Wrestling Inc. President Raj Giri was recently on a media conference call this week with Impact double-champion Austin Aries. Giri asked Aries about his thoughts on the up-and-coming talent at Impact Wrestling.
Aries currently holds both the Impact World Championship and Impact Grand Championship titles, and in his third run with the company he has grown into a leader in the locker room. Impact has had an influx of talent on their roster recently with a lot of young wrestlers earning new opportunities. Aries named a few superstars that have caught his eye.
"Obviously Brian Cage has stepped in and it's hard not to notice that guy, a guy that I've been in the ring with now a number of times. If you look at his toolbox, it's overflowing, so he's a guy, that with opportunity and time, could make a huge impact. He's one that stands out. Looking at the X Division, I think of Trevor Lee, a guy who's in the X Division that can maybe branch out. Ishimori, I've enjoyed what he's done. I haven't seen a lot of Desmond Xavier yet but I hear good things about him, he was over in Japan, so hopefully when he gets back we get to see what he's about," Aries said. "There's guys I'm missing, there's guys like Sami Callihan, who's not necessarily a young guy but he's starting to make some waves and make some noise and people are talking about him. Eli Drake, I still think is a tremendous talent and I still think for him the best is still ahead of him. And there's people I'm missing, and that just shows right now that there's a good collection of talent there."
Aries said he thinks Impact is a great place for rising talent right now because of the amount of opportunities available. He said he sees a lot of potential up and down the roster and he believes there are many chances for superstars to make names for themselves.
"What people don't understand is that before a lot of these household names that you're wearing their t-shirts now and you're huge fans of, they all started somewhere and they all had to make their names somewhere," Aries said. "Right now, there's a landscape in Impact where a lot of these guys made there names that opportunities are now opening up for a whole new generation of guys and there's a lot of talent right there that's gonna step up and be the next generation of household names that we're talking about."
Aries was also asked about Kurt Angle referencing TNA on this week's episode of Monday Night RAW. In a backstage segment with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, Angle declined their request of joining the RAW roster saying, "my tag division is full, but I hear that TNA is hiring." Aries didn't take much offense to the comments, but he did chide the WWE for not referencing the company by its current Impact name.
"I didn't think a whole lot of it. I think every wrestling company is hiring, they've obviously done quite a bit of hiring themselves over the last six months, I think that's what wrestling companies do. Someone should probably give them a memo and update them that TNA no longer exists, so their writing team was a little outdated on the joke," he said. "But hey, it's cool, yeah we are hiring. If you come here, we won't test you, take money out of your pockets for smoking marijuana, there's a lot of perks to coming here. So it's all about what you want out of your career and for your life, and we're trying to provide an alternative. The funny thing is, is that you asking that question is about one of the most talked-about things that happened on that show."