It was Scott D’Amore, the new Executive Vice President of Impact Wrestling, that convinced Austin Aries to return to the company. The fact that Aries immediately won the Impact Global Championship is proof that the relationship works.
“For me, it was important that some of the founding philosophies of how the company did business are no longer there,” said Aries Thursday afternoon on the Impact Wrestling conference call.
“It was late December when they had the (new) team in place. I got to hear the philosophy of what they want,” said Aries.
Aries stressed the value of freedom in wrestling, “that was important when I talked to Scott (D’Amore), when I talked to Don (Callis), when I talked with Sonjay (Dutt).”
The freedom that Impact Wrestling is giving wrestlers is different from what has been implemented in previous phases of Impact Wrestling.
With all the previous reboots that Impact Wrestling has had, people are skeptical that this new phase is any different. “What I hope people understand is that for me to come back to this company, and I’ve been there through different regime changes and I’ve had my trials and tribulations, for me to come back here now should signal that things are different,” said Aries.
Aries aims to spearhead change. “I do take it seriously as being someone that can usher in some change, not just from an in-ring standpoint but from a philosophical standpoint of how they are going to do business, how they are going to treat talent. I think Impact wants to be on the cutting edge and usher in a new philosophy in how companies work with talent.”
While just a few years ago wrestlers relied on television for exposure, today wrestlers can rely on social media for exposure. “You got to understand that this is a different day in wrestling. You don’t need a professional wrestling company’s platform to necessarily get yourself over. We all have our social medium. We all have our social platforms whether it’s our Twitter, our Facebook, our YouTube channels. I mean people can built their own brands outside of anyone certain company,” said Aries.
Social media has changed how companies get a product noticed. “Also, with companies they don’t necessarily need to have network television to get their product out there. I think we are looking at this new age of professional wrestling where it can truly be a mutually beneficial relationship without all the restrictions and stuff that we maybe had in the old philosophy and the old mindset,” said Aries.
The mutually beneficial relationship between wrestlers and promotors, and between different companies results in the state of wrestling being in an upswing.
“I couldn’t be happier with the landscape of professional wrestling. Companies are seeing that if they work together that there is a pretty big pie that can be baked there and everyone can have a nice slice instead of fighting over the crumbs, which is the old philosophy with what wrestling has been held back with for a number of years,” said Aries.
This new philosophy in wrestling is very different than the philosophy that the WWE implements. In 2017 Aries left the rigid and restrictive WWE.
“That’s a very corporate structure and with that comes a lot of layers and they have a certain way that they do things,” said Aries.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that some WWE writers had problems with Aries wanting to use his own voice.
“I bet you that the writers probably didn’t like working with me very much because in that environment when I’m given something that the writers handed me, if I have anything that I think should be adjusted or maybe things that I would personally say as someone who has been doing this for 17 years and as a writer it’s not easy for us to just go and change those things,” said Aries. “They have to go back and march into the office and have those things changed. The process is a little tedious and it really, to me, takes a lot of the artistic and creative freedom away from the wrestlers. I don’t know any writer that would know my voice better than myself. If there are any writers in the WWE who had issues with me, they did not express them. It was something that was never brought to my attention.”
While WWE may have restricted Aries creatively, he can now use his creativity to fit where ever he is needed on the card.
“I never wanted to be pigeon holed, ‘Oh, he’s just a cruiserweight.’ I wanted to pride myself on being someone that really could be put anywhere on the card and ask me to do anything. Whether you want a comedy match, a tag team match, or you need a main event feel that I can go out there and do that and I think that is something that has helped me be successful because when you can have that versatility there’s always a spot for you.”