Former WWE Superstar Austin Aries was Chris Jericho’s guest on this week’s Talk is Jericho podcast. Aries spoke at length about his departure from WWE and set the record straight on what did and didn’t transpire.
Aries says he was ultimately let go because WWE creative didn’t have anything for him. He was happy with WWE and it never crossed his mind to request a release from his contract. While he was taking time off rehabbing his neck, he got a call from WWE saying they were letting him go. He holds no bitterness about how things went down and says he respects their decision.
After his release, Aries said WWE allowed him to continue training at the Performance Center in Orlando to his strength back. At this point in his career, he’d be willing to fill whatever role WWE had for him, whether it be a wrestler, commentator or manager.
With reports that Neville left WWE in part because he was tired of the Cruiserweight division, Aries said he was happy on 205 Live and saw it as a challenge to build up the division.
Aries worked as a commentator during part of his WWE run while he was out with an injury and said Vince McMahon praised him for his performance, saying he was a “natural” at it.
At one point, Aries approached Vince McMahon with a merchandise idea. He wanted to market protective banana cases. When Vince heard the pitch, he gave a confused look and said, “Okay, we’ll get to that.”
Aries enjoyed working WrestleMania 33 and had no problem wrestling on the kickoff show. In fact, he actually liked the fact that he was the first wrestler to walk the aisle in the show’s opening match. He sent out a tweet promoting the WrestleMania 33 DVD release and remarked that his match with Neville was the best WrestleMania match of the night. The fact that their match wasn’t on the DVD meant they wouldn’t be getting royalties. The tweet led some people to believe he was upset about not being included, but Aries said he was joking and people took it the wrong way.
You can listen to the full interview at PodcastOne.com.