Austin Aries on Working WWE NXT “Takeover: Dallas”, Baron Corbin, His Future, More

Austin Aries

– Austin Aries recently did an interview with the WWE website to hype his WWE NXT arrival and upcoming “Takeover: Dallas” match against Baron Corbin. The full interview is at this link. Below are highlights:

WWE.COM: How did the opportunity for you to come to NXT present itself?

ARIES: I became a free agent in the middle of last year. I was seeing what all my options were and had a lot of different opportunities on the table. But from the moment I became a free agent, the WWE opportunity was the one I wanted. Obviously, there were strong plays made by some other companies, but in the end, when WWE offered me an opportunity, I could not turn it down.

WWE.COM: What made NXT the place for you?

ARIES: I think it’s a mix of things. First of all, as a brand, it’s developed so much over the last couple years. It’s touring outside of Florida. It’s touring internationally. There’s a certain energy to NXT, because there’s a mixture of young guys just starting their career who are hungry. Then, you have established guys like Samoa Joe and Finn Bálor, who have walked the same paths that I’ve walked, now trying to prove themselves on the biggest stage. I’m someone who’s been very passionate about the business and love to pass on the things that I’ve learned to the guys coming up. I think I’ll have the opportunity to do that. I look at is as an opportunity for Austin Aries to grow as a performer, while helping some of the younger NXT guys grow, too.

WWE.COM: Unfortunately, your debut was cut short by Baron Corbin. What’s your impression of The Lone Wolf?

ARIES: I’ve dealt with guys like Baron Corbin my whole life. Guys who simply think because they’re bigger than you in stature, they’re stronger than you. Being physically gifted, having nothing they’ve had to go out and earn [they think] it makes them better than you, that they deserve more than you and should be handed opportunities. A lot of them have. If you’re 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, you’re handed things in life. I’ve had to prove myself, because people have doubted and questioned me.

WWE.COM: You couldn’t have possibly picked a bigger stage to make your NXT in-ring debut. Heading into WrestleMania 32 Week and NXT TakeOver: Dallas, how are you feeling?

ARIES: It’s funny, everything is ebbs and flows. When you’ve been doing this for 15 years, there are peaks and valleys. I haven’t felt this motivated, this invigorated, or had this kind of fire lit under my a** in a while. The fact that I have a few weeks to prepare myself for this is exciting. I’m working hard every day. I want to come in there in the best shape of my life, mentally and physically. I always feel that the bigger the stage, the brighter the spotlight, the better I perform. I have a mentality that every time I walk through that curtain, I’m the main event. I’m going to take that mentality to Dallas and show the people who don’t know who Austin Aries is what I’m all about. I’m going to show the people that do know me that I haven’t changed. I’m looking forward to it. I hope Baron Corbin’s ready for what’s coming to him.

WWE.COM: Beyond TakeOver: Dallas, what are your goals in NXT and WWE?

ARIES: I can give you the cliché “I want to be NXT Champion,” but I think anyone in NXT wants that. Looking beyond that, I could say that I want to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion, but that’s the reason most of us get in this industry. You have to understand something about Austin Aries. I always set the bar higher. I set the bar high for myself, higher than anyone can expect. When it’s all said and done, I want to be Austin Aries, WWE Hall of Famer. That’s a lofty goal. As they say, shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll hit the stars. I don’t have a lot of time to waste. Everything from here on out is geared toward that goal.

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