Jericho welcomes Austin Aries to the show.
Aries informs that he has a new book coming out entitled, ‘Food Fight: My Plant-Powered Journey From Bingo Halls to the Big Time’. He has been a vegan since 2000 and he takes great pride in not depending on animals for food or clothing. He says that the food industry is lying to us all and we need to start paying more attention to the things we’re putting in our bodies.
Jericho asks Aries how he started working for WWE. Aries says he flew into WWE headquarters and had some conversations with people to see if it was a good fit, and they moved on from there. The company was still trying to figure out how NXT was going to run at that time, but now new performers almost exclusively go to NXT first where they train five days a week and set up the rings with all the younger talents.
He didn’t get the chance to do those things and that’s unfortunate because he thinks he would have loved that. While working with Nakamura one night, a misplaced kick broke his eye socket and Aries called it ‘a complete freak accident’. He told Triple H that he didn’t want to dissapear while his injury healed and he pitched the idea of him working as a commentator or a manager.
He started working as a commentator on 205 Live and he was more nervous for that commentary debut than he was for any match in recent memory. Vince McMahon was in his ear and that was a scary feeling, but things went very well and when he went back through the curtain at the end of the show McMahon greeted him with a smile saying, “You’re a natural!”.
Jericho says it’s very hard to be a babyface in WWE and if you’re not the Champion, you’re working your way down the card. As a heel there are no rules, and you don’t have to win. You can lose night after night but you can get your heat back quickly with one or two verbal jabs on the mic.
Aries says that’s a great point and he would much rather be a heel. While working as a babyface against Neville, Aries talked a big game on commentary but then failed to defeat Neville four times in a row. As a babyface, he thinks this really hurt him.
Aries says he never had any issue with being moved to 205 Live at all, but a lot of their plans changed when Neville really took the ball as a heel Champion and ran with it.
He recalls coming backstage after one particular match and was asked to cut a promo. He had a banana in his hand and he didn’t think it was a big deal. The writer and production crew were thrown off by this and urged him to cut the promo twice, one with the banana and one without. He knew at that moment that WWE production crews can’t wrap their heads around anything that’s not written on a piece of paper.
Improvisation is frowned upon there, but Aries continued to sprinkle in his new prop – the banana – here and there. He talked to Vince McMahon about the banana one evening and mentioned how he was starting to get it over. McMahon laughed and said, “We’ll get to the banana thing down the road”.
Aries says it was awesome working at WrestleMania 33. He says he never had any issue with being in the Kickoff match, and he and Neville actually took pride in the fact that the stands were pretty full for their match that evening. Unfortunately, the WrestleMania 33 DVD did not include their match.
Aries informs that he never asked to be released, and that thought never even crossed his mind. At that point in his career he was very open to doing whatever the company asked of him and he considered himself to be a great ‘utility man’. He was simply told that they didn’t have anything for him creatively, and that was the end of that.
He couldn’t quite understand how McMahon could go from calling him a ‘natural’ to having nothing for him creatively all within a few months. He knows that WWE works in strange ways and that’s just the way it is. He holds no ill will towards the company and now he’s back to working indie dates.
He says he’s going to make just as much money over the next couple of months working indie dates as he did per month during his WWE run. That’s not a shot at WWE’s pay, rather it’s simply pointing out that there’s something to be said for being able to make as much money as you want. In WWE there are contracts which prevent you from making your own schedule and earning additional money but on the indies, the World is yours.
That sums up today’s episode of Talk is Jericho. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!