It was this time about a year ago that vignettes hyping Ace Austin's debut hit Impact TV. Soon after Austin made his debut, he made an impact and won the X-Division Championship at Bound for Glory.
Austin discussed his contract with Wrestling Inc's Nick Hausman during a recent media scrum.
"I'm signed for at least three years and I'm only nine months into that now. So, we've got time and I'm gonna be here for a long time," revealed Austin who was then asked about winning the X-Division Title by Hausman.
"I've been talking about an age-old phrase that weekend – it was manifest destiny. I've made a career at putting myself in the right place at the right time and being nothing short of an opportunist. Bound for Glory was perfect evidence of that. It was me putting it into the universe that this was my destiny and then manifesting that destiny in front of a sold-out crowd at Bound for Glory. It was a huge moment."
Austin won the title in a five-way ladder match and he discussed where he hopes to take the X-Division in 2020.
"I've taken the X-Division to the XXX Division so far," said Austin. "It only took me eight months inside the X-Division to capture this, so I think there's big things ahead for me and my division in 2020."
Austin was then asked which wrestlers inspired him while growing up in Pennsylvania.
"Jeff Hardy was my favorite wrestler for a long time. Rob Van Dam – being in a locker room with him is awesome. But my training comes from the Wild Samoans which is the most solid foundation that you can have getting into the wrestling business. It teaches you everything you need to know about the bare bone rules as far as respect," stated Austin.
"From there, my views were broadened by spending time on the East Coast with CZW. I don't like to stay anywhere for more than a year-and-a-half so I like to change my environment and the people I'm learning from because you can never learn enough."
Austin successfully defended the X-Division Title against Trey Miguel earlier this year but the history between those two goes back before that. He talked about his personal business with Miguel.
"Me and Trey Miguel go way back. My first match in the Midwest, when I broke in with oVe and met them, was a multi-man match for a championship and Trey won that match. He beat me in that match and him and I went back and forth a bit in that promotion. We were both young and discovering ourselves and he had just come out to the Midwest as well to try and grow. We even lived together and were roommates for a while," revealed Austin.
"So, there's always been a little bit of friendly competition between me and Trey. He got here a little bit before I did but then I got here and we saw who the better man was. And he didn't like that. So, personal business aside, it's all about being smart. I'm gonna do whatever I've gotta do to keep this [title]. If that means things need to get a little personal with Trey, then that's what's gonna happen.
"The mind is an easy thing to play with and it's a very beneficial tool in all of this. You can be as athletic or strong as you wanna be, but if you're clouded with anger, jealousy and emotion – which I believe Trey is clearly – then it's all about the advantage. The advantage is on me now with the championship advantage."
Ace's full pre-Hard To Kill press conference aired as part of today's episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post, or viewed via the video player at the top. You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc. Audio on iTunes or Google Play. Listen to the show via Spotify here or through TuneIn here.