CollarAndElbow.com has an interview with Austin Aries. Here are some highlights.
Maintaining the prestige of the X Division title: “The championship’s only as important as the guy who holds it. I think for the X Division it’s all about having quality talent, and having enough that there’s competition. There’s a lot of hungry guys out there who have either been here once or have never been here that want a shot in the X Division. It’s just a matter of accumulating the talent and letting the talent compete. The cream usually rises to the top.”
The current state of ROH: “Let’s just say that the people that originally had the vision and the passion for that company … once they left, things started to slowly change. And I think that the vision and the energy that was originally there, through the different transfers of power, is not what it was. If you look at the talent roster during it’s best periods, you’re going to go back and look, shake your head and go ‘wow, there was a lot of talent there at one time!’ That energy, that vision and that passion… that’s what really separated Ring of Honor from other companies at the time and I’m not sure that still exists.”
Potential opponents from outside of TNA: “The guys that come to my mind are guys I’m familiar with, Rhett Titus and Kenny King who I think are a great tag team and they’ve worked extremely hard to get to the point that they are at. Obviously I trained Rhett so I have a little favoritism there! And another one of my trainees Grizzly Redwood I think would be a great addition to any wrestling roster. He’s a unique character who fills a role that not many can in the business and is a quality person who is also a hard worker. Those are the guys I would go to bat for because I think they have something to offer not only in the ring but in the locker room.
Working with Hulk Hogan and Sting: “It can be surreal at times if you let that inner child think about it. I mentioned to a friend last week that my ten year old self would be giddy about the fact that Hulk Hogan is telling me how great I am in the middle of a wrestling ring. If you told me that when I was reading the news magazines at the grocery store when I was ten I wouldn’t have believed it. Guys like Sting, Hogan and Kurt Angle have accomplished so much in this business, they’re so well respected that when you get compliments from them it holds a lot more weight than when it comes from a lot of other people.