Impact Wrestling World Champion Austin Aries was recently a guest on Keeping It Real with Konnan. During the interview, Aries explained some of the main differences between WWE and Impact, specifically in the creative processes in each company.
Aries said the main difference he sees is the creative freedom he's been given in Impact. Aries felt stifled in WWE because everything was produced so extensively that it didn't leave room for him to offer his own input into what he was doing.
"It is completely night and day, right? It is really hard to compare the two because, first of all, the size of the beasts are different. The size of what you are producing, teams, a lot of it, a lot of factors," Aries said. "I think what it benefits for a guy like me, and a day like this where I may already have an outline that I am doing an in-ring promo that day, and then when I get there we have a sit down into what we want to get accomplished with the segment, but from there a lot of times, they let me go fill in the blanks and paint the picture. Then, I can go back and give them my ideas of what I am thinking and whether something is good, or if I have some questions it is a really cool atmosphere."
Aries went on to praise the leadership at Impact. He said it's important for companies to identify which superstars need micromanaging and which superstars don't. As a veteran who is in his third run with the company. Aries has been given a lot of leeway to do his own thing, and it's something he appreciates.
"It is very collaborative, which it should be. I think the thing is with a strong leadership is that you know the guys that need to be managed and the guys that can kind of manage themselves because you know you can't give everybody equal times," he said. "I am grateful to know that they can leave me alone and take care of whatever I need to take care of which leaves time for the young guys and girls who are where I was 10 years ago when I needed that guidance and leadership. Micromanage where it should and otherwise get out of the way and let people do what they need to do, which is why you brought them there to begin with."
Aries also revealed that he doesn't watch much of the current pro wrestling product. He said today's wrestling is geared towards a younger audience and it doesn't appeal to him. With Impact shifting its direction towards more adult-themed storylines, Aries believes they have an opportunity to capture an older generation of wrestling fans who are also dissatisfied with today's product.
"I really don't watch a lot of wrestling. I really don't. People are surprised that I don't. There was a time that I really loved pro wrestling, but I'm not a pro wrestling junkie, per se," Aries said. "I don't have a lot of free time with the amount of traveling that I do, but most of pro wrestling isn't catered to me. I am not a kid. There are a lot of guys that complain to me about the product, but it's like, well, you are not a kid. It is catered to sell t-shirts and merchandise to kids and their parents.
"That is why with some of the things that we are doing at Impact Wrestling and other places there are more of a resurgence to more of an adult-orientated version of pro wrestling because that is what is missing for a long time," he continued. "Maybe, there is something we can do at Impact Wrestling that some corporate companies don't want to touch. I think that there is a lot of people that miss what pro wrestling can give them too. I don't watch a ton of it. I watch enough to see what is going on. I think it is also good to not be watching it because your ideas are your ideas."
If you use any portion of the quotes in this article please credit Keeping It 100 with Konnan with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription
Source: Keeping It 100 with Konnan
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.