Impact World Champion Austin Aries is set to take on Moose at Slammiversary this weekend. Ahead of their match, Aries had the opportunity to talk about his career and current status on the independent circuit with Justin Barrasso over on Sports Illustrated.
The main takeaway from the interview was what Aries regrets from his run with WWE. Aries was one of the signature key players for a period of time in the division as he took on Superstars like Jack Gallagher and, more prominently, Neville.
Aries was released from the company in what was reportedly a mutual decision. Aries seemingly wanted to do more than just be part of the Cruiserweight division but he wasn’t given the chance to do so. In addition, there was talk backstage that he was hard to work with.
“I was totally open to any opportunities they had—any division, any brand. As for regret, more than anything else, my regret lies in that the WWE Universe never really got the real Austin Aries. Outside of commentary, they missed out on the chance to hear and see me be me, and do what I do best. And of course a number of great matches, including the names mentioned.”
The Champion explained what it was like to take on Kenny King in ROH and if he would be open to facing Jay Lethal in a match- potentially with both of their Championships on the line.
“Since I’ve been back and seeing how the landscape of professional wrestling is changing and that people are starting to understand the benefits of working together, I feel I’m in a unique position to try and bridge the gap between the two companies. Defending the Impact title against Jay Lethal would be phenomenal. In fact, I want to defend the title against Kenny King. I’m about making history and doing things that haven’t been done before. I want to set a new tone and precedence for pro wrestling.”
— SI Wrestling (@SI_wrestling) July 13, 2018
As mentioned above, Aries is scheduled to face Moose at Slammiversary. Moose is scheduled to have DeAngelo Williams in his corner, though as shown above, Aries delivered a chair shot to the former NFL star so if he does show up, he may not be in tough shape.
“Well after what happened, I don’t think DeAngelo will be in Moose’s corner. I think he understands that he doesn’t belong in or around my ring, so this should be a one-on-one matchup. There’s so much great wrestling going on right now, and Impact is picking up momentum and creating a buzz by offering something differently in the wrestling landscape. But this match determines where Impact goes from here. If Moose becomes champion it would kill that momentum. He has great potential, but he’s not ready to step up to my level.
“And being world champion goes beyond the ring; it’s being the face and ambassador of the company. He has no experience with what that entails and the responsibility that comes with carrying a promotion on his back. I’m at the top of my game and consistently proving it across the board on different continents in different promotions. To continue the world tour of success and influence, I need to keep my Impact world championship at Slammiversary.”
What is your prediction for the title match this weekend? If Aries could face any WWE Superstar, who would it be and why? Sound off in the comments below.