Austin Aries On If TNA Will Be On The Road A Year From Now, Problems With BFG Series, TNA Fans
The Bound for Glory series taking away from feuds: "It didn't turn out good because I didn't win it. I think the concept has a lot of potential. The Bound for Glory series could provide match ups that you wouldn't normally see because its guys who would never be feuding and I think for me; it gets drawn out a little too long and also can be streamlined. This is a personal preference if you are going to put up twenty points for some battle royal match or gauntlet match, it defeats the purpose because these should be one-on-one singles matches with a fifteen minute time limits because that's what this is about. I'm not going to challenge for the World's Heavyweight Championship in a battle royal and in some ways, it cheats the fans because for those fans who were really invested in it and they thought that this was the last night to see who advances now: "Oh hey, next week we are going to throw another gauntlet match for twenty points", it's kind of insult and I can understand as a fan, why at the time, I would tune out.
"I think it has a lot of potential but I understand there are a lot of moving parts and a lot of factors behind the scenes that had to be changed or maneuvered around and that's the part that the fans do not understand. The necessities of the life that need to be done and if I was in the position to give suggestions, I think I would bring the competitors down to eight, shorten it up and put a real importance on it and maybe a couple Impacts would be strictly Bound for Glory series matches that night. Maybe once a month it would be nothing but Bound for Glory series matches or the other thing that I heard thrown out there which is a good suggestion is make it more of a tournament style because people can follow tournaments and that's an easy concept to understand and I think the points can't get confusing. "Its this amount of points for a victory but for a submission it's this amount of points but if he's disqualified, it is this." To the casual fan who is not that invested in this, it might go over their heads. I think the concept is great, it has a lot of potential and I think it's a work in progress and every year, we are trying to make it better and listen to all suggestions and hope to progress on it. You want to keep away from the "Team Challenge Series" as much as possible."
The success of the past Ring of Honor stars: "I've said this for a long time that if you were able to succeed in Ring of Honor like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan and myself were all able to do and you learn how to get over no matter where you are, WWE is just another place where you can get over. It's really that simple. Talent is talent and understanding the business and understanding what you need to do to have the people connect with you. That's not something that you can necessarily teach. That's something that you have or that you don't and all of those guys have it and they had it back then and they will have it in ten years. That's why you can't judge a professional wrestler with a tape measure, it doesn't work that way. I've been judged that way before and I'm sure I will again and those people all failed in their assessments of my talent and I'll prove that every time I step out there."
TNA's fan base being as rabid as ROH's fan base: "I don't know if that's a successful direction to go, if it was then Ring of Honor would be in a lot better position than it is now. Reality is and the listeners do not like to hear this but the hardcore, tight knit wrestling community is just a small overall percentage piece of the pie and if you cater to that small slice, you're missing out on the rest of the pie. I think the idea is to keep them invested and if you can get a buzz with that core of the fan base, it will resonant to the common fan. They are a very important part of our fan base, they are always going to be there, that's really the backbone but you need to use them to help excite the common fans and you can't cater to them because you're probably going to lose a lot of the other people out there. It's a slippery slope and you want to include as many people as you can in the entertainment value and for some people, its judging matches, star ratings, false finishes and all these kind of things and for other people it's something completely different and we need to keep that in mind."
Will TNA still be on the road a year from now? "I don't know. I'm not in those meetings and I don't make those decisions. I hope they are. I don't make those financial logistics of it. I think there are things that we can definitely do that would help us be successful while on the road as far as promoting and advertising. I think there are things that we dropped on the ball on but again, I don't get paid to make those decisions. If I did, I think we would be in a little bit of a better position right now."
For more from the interview, which includes Aries discussing TNA losing it's "buzz," Hulk Hogan and AJ Styles possibly leaving the company, the Christy Hemme incident, TNA's problems and more, click here.
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