early in his career. He was watching a tag team and after the match he realized wrestling can be fun…it doesn’t have to be serious. He realized then that wrestling can be fun and also realized there is a huge scope of what wrestling can be. The more depth you have, the more longevity and success you’re going to have.
- Early in Austin’s career, the creativity for him was the arsenal and his moves which is the same with a lot of guys and girls in this generation. As he’s gotten older, his focus isn’t so much what’s happening in the ring but rather the story being told with the moves. He’s trying to think more from an artistic standpoint of the story. He’s not concerned with having all the fancy moves but more concerned about having a compelling story.
What Makes A Match Good?
- When Austin was breaking in, they didn’t have people like Wade or Dave Meltzer telling him if his match was good or not. That stuff was in its infancy. He would rely on audience reaction and feedback from the boys in the back.
- Everyone is trying to make a name for themselves, get noticed and create a buzz. This is difficult because more people are able to watch more due to technology which is good in a sense but also saturates the market. Wrestlers have to do things to stand out. Austin gets why guys are pushing the envelope to do bigger moves but the physical part is only one part of this. The more Austin started focusing on other parts of wrestling, the easier it got.
- Austin says one way you can look at Match of the Night is who took the least punishment and got paid the most.
- Austin says everyone wants to pick match of the night or rate a match based on their expectation of what the perfect match is. However, if you don’t understand the context of what the match is supposed to be or what was asked, it’s hard to grade on a scale.
- Wade brings up talking to Paul Heyman at a card who explained why matches were in the spots they were in and what their purposes were. Austin uses the example of a leadoff hitter. Their job is to get on base and set the table for others after him. If he is trying to swing for the fences when it’s not his job, he may hit a few home runs but that’s not his purpose in the lineup. That said, Austin understands why wrestlers try to ‘steal the show’ and that the mentality is there because he was that guy once.
Coming up in the indies
- When Austin broke in, his second match was refereed by Shawn Devari. Ken Anderson was coming out of the Green Bay Area while C.M Punk and Colt Cabana were coming out in Chicago.
- Sean and Ken had clear visions of where they wanted to go (i.e. WWE) and everything they did strive for that. They were going out there to make this their career and were the types of people Aries gravitated towards.
- Austin tells a story about working for Ian Rotten’s promotion (who still owes him $200) with Ken Anderson when they were still new to the business. This was a bigger independent event and they went down to be seen and make some connection. Austin’s match wasn’t that good so he was feeling a little down and Ian gave him $50.00 and said it could either be his payday or his trans cost.
- All those guys succeeded in what they wanted to do. Austin wanted to go in a different direction with ROH which was more his style of pro wrestling. He was into the Super jr style and his trainer Eddie Sharkey get a mask and go to Japan.
- ‘Punk is Punk’ and Austin says they’re similar in some aspects
- There was a professional respect and an acknowledgement of someone who had similarities
- Early in his career, Austin was at a Steel Domain show where Punk was in a Cage match with Ace Steel and noticed they were at a different level than everyone else. Punk has always had that about him.
Austin Aries’ Role
- Austin is in tune with perception and what people think or say. He uses that to challenge someone’s truth and make that person prove him wrong and shove it down his throat (like he did with Johnny in their promo). That’s what Austin feels his job is.
- Austin says wrestling and your character is about who are you, not what someone wants you to be because no one else can duplicate you.
- Austin feels his job as Impact World Champion is to set the bar high and challenge everyone to get over it.
Austin’s Confidence Levels
- Austin says he and a lot of new wrestlers are super confidence early in their career because you’re too stupid to know better (false confidence)
- Austin feels really confident now at this stage of his career. He’s been and done just about everything he’s wanted to do except wrestle in New Japan.
- As far as being least confident, it was his time in WWE because they have a big list of how to do things and how they want things done. While you’re in that learning curve, you can start to question if things you do are wrong.
- Austin says finding himself after coming out of the WWE wasn’t easy especially because the wrestling landscape had changed.
What Changed In the Industry
- The indie scene really started blossoming. With technology such as streaming services, promotions are able to get their product to more viewers.
- There’s a demand for wrestlers all over the world at a level Austin hasn’t seen with before.
Austin in WWE
- It was made clear that his reputation preceded him and he felt like he was on double secret probation.
- He feels he was shown respect for what he’s done and the fact they gave him a shot at his age proved it. That said, what you’ve done in the past doesn’t mean anything there and you have to earn it all over again.
- Austin is grateful for his 18 months in the WWE and learned more than he thought but at the end of the day, it wasn’t the right fit for either side.
- Austin says what the Impact Wrestling team (both performers and behind the scenes) have done an amazing job producing a TV show on a small budget
- Austin is a proponent of slow and steady wins the race. They need to keep putting good quality TV shows on air consistently and do things that other promotions won’t do to set them apart. Keep doing what they’re doing and build on that.
- Austin said in a promo that Impact is a place of the misfits, the misused or those who were miscast or those with chips on their shoulders. They’re coming to Impact and are being given a platform and the freedom to do what they want to do. Impact is trying to create a collaborative environment which is fun.
- A promoter set up vegan catering at an event. A lot of the other wrestlers didn’t know that and thought it was for everyone.
- Tommy Dreamer ate half the vegan table because he didn’t know and none of the other vegans hadn’t eaten yet. Austin had to stand guard over the vegan table.
- Veganism in wrestling has seen more acceptance in the last few years
Great interview by Wade. I know Aries has a bit of a reputation for being difficult but his insights and views into the business are insightful. Regarding the ‘heat’ between Johnny Impact and Austin Aries, I’m still wondering if this is legit heat or part of a storyline. Personally I think it’s 60/40 legit but if Austin is blurring the lines then he’s doing a really good job of it. And regarding the twitter battle between him and Johnny, they did touch on it but they didn’t get into the details of some of the personal shots Austin took at Taya Valkyrie (which I understand have been deleted since). Overall, great interview and a definite recommend.
Joe is a long time wrestling fan from Toronto. One of his life goals is to be a guest host on one of Wade Keller’s post show podcasts but until that happens, he’ll keep writing for PW Podcasts. He doesn’t consider himself any sort of expert, mark, smark or IWC type. He just likes wrestling. Check him out on twitter and instagram @ja113.