Former WWE Superstar Austin Aries recently appeared as a guest on Chris Jericho's Talk Is Jericho podcast. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On how he started doing commentary for WWE and Vince McMahon's reaction: "When [the injury happened] happened, I was talking with Hunter and I said, 'I don't necessarily just want to disappear for whatever extent of time, so if there [are] things I can do, whether it's commentary, managerial, anything, I'd like to stay, somehow, in the scenes.' And this was at NXT, so when the 205 [Live] idea was brought to light, and they said, 'going off of what you said, maybe this would be a fit for commentary' and it provided an opportunity that honestly I am so thankful for and it [has] opened a lot of doors for me. I learned a lot working with Michael Cole and having Vince, literally, after my fight night, [saying] 'Goddammit, you're a natural. Nobody [has] ever had a debut like that before.'
"I walked back to Gorilla [position] and he was standing there with a big smile on his face and 'Goddammit, you're a natural!' I was looking at him like, 'what are you saying?' Literally, the greatest complement you could probably get at that point in your career. Sure, and Vince has sat in that seat and heard everybody and I mean everybody, good and bad, so for him to come back and heap that kind of praise on me, I didn't take that lightly."
On Neville: "Originally, I think that how it played out was pretty much what was the idea. At the time, what wasn't known was how well Neville was going to do in his role and that changed things because, if you listened to my commentary, I wasn't coming off as a sweet, nice guy. So, at that point, they kind of had to make a decision, and, listen, this guy, Neville is on another level, man, completely another level and I'm not just talking about the cruiserweight division, I'm talking the whole company, so let's not mess with that, but now we kind of have this in place, so we're going to just switch it, which isn't always easy."
Check out the complete Austin Aries interview at PodcastOne.com.