Impact Wrestling star, Ace Austin recently spoke with Busted Open Radio about his inspirations in the industry. One person he is often compared to is AJ Styles, and Austin admitted that he tries to model his career after him where possible.
“I’ve been able to really kind of expand as I’ve grown inside of wrestling and learn a lot about guys I didn’t get to watch when I was growing up. AJ Styles was one of the guys that I kind of model my career after,” Austin stated. “He’s somebody that just really went after it and did so much, did everything that he could basically before he ended up in that WWE realm. So that’s kind of where my goals have changed and grown since I’ve started training. There’s so much more out there in wrestling that you can really do.”
Impact Wrestling is a company that Styles put together a lot of his best work, and that is where Austin is now thriving. However, back in 2018 when he signed with the company, he actually had offers from both WWE and MLW as well.
“2018 was such as good year for me because that’s when I got to do 205 Live and that’s when MLW first booked me and when Impact first used me, so in a span of like three months, I had worked for the three major television companies at the time. They were all interested. I had interest from all sides, but I really felt a connection with Impact,” Austin revealed. “A lot was having to do with the roster because so many of them were guys that I had been working with on the indies and they were mentoring me.
“So, it was an environment that I thought I would be most comfortable in. But also, after having spent a little bit of time in every environment, I felt the most at home in the Impact locker room, so that just seemed like the right way to go. And it seemed like such a good way to build my foundation and learn how to work on television,” he said. “Especially going to WWE in 2018, when I was 20 years old, I was way too young and the system wouldn’t have been good for me then, I think. So when stuff blew up in 2018, I had a lot of fun doing all that, but ultimately, Impact felt like the right move and that’s where I landed.”
While Austin models himself on the work of AJ Styles, he isn’t the only inspiration that he had in wrestling. Austin spoke about which wrestlers he grew up watching, and revealed that Jeff Hardy is the man who convinced him he could have a career in the industry.
“My family were wrestling fans. They were WWE fans, I guess I should say specifically because, in my area, nothing else was really prevalent. So, WWE was the main thing. When I was watching, I had my brother’s influences kind of help me learn a little bit about what I had missed,” Austin said. “I was always a big fan of Shawn Michaels, obviously. I was actually a real big fan of Kofi Kingston, he was somebody I looked up to a lot when I started watching early on. The Ultimate Warrior was one of my favorites. Jeff Hardy is probably my biggest influence overall. Jeff Hardy was the one that, when I saw him, he made me think it was possible for me, so that’s how I kind of connected with it.”
Unfortunately, Austin recently underwent a difficult situation in his real-life due to his apartment burning down. He discussed the challenges that came from that due to how close the incident took place to Bound For Glory.
“We’ve been going through it here as well, man. I just had my apartment burn down two weeks ago. We lost everything, so we spent the last two weeks trying to keep our schedule going,” Austin said. “This was five days before Bound For Glory in Las Vegas that this fire happened. We had five days to pull it together and make sure we got to Vegas with some gear, just ready to do my job. We pulled it off and Vegas was a lot of fun. It was really good to be surrounded by the roster, and to be loved and supported so much.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Busted Open Radio, with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.