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The Greatest Man That Ever Lived
Daniel Healy "Dan" Solwold, Jr. (born April 15, 1978) better known by his ring name Austin Aries, is an American professional wrestler, currently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), where he is the current World Heavyweight Champion. He is also known for performing in Ring of Honor, where he became the first and thus far only two-time ROH World champion.
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Date: July 21st, 2012 | Filed in Interviews
| Author: Candice
Austin Aries recently did an interview with Newsday talking about his time in TNA, being a champion, working with Hogan, and more. You can read a small highlight below, and head over to Newsday to read more.
TNA Champion Austin Aries spoke about his belief that his time as champion would come. “When I think about it, the progression in the last 18 months, I have always been confident that I could be in this position,” Aries said. “I don’t know if surreal is the word. It’s more like ‘finally,’ that the hard work, the moments of doubts, in the end all those things work themselves out.”
Aries also commented on working with Hulk Hogan. “That’s been great,” he said. “That’s maybe when the word surreal comes in. That’s where my mom calls and says, ‘Did you ever think that when you were little and playing with those rubber wrestling dolls that you’d be in the ring with Hulk Hogan?’ When you have those moments you go back into your childhood. Who knew how many years ago that you’d be doing this?”
Date: July 1st, 2012 | Filed in Interviews
| Author: Candice
Austin Aries recently joined Just Another Goddamn ‘Rasslin Show for an interview. You can read highlights of the interview below. The full show can be found here.
Who he has enjoyed working with: “I wouldn’t say there’s one, I mean there’s always a handful of guys that you have certain chemistry in the ring with, that I always enjoy getting in the ring with. You talk about Brian Danielson, Samoa Joe, just to name a couple. There are other guys as well I have a good time with: Jimmy Jacobs, even though I usually end up spilling some blood in those encounters. But yeah there’s usually a group of guys, upper echelon guys that’s always fun to get in the ring with.”
His evolving gimmick through the years: “I don’t know if my gimmick has changed per se. I think I’ve evolved as a wrestler; I’ve evolved as an entertainer and performer as far as my character. It’s just different parts of my life; when you’re talking about Generation Next days, my demeanor was just very singularly focused on making it myself. We were kind of no nonsense, all business; we were new to the scene and making people take notice. Fast forward now-a-days, I’ve obviously got 12-years under my belt and I have some accolades, I’m a lot more comfortable in the ring. So, you can see a lot more confidence exuded in my demeanor. I enjoy them all; I just enjoy getting in the ring and having a lot of range.”
What he thinks about TNA Impact doing live shows this summer: “I hope it is (a full time move). This period shows that being live makes a big difference, all across the board. It’s hard to surprise people if they already know what’s going to happen, and I think that element of surprise is something that we can definitely capitalize on and we can get people interested in the product. I think it’s a great move; hopefully when the summer’s over, they can decide it was a profitable move and continue to push forward. Going live is the first big step and I think (other people have mentioned it and I kind of agree) that eventually the next step is taking the show live on the road; it would be the big leap I think we’d all like to make.”
His view on the status of the X-Division and where it’s headed: “It’s carved its niche in the promotion; historically it has a lot of lineage and importance and hope it continues to have its own segment in the show, focused on the X Division. Obviously, through some injures and departures, the X Division roster has been depleted, so I think there’s going to be an attempt to restock coming up here and Destination X could be a place to start that.”
Date: April 17th, 2012 | Filed in Interviews
| Author: Candice
SportsVibe recently put up an interview they did with Austin prior to Lockdown, which is why some of the questions seem a bit outdated now, like the Lockdown question. You can read highlights from the interview below, and the rest at the link.
You have become the longest reigning X-Division champion in TNA history, what an achievement.
“You’re correct, reading the internet and Wikipedia is serving you well, but what it fails to mention is that I’m also the girthest X-Division champion in the history of TNA, not just the longest.”
Both TNA and ROH are celebrating ten years this year, but how far behind is ROH from TNA?
“A couple of thousand dollars behind, there is no money in Ring of Honor, and that means they will only be able to secure talent for a certain amount of time before they move somewhere else.”
You’ve had many great matches, is there anyone that you would like to get in the ring with?
“I would love to get in the ring with Bobby Roode because he is the World Champion and that would be good. World Champion versus X-Division Champion. I would love to add another title to my collection. Some other guys I would love to have matches with include Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy and obviously AJ Styles. Many people say AJ is the best X-Division Champion and I would like to put that to the test.”
You are currently one of the hottest stars in TNA, what do you make of the crowd reaction you are getting?
“People use all these terms like heel and face, but to be honest with you I’m not really sure what they mean. I just go out there and be myself, people are either going to like it or they’re not, but what I do know is that I will always get a reaction and really that’s all I can ask for. I want the fans to care and I don’t mind if they care in a positive manner or if they care in a negative manner, as long as they care, because that means they will take out their wallets and pay to watch me do what I do.”
TNA and Vince Russo recently parted company, what did you make of Vince?
“I don’t really have any thoughts on the situation. There’s lots of chefs in the kitchen, I’m given the recipe from those guys and I just go out there and cook up some greatness. I never really had many major issues with Vince Russo one way or the other and didn’t really react with him a whole lot, but hopefully he is happy in what ever he is doing now and I know TNA will keep doing what we do.”
Are you looking forward to the Lockdown PPV? And what can fans expect?
“First off all fans tuning in to Lockdown can expect to see every match in a steel cage. As for myself I’m no stranger to a cage and I’ve been in some high profile cage matches during my career and I’ve always managed to come out on top and I don’t expect this to be any different.”
You can read the full interview from SportsVibe here.
Date: April 12th, 2012 | Filed in Interviews
| Author: Candice
GoNaples has put out a brand new interview with Austin talking about his life on the road as vegeterian, not a vegan like the story states. Read the recap below, and the full interview at the link.
On when and why he cut all meat from his daily diet:
“In 2000 I had cut out all red meat and pork and only ate chicken. By 2001 I became a complete vegetarian. At the core, I just don’t find the idea of eating other living creatures to be appetizing. Chicken, fish, cat, cow, horse, pig, monkey, dog etc. I think it was always the case, but as a kid you just eat what you are told you should.
Originally, I cut out the red meat and pork mainly for health reasons. But as I road-tripped around the country, post college and pre wrestling career, I came across large corporate slaughterhouses that opened my eyes to the conditions and the truth of corporate farming. As I thought about that, along with my health and my overall core feelings, I just made the decision to stop eating all animals.”
How his diet has changed him:
“Well, I immediately lost about 15 pounds of “bad weight”. I really slimmed down and was then able to start rebuilding my body with lean muscle mass. I also think it forced me to educate myself about how to eat right and that has really just helped my overall health. As I started to dig and do more research, I realized that the majority of animal products that come from corporate farms are just not very good for you. Between the living conditions, the diet and the methods they use to make the animal more profitable — because remember that corporations’ only concern is to make profits, not your or the animals’ well-being — the quality of whatever it is they produce is compromised I’m no longer subject to the saturated animal fats, the hormones, steroids, adrenaline and other chemicals that are found in meats. Spiritually, I think it has also helped me. As I try to respect other living creatures’ lives, the planet, and my own well-being, I find it keeps me balanced and at peace with who I am and the example I try to lead by.”
Whether it is difficult being a vegan on the road:
“This can be tricky because I think there is still somewhat of a societal ignorance to not eating meat. It can be difficult to find vegetarian friendly places in some parts of the country, and sometimes just looks of confusion when trying to explain it. I’ve learned the best way to make it easy is to travel with certain foods and supplements, mostly proteins — it’s not hard to find carbs on the road — to make sure I always have access to them. And for the most part, my colleagues have always been mindful of my diet when it comes to finding a place to eat, which I really appreciate and makes things easier as well.”
To read the full interview, and to get one of Austin’s favorite recipes, check out the interview here.
Date: April 3rd, 2012 | Filed in Interviews
| Author: Candice
Soundsphere Magazine recently conducted an interview with our Austin Aries. Below are just some of the hilights. You can read the full interview at the link below.
You were recently announced the longest reigning X Division champion in TNA history. How does it feel, at this point in your career, to be earning such a merit?
“For me, it’s part of the course. Everywhere I have gone, I have held titles and earned accolades, I have set records and that’s a big part of the way I work. In previous promotions I have set records there, and now I’m setting records here. Last night (Victory Road), I sent a tweet live during my match, which is a first during a live PPV. I’m all about raising the bar. Now I’m the longest reigning X-Division champion, I can’t see that coming to an end any time soon.”
Last year, there was a lot of rumours about you retiring. What has inspired you to keep motivated and keep getting back in the ring?
“When I was at that point, it was a big opportunity that TNA offered me, and I picked it up and just ran with it. One thing that’s always been important to me is I have never wanted to feel like a prisoner to the business, I’ve always liked to do things on my own terms. And that point I felt like I maybe wanted to transition, and do some other things, because I wasn’t given the opportunities I wanted within the business, to compete at the level I wanted to compete at. So when TNA contacted me and offered that opportunity I just went with it.”
You’ve developed a huge fanbase in your time as a wrestler, specifically quite a cult following. How do you feel about that?
“As a cult wrestler, I built up a fanbase over twelve years, and now I’m on a bigger stage which instantly makes me a little more accessible. Fans of mine know what I bring to the table, I give it my all and do everything to entertain the fans. Whether I’m being cheered or booed, my performance always beckons a reaction.”
Do you feel as though you’re still learning from the wrestling industry?
“It’s kind of a cliché but you know what they say, that you never stop learning, but I think it’s true, especially in this business where there is so much to learn from other competitors. Coming back to TNA has been a great opportunity as I work alongside people who have been doing this a long time, even longer than I have, at an even higher level. So wrestlers like Sting, Bully Ray, Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan; just by working alongside them you can’t help but learn even more. You’re always learning in this business, and if you’re not getting better you’re getting worse.”
Any advice you’ve been given that has resonated with you that you could give to fans?
“One thing that applies to both young wrestlers and any performers trying to get out there is you set your own worth. It’s called the business because you’re out there to make money, a lot of guys lose sight of that, you’re not out there to entertain yourself, you’re there to entertain the fans. You need the right mindset to actually get out there and do it.”
What aspects of your career would you consider the most challenging?
“Staying organised is a big deal! And, having to adapt to the schedule of being on the road and still taking care of everything else. Also taking care of the business side is also a challenge, I see myself as a contractor and therefore a lot of the business falls down to me. Also, when you don’t have a structure around you, you have to set yourself one to maintain and make sure you get the things done that you have to do. We have to keep our bodies in shape, and also travel a lot and balancing all these things is often the biggest challenge.”