Austin Aries joined Doug Mortman and Dave lagreca on SiriusXM's Busted Open. You can hear Busted Open on Sports Zone; Sirius 92, XM 208 and on the app. They sent us these highlights from the interview:
The buzz behind TNA fading: "I know why it's gone and I'll keep that to myself. I don't control those decisions, all I can control is what's in front of me and I feel whatever you put on my tee, I'm going to knock out of the park. I've always felt that way and the decisions that are made and what's going to happen creatively that's above my pay grade as they say and quite frankly, it's not something that I want to stress myself out too much because I'm a passionate guy, I'm an opinionated guy. I love the industry and I've followed it ever since I can remember and I got to control the things that I can control and that's usually with a microphone in my hand and when I step in between the ropes."
Turnover in the TNA locker room: "You look at it two ways. Some people look at the turnover and the releases and they put a negative connotation on it but I think in any business and especially in the sports world, you need to keep that middle ground fresh and in wrestling, it's the same way. You give guys opportunities, some guys run with the brass ring and some don't but you can't stagnant with that, you need turnover because it keeps that fire lit under everybody, keeps everyone performing to the best of their abilities, no one gets comfortable, you don't want anybody getting comfortable and going to work and collecting a paycheck. You want to keep people on their toes and I don't think the turnover is a bad thing. It gives new guys opportunities, it keeps fresh faces for the fans and they don't get sick with the same old, same old and that's a successful recipe for any business."
The feeling in the TNA locker room: "I think it's the same as it's always been. I'm sure it's like here when you guys come in and you got a great feeling in things and other weeks, you're down about this, that and the other but overall, I haven't seen a huge change in the locker room. I think we all understand what the company is structured like, why things happen and again, I think a lot of the guys take the same approach I do on let's focus on what we can do and make the best of what we are given."
Bringing reality to wrestling: "I've always said that the best pro wrestling is from when you pull from reality the most you can. The more authentic you can make it, the more tied to reality it is, the more people grab on to it. I think that's the reason why people have gravitated to my character over the years, there's an authenticity to it. I'm not putting too much of an act, I might be turning up the dial one way or the other but I am who I am and that comes out in my character when I'm on screen. As the fans get smarter or think they are getting smarter, we have to find ways to keep them on their toes, off balance and keep them guessing because that's the name of the game and that's where the drama comes in."
The possibility of Hulk Hogan and AJ Styles leaving TNA: "The tight knit group of wrestling fans that know the information, it might get them excited because they actually know it's behind the scenes legitimate. I think to the casual fans, it's lost to them because they do not follow it that closely and that's not why they watch the product necessarily. The thing that we all have to be mindful with the performers that are out there, we don't want to be too smart for our audience. We are a lot more plugged in and tuned to those behind the scene things but the vast majority of them are not. Sometime we can outsmart ourselves with the things that we can do out there."
Christy Hemme situation: "That's a difficult situation. I'm not going to say a whole lot about it but it was an unfortunate event. I'll just say I was disappointed in the way things were handled in multiple levels and I think I will leave it at that for now."