Austin Aries recently spoke about not wanting to be pigeonholed as a cruiserweight. Here are the highlights…
“I’ve never viewed myself a cruiserweight guy. If there are actual weight classes in wrestling, I don’t see where they are. From my first day in Eddie Sharkey’s camp, I knew I didn’t want to be pigeonholed as a cruiserweight. You could be any shape and any size. It was important for me to be well-rounded. In an industry based on size, it’s awesome that TNA wrestling lets cream rise to the top. There are a lot of guys that are 6-feet-tall or less and 200 pounds or less, who are cut from the same cloth. You don’t get that everywhere else. They will support you if you’ve got the goods.
I was never promised anything other than one paycheck. One match. One opportunity. They gave me another opportunity and I excelled at that. Not to say that it doesn’t cross anyone’s minds. I love the opportunity that’s been presented to me in TNA. Is the X Division a cruiserweight championship? It doesn’t seem to have a definition. It can come and go in relevance. For some people, how important is it? Is it a secondary title? Is it weight restrictions or is it not? What’s the best use for it? It’s something the company was built on. The X Division is unique to TNA and it’s important for us to accentuate it.
I talked to Jimmy Jacobs the other day who I know from Ring of Honor and is one of my best friends. He’s one of the better performers and he’s smaller than me and people consider me small. But I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s X Division-style. He’s anything but that. He’s Kevin Sullivan. You don’t judge people on size. This is entertainment and I’ll leave it at that.
People have to understand you have to be able to work that style and the great talents can do it. Samoa Joe has not been under the weight limit since he was in first grade, but you have to understand that the upper echelon elite performers have range. A lot more of the guys in that category go both ways. Some guys can only work that type of style, the cruiserweight X Division style and that’s fine. That’s their role. Some guys can do it all and those are the upper echelon guys.”