Source: The Sports CourierAustin Aries recently sat down with Fred Richani from The Sports Courier. Here are some highlights from the interview.
Wrestling in the X-Division: "I'm competing for a championship. Me and Chris Sabin are going back and forth with that. Again, wherever I can fit in with the Impact roster, wherever I can be an asset, I'm happy to do it. Of course, I feel that I'm a guy who can carry the World Heavyweight Championship. I've done it before. I'd like to do it again, but right now I've got my hands kind of full with Chris Sabin. He's kind of been in a similar position [to what] I've been within the company. We're going at it, and maybe we'll both raise each other's game up to that level and as soon as I can maybe move beyond him, I'll start setting my sights on whoever's got the World Heavyweight Championship."
Almost retiring from wrestling in 2011: "Yeah, you know, just transitioning, thinking about things to do with my life. Sometimes they say if you're in something too close for too long you have to take a step back and get a bigger, a better perspective of it. So, I just felt at maybe that time, taking a step back from wrestling and just focusing elsewhere was good for me on a personal level. But, you know, fate intervened and TNA gave me a call and said come on down for this X Division showcase we're doing. We're having basically a tournament of sorts to see who's going to get a contract. I felt it was an opportunity to definitely take advantage of and I did."
TNA Impact Wrestling success: "I live a mile from Clearwater Beach, so I get down there. I get to sit back and reflect a lot and just think about stuff. My brain's always motoring, so I'm always thinking. And I've definitely reflected on how grateful I am and what an opportunity that came in front of me at the right time in my life for me to take advantage of it. I'm very thankful for that and that being said, I'm not satisfied and I have more things I want to accomplish within the wrestling world, outside of the wrestling world. But absolutely, it's always important to me. I'm a very passionate guy and my emotions can sometimes get the best of me. So it's important for me to step back and be thankful for everything that's in front of me right now."
Hardest guy to get up for the Brainbuster: "Joey Ryan. I don't know, maybe it's something with the chest hair, or the mustache maybe. I don't know. He's got something in his boots. Rocks? I don't know. [Richani: I would have thought one of those Aces & Eights guys.] The masked guy who ended up being Knux? No, man. He uh, I don't know. I think just maybe center of gravity thing, he was actually pretty easy to hoist up there. But, man, I remember almost throwing my back out when I gave it to Joey Ryan."
Will the WWE Network hurt or help wrestling: "I don't see how it could be negative. I think it's more of an indication of the way television is going in general. It's starting to transition, and you see people are watching television as much on their computers and through the Internet as they are on typical cable. So, the medium's changing and transforming. I think WWE is just trying to stay ahead of the curve and time will tell how successful it is. But, if anything, I think it's going to open up a lot more opportunities for other programming, other types of shows, other spinoffs. You understand, a lot of professional wrestlers are talented guys outside of just a ring and a microphone, and this will give some opportunities to guys to sort of branch out and do other things that will be entertaining and help do that. Again, just more opportunities for guys to make money."
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