Audio: Austin Aries talks diet, signing with WWE, Neville, providing commentary, more
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Ring Rust Radio: Do you find it difficult to maintain your diet while you’re on the road so much, and do you have any cheat days or meals? If so, what is your preferred cheat meal?
Austin Aries: I think if you’re trying to be mindful of eating well on the road, it can be difficult no matter what. Your choices at midnight or one o’clock in some of the smaller towns when we are getting out of shows aren’t going to be the best choices for eating healthy no matter what your dietary choices or restrictions are. So, I think the important part is to always be prepared. I always try to carry some stuff with me so if can’t find some food around me, I’m not stuck in that position of having to make a bad choice. I think the hardest part is just the dedication to it. Once you decide it’s important to you, it becomes easier to do because you are invested in it. I love pizza hands down. It’s kind of cool because I feel like I have a little more leeway to cheat more often because even bad vegan food isn’t as bad as the alternative. So even a vegan pizza, I could still eat a healthier version of a pizza and still feel like I’m cheating, but not completely jumping off the deep end so to speak. I like waffles, but even that I try to buy the vegan version. I like nice food. Some people like cars, nice clothes, a nice house, and I like that stuff, but I like nice foods. So, I will spend a little bit more money on quality and nice food compared to cheaper, easier and faster stuff.
Ring Rust Radio: We spoke to you a few times during your run with TNA, but haven’t spoken since you joined WWE. What was the signing process like for you and how have you enjoyed your time thus far in WWE?
Austin Aries: The signing process can be a little drawn out obviously. From initial contact and finding if there’s interest and having some meetings, where you fit in, what the opportunity is, and then being such a large entity there’s a lot of paperwork and stuff involved with background checks. It’s a drawn-out process, but it’s well worth it obviously because once you get there, it is the pinnacle of what we do. I have been fortunate to perform for lots of different companies in different promotions all over the place, but at the end of the day, this is the top of the iceberg. To finally achieve that after my journey was rewarding and created a whole new opportunity for me in front of a larger fan base and people who maybe don’t know anything about Austin Aries and here’s the opportunity for them to find out.
Ring Rust Radio: You had a great feud against Neville with amazing match after amazing match, but now that it seems like Neville may be transitioning into other programs, do you at all have an eye toward moving out of the cruiserweight championship and pursuing other titles or are you focused on continuing to help build the cruiserweight division?
Austin Aries: Right now, I feel like I’m at a point where I am reflecting and just trying to figure out what my next move is. I have put a lot of energy and focus into capturing the Cruiserweight Championship but obviously, I didn’t get the job done. So, I am not really sure what my next move is. I think right now I am going to take a step back, see what the landscape in front of me and see where I fit in best moving forward
Ring Rust Radio: Your matches with Neville have been some of my most anticipated and favorite of the year. How did you feel about those matches and did you receive any praise backstage from management or your peers?
Austin Aries: We’ve gotten a lot of really positive feedback from a number of people back there whose opinions I hold very high. I think Neville; he’s at a different level right now. He’s really rejuvenated and I’ve enjoyed competing with him in there. I think we got the same chip on our shoulder and were out there to prove the same thing to the same people likely. We just have a maybe difference of opinion of how you get there right now. Our beef so to speak, to use a totally bad pun for a vegan, was really just based on respect. Respect we don’t feel we get. It’s cliché but it really was nothing personal. As much as it was, it was just two real stubborn competitive dudes to go out and prove who the best is. I will tip my hat to him, right now he’s at a different level physically. He’s in his prime and he’s found something in this reincarnated himself that’s taken him to a new level. I just have to tip my hat to him. I like to consider myself a measuring stick at points in my career and I’ve matched up with him three times and he measured up each and every time to each and every inch.
Ring Rust Radio: While you were out injured you did commentary for the cruiserweight division on Raw and 205 Live. I thought you were absolutely great and it led me to wonder if you’d have an interest in potentially becoming a full-time commentator down the line after your wrestling career.
Austin Aries: I had a lot of fun doing that and it was a new opportunity for me. I learned a lot and I got to work with some cool people that I would never have had the chance to work with as an in-ring competitor. A lot of respect for what those guys do. There’s a lot going on that people don’t know about in those headsets while those guys are trying to manage while they are also trying to narrate a story. I think at a certain point when the time is right, if that opportunity is there for me, it’s something I would like to pursue.