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Austin Aries Clears Up Rumors About His WWE Release

Posted By Caroline Walsh on 11/10/17

Austin Aries recently appeared on Talk is Jericho (transcript via wrestlinginc.com), here are the highlightsÖ

On Losing His Feud With Neville: ďThat didnít bother me. I just said, Ďwell, okay. Now, where do we go?í and it didnít seem like they had a clear direction of where to go, which was frustrating because Iím more than just a good match guy. You can literally use me anywhere and Iím open to be used anywhere.Ē

On Working The WrestleMania Pre-Show: ďThe first thing that hit that night for WrestleMania 33 was my music and that crowd exploded and I walked out. They didnít explode for me. It was like, Ďafter four hours in this heat, the show is starting!í That wasnít lost on me, Chris. But the other part of me thatís like, Ďit was because of me! It was my music! It was just like ĎStone Coldí when the glass shattered! Did you see them?í But, no, man, seriously though, it was awesome. I had felt, I had been there the year before and I know how empty that arena was for those guys that went out there and busted their ass[es] at the preshow or the kickoff show. And I think Neville and myself took a sense of pride that that place was pretty full and people were sitting in their seats, ready to see our match. It was the Kickoff [Show] and that place was pretty full and they were ready to rock and roll and be entertained. hereís the funny thing, man. Of course, everybody wants to be on the main show, but not everybody can be. And so, [being on the Kickoff Show] didnít bother me in the least. I looked at it like, Ďalright, I have a job to do, and now my job is to make sure everybody is here for the Kickoff Show, and Iím going to tell everybody, Ďhey, if you miss the Kickoff Show, youíre going to miss one of the best matches of the night because were going to go out there and tear it downí because thatís my job. Thatís my responsibility. I take that seriously. I donít have any ill-will about any of that and I think we went out there and did that. Iím proud of that.Ē

On Tweeting About being left Off Of The WrestleMania DVD: ďThere was a tweet I put out that garnered some headlines. I put a tweet out telling everyone that the WrestleMania 33 is available in Canada on BluRay. Unfortunately, one of the best matches of the night was left off the DVD.í Right? So people took that and made it into, Ďoh, one of the reasons Austin Aries left was because heís mad that his match wasnít on the DVD.í So Iím going to out myself here, okay? I get paid to put tweets out sometimes. Okay? Sometimes, Iím paid to put things over by people who have things that theyíre selling and it just so happened that the one thing Iím paid this time to put over was that the DVD of WrestleMania 33 was now available in Canada on BluRay. Well, when I went to put it on, I realized, Ďoh sĖt! Iím not even on this DVD that Iím supposed to promote. How would I do that in all my sarcasm and wit?í And thatís how I chose to, right? And so, people took that, and I didnít even think about the Ďoh, I might not get royalties for that now?í sĖt, I didnít even think about it. so I just want to clear that up. It wasnít some smoking gun. I wasnít sitting around, pouting, kicking things over, because it didnít really dawn on me that I wasnít and it didnít really affect me.Ē

On The Details of His WWE Release: ďI mean, long story short, and I canít speak to stuff that Iíve read or that people have read because those things were never brought to me personally, so thatís reallyÖ I donít like to deal with speculation. Just plain and simple, I was told that they had nothing for me creatively. I was set to startÖ I just started rehabbing some nagging injuries on my neck. Iím obviously finishing up the program with Neville, and it left meÖ they didnít have anything solid for me creatively, so speaking with the doctors, that it was a good time to give me a little time off, let me rehab, get some strength back. I had lost some size. And I was looking forward to that and then I got a call actually the day after I started doing that and just said that there was nothing for me creatively and that was really it. I was just told they have nothing for me and theyíre going to let me go. And I expressed that, obviously, that was unfortunate. I wasnít completely surprised. I felt maybe from things leading up to it that that maybe the direction weíre going to head, but, hey man, thatís a business decision and the bottom line is I think I appreciate the opportunities that I was given there. I didnít want to leave. I didnít ask to be released. It never crossed my mind. I never had that conversation with anybody. I was more than happy to spend the time getting healthy and figuring out what they had for me next because, literally, I was happy to do whatever. Iíll go to NXT, put me as a mouthpiece, take me out of 205 [Live]. You can do anything with me. Like, Iím open and Iím at a point in my career where Iíve won championships, Iíve done all these things, and itís cool, and I realized that I take pride in being a utility guy. Like, could you build Austin Aries to be the world champion? Well, yeah, you could. Right, but if you asked me, Ďwould you build Austin Aries to be the world champion?,í Iíd go, Ďwell, there [are] probably 10 other guys Iíd do first, but could you do it with me? Sure, against the right opponent, with the right story and the right build, I can handle the load. I know, like, I have the talent, but I wouldnít be the ideal choice and thatís not lost on me. Luckily for me, I can do a lot of things and be a valuable asset that has nothing to do with winning titles or championships or any of that, so that [has] never been an issue. It was a business decision and I respect that.Ē

On Being Able to Rehab at The WWE PC: ďI also respect and appreciate the fact that they let me for the 90 days that I was still being paid, to go in the Performance Center and continue to rehab and get the strength back. Yeah, well, listen, I started rehabbing the day before I got the phone call and I just said, Ďhey, I just started doing this. My neck [has] been an issue. I donít need to go wrestle anywhere for the next 90 days and I was looking forward to having some time to get my body right and they were gracious in allowing me, and I really have to thank Tara [Halaby] at the Performance Center for putting the work in and helping me. Yeah, so thatís cool. I appreciate that I could walk out of there feeling good and I could resume doing what I do. And they can keep doing what they do and what they do is the best in the world.Ē

On Returning to The Indies: ďIíve got nine shows lined up for the rest of the year, starting mid-November with Tommy Dreamerís House Of Hardcore. Iíve got some stuff internationally, but, literally, in those dates, I will make as much money as any month working for WWE. And listen, that was not taking a shot or a knock at the WWE money or the job there, man. Itís phenomenal and the upside there is unlike anywhere else. But thereís also something to be said for actually having control over how much money you can make and you donít always have that there. And the nice thing is, and this is all I was really speaking about, I was a Ďtop nameí on the indies for most of my career and I know the money that wasnít or was there for you. It didnít matter how good your name was or how good you were in the ring, the money just wasnít there because the fans werenít coming out to pay it, so I know what the limits were five years ago and 10 years ago. Itís what a guy could go out and make on his own and when I look at the landscape now, man, itís all different and thatís an awesome thing. There [are] a lot of great opportunities and I donít want to restrict myself too much because there are and not just in [pro] wrestling, but outside of wrestling for me, but as Iím seeing it, it seems like a lot of guys have relationships with these different companies to where theyíre still retaining some of their freedom and getting to do some stuff on the side and thatís really appealing.Ē