Austin Aries’s WWE run lasted for 18 months. In those 18 months, Aries performed in NXT, suffered a severe eye-injury, became a commentator and had a WrestleMania match with the then Cruiserweight Champion Neville.
However, Aries was let go from the company not long after his match at Mania.
During his appearance on VOC Nation’s In The Room podcast, Aries talked about his tenure in the WWE and how it ended.
Aries revealed that his exit from the company wasn’t something he asked for but a decision from the powers that be. He said that people in the company told him that he came in on “secret, double probation” given his height and age.
I can give you six different answers depending on what talking point I want to use, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t my decision there. It was nothing that I asked for, and it was nothing that I was given a heads up that was coming.
That question is probably better to ask Vince or to the people that were in charge. I’ll be honest, I came in as a short, old white dude. I’m 5’8, 5’9 in my boots. I was 38 years old. I came in basically on secret, double probation that’s what I was told.
Aries also revealed that he was asked to be on his best behavior by people backstage. However, he said that he looked past all of that and did all he could as a performer in the 18 months he was there.
I came in being told that, not that I wasn’t welcome, but that I had to be on my ‘best behavior.’ Despite all of that and them really not having a plan for me, I get my eye hole broken and I offer to do commentary and I spin that into the main roster run into a WrestleMania match. I did all of that in 18 months. I don’t know what else I was supposed to do or what people were expecting.
Aries then said that he knew that working in WWE wasn’t something he would be doing for the next 10 years of his life. He said that both parties (he himself and WWE) went into the run with certain reservations and proved what they thought of each other to be right.
I don’t think walking in there I felt like this was going to be a fit for the next 10 years of my career. I think we both went in there with some reservations, and I think we both proved each other right as far as what they thought of me and what I thought of the system. Ultimately it was their decision to move on and I can only go by what I’m told.
The former Impact World Champion also implied that he had creative disputes with WWE. Austin called himself a “gourmet chef” who wants to make improvements to his “recipe” while WWE, who he referred to as McDonald’s, wanted him to be a “line cook”.
I’m sure I can be a pain in the ass because I have my own opinions. Those aren’t always welcome in a high pressure situation where they’re just trying to dump out content. I’ve used the analogy, when you’re hired there, they want you to be a line cook. I’m a gourmet chef. When I’m trying to add some of my own ideas on how the recipe can be improved, they say that they’re McDonald’s. We sell a billion.
Thank you to WrestlingInc for the quotes.