Interview: Impact Wrestling World Champion Austin Aries dismisses weight limits in wrestling & more
Austin Aries is a man who's not afraid to speak his mind. The former WWE Cruiserweight superstar is now the face of Impact Wrestling, as the World Champion.
Aries weighed in (no pun intended) about a couple of topics including weight limits in wrestling and Eli Drake, the man he beat in under a minute to become the world champion. We bring you some highlights from a media conference call.
Did you consciously make it a point to return as a heavyweight wrestler to Impact Wrestling, after your run as a Cruiserweight wrestler in 205 Live?
Austin Aries: I decided to return as a world-class wrestler. That's why I made sure that people understand that it is the Impact World Championship. For me, weight divisions in wrestling are a little silly because we never adhere to them, we never use them. Right?
There's also this perception that if you're less than a heavyweight or if you're not 206 lbs., somehow you can't be on top of the card. Or you can't be considered main event talent. It's just foolish.
If you look at other sports such as MMA or boxing, guys like Floyd Mayweather, guys like Conor McGregor...never been heavyweights a day in their lives. Yet they've been a draw throughout their lives, in their respective sports.
So, I think it's important for wrestling to also follow suit. You don't need to be a heavyweight to be world class. You don't need to be a heavyweight to be in the main event, to be the guy who draws money. I'm hoping to change that perception.
Right now I'm the Impact World Champion. There's no weight restriction.
If you're world class and think you can beat me, I'm going to put the title on the line!
What did you think of the former Champion, Eli Drake? Did you keep up with the product during your time away from Impact Wrestling?
Austin Aries: I was amused by Eli Drake's promo. The greatest wrestler that ever lived, the greatest friend that ever lived (laughs). I think Eli's definitely a charismatic guy. He definitely has the gift of gab and sometimes people overlook that he's a pretty good in-ring wrestler.
He's very athletic. He's got a great look to him. He's in great shape. I think sometimes his character almost overshadows that. People don't give him credit for that.
As far as following the product, you know what? I try to follow wrestling as much as I need to for someone who does it for a living. But I'm not a fanatic anymore. I think somewhere along the line, I outgrew being a die-hard fan of professional wrestling.
I think a lot of it, to be quite honest, isn't really catered to somebody my age with my interests. I think a lot of it is for kids. I mean that's when I fell in love with wrestling. When I was four years old.
But I do try to keep up to make sure I'm educated. To make sure that for somebody who does it for a profession, I'm keeping myself in the loop with the talent and what's going on with different companies, so I'm always educated.
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