Austin Aries On Having Creative Freedom, The Value Of One Cage Match & Today’s Wrestling Landscape

Photo Credit: Impact Wrestling

Chris Jericho‘s latest Talk Is Jericho features IMPACT Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries.

In the first half of the episode, Aries and Jericho talk about the value of having just one cage match on a show, how this time in wrestling has been Aries’ favorite of his career, his love for the creative aspect over the money and how his current contract status allows him to cultivate that.

(Transcription credit to Dominic DeAngelo for 

Austin Aries on TNA old ownership handling of Lockdown’s “all cage match” event:

“Apparently no one in that room went ‘haha.’ I think probably someone said it as a joke, not realizing like ‘be careful what you joke about in this room cause people will think you’re serious.’ That was like the inside-out battle royal ,I think like someone like just said ‘oh, I wonder if we do if we do a battle royal where you gotta throw people in the ring, ha ha ha. Wait a minute, that’s a great idea.’ No it’s not!”

Jericho: “I know in Hell In A Cell, just to interject, was Hell In a Cell was always the big match, but then they started to do the Hell In A Cell pay-per-view where there would be two or three Hell In A Cells, and it’s like, that just kills it!”

Aries: “It does, because again, there’s only so much you can do in those matches and there’s an expectation of what those matches are gonna have, and so you only have so much psychology you can use in those. And you’re going it up by match three or the first handful of matches are going to basically disregard the fact that we’re in a cage and just wrestle like a normal wrestling match anyway, which is usually what happens because you know if there’s no real feud or there’s no real hatred, you’re not going to necessarily try to run some guy’s head into the steel cage. That’s going to maybe be saved for later on in the card so your early matches, which I probably would have been in some X-Division match, we’re basically just being kind of handcuffed because now we’re trying to do this style of wrestling in the cage that has nothing to do and really no benefit to us because we don’t want to take it away from people later on in the night.”

Austin Aries on being in a special situation with today’s wrestling landscape:

“Really the last six months I’d say that since February into March, April, like, I gotta be honest, I haven’t had more fun in professional wrestling in my 18 years than I had in the last six months. It’s been amazing, I’ve got to travel the world, I’ve got to really get my creative freedom back, which is something that I really value. Everyone’s different on that – some people look at this as strictly as a way to make money or become famous. I love the art of pro wrestling and being able take people on that emotional ride in the way that my vision is and what works for me. I’ve been able to do that now across the world with a number of promotions and I think successfully integrated myself into this kind of cool time in pro wrestling where, and you’re being apart of that, where things that you thought you knew of how pro wrestling was – the rules are changing every day. I had one of the writers, I won’t say which one, but he kinda hit me up and after something had happened when I showed up, actually at Ring Of Honor and he said ‘I wanted to say is – it safe to assume that you’re no longer with Impact?’ And my text back to him said, ‘In this landscape, nothing is safe to assume anymore, and that’s why I love it.”

“It’s been great to go out and again have ownership of my life and my creative process and really kind of see this great landscape of pro wrestling across the globe.”

Jericho on also enjoying the creative freedom process:

“I really did enjoy, like you just mentioned, the creative freedom of being able to, I don’t wanna phrase this [im]properly, cause there is a WWE way of doing things that I really enjoy, but there is also the other side of not having to worry about too many cooks adding ingredients to your soup. I don’t mind if Vince adds ingredients to the soup, but when I got this guy and that guy and this guy influencing Vince to influence what he’s going to do, it kinda takes away a little bit of the artistry. And I really appreciated kind of being almost totally control of what I want to do with that.”

Austin Aries’ freedom with his current contract:

“I still don’t have a contract that restricts me from working anywhere, which is I think is beautiful and I think as an independent contractor, the way wrestling could be. And so I’m trying to show companies that you can do that and it can be successful and you don’t needto have people under your thumb to do good business.”

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