Impact Wrestling World Champion Austin Aries spoke with Sports Illustrated ahead of this Sunday’s Slammiversary PPV, and below are some interview highlights:
On if he has any regrets about his WWE run and if he wanted to face names like Roman Reigns, John Cena, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, and Brock Lesnar?
“I was totally open to any opportunities they had—any division, any brand. As for regret, more than anything else, my regret lies in that the WWE Universe never really got the real Austin Aries. Outside of commentary, they missed out on the chance to hear and see me be me, and do what I do best. And of course a number of great matches, including the names mentioned.”
On defending his Impact World Title in ROH:
“Since I’ve been back and seeing how the landscape of professional wrestling is changing and that people are starting to understand the benefits of working together, I feel I’m in a unique position to try and bridge the gap between the two companies. Defending the Impact title against Jay Lethal would be phenomenal. In fact, I want to defend the title against Kenny King. I’m about making history and doing things that haven’t been done before. I want to set a new tone and precedence for pro wrestling.”
On what fans can expect at Slammiversary:
“I always like to say expect the unexpected. There’s going to be an energy and excitement that they haven’t seen from an Impact pay per view or show in some time.”