“The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” is not only a Weezer song but a phrase associated with TNA Impact Wrestling’s Austin Aries.
It’s quite a claim, and coming from the multi-time champion, you can easily see it translates to aspiring to be the best in everything you do.
“The opportunity itself motivates you,” said Aries, who’s made the most of his second go-round in TNA.
“I think when you achieve a certain level of success you kind of have a taste for it. Everything that I’ve accomplished, I want to accomplish it again and maybe do it a third time. I just want to keep doing this as long as I’m happy doing it and being successful, and hopefully that is for a long time.”
Before he resigned with the company in 2011, he was at crossroads in not only his life but career. After more than a decade in the business, he was ready to walk away.
“There are other things that I enjoy in my life and other things that interest me and other passions that I have,” Aries said. “So I think at that point I was questioning if I was getting back everything I was putting in and if it was still making me happy. I kind of reevaluated things at that point, where I think right now I have a great opportunity in TNA. We are doing great things and trying to grow and get bigger. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
When he initially returned to TNA, he believes there weren’t expectations of world championship grandeur. He was in a different place at that point.
“My mind was off from wrestling, so when I walked in there I thought, ‘Hey, this is an opportunity to come in, make a little money and see what happens,’” Aries said. “I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I wasn’t saying, ‘This is your last shot.’ I was at peace of trying something else, but this kind of fell in my lap. Maybe since I didn’t have all that pressure and was able to let loose and perform the way I know I can...I could be myself and not worry about saying the right things or the wrong things. I just went out there and had fun. Luckily for me it worked out, and the opportunities kept getting bigger and better, and I kept taking advantage of them.”
The consummate performer had a monumental run in TNA so far by securing the tag team, X Division and world titles. He joins a select few as a Triple Crown winner. To think this may not have happened if fate intervened while he was exploring his options outside the ring.
“At the time I was narrowing them down,” Aries said. “There were vegetarian culinary schools in the country in New York and one in Austin, Texas. Those were the most prominent ones. I was kind of between those and in the process of being able to do something with that. Something with food, cooking, fitness and nutrition, which are passions of mine, and I could see myself going into. I was also looking to get my personal training degree and get certified.
“The funny thing was I was actually taking the test online down to the last four or five essay questions. Then TNA called me. It got put on the backburner, and I think if I ever go back and finish that test I can. I never saw it through at the very end because my life took a left turn, and I decided to go this route for now…You always have to trust the path and yourself. You may not understand why things are happening, but you have to trust the path and stay true to who you are. Then you will end up in the right spot eventually.”