Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio courtesy of www.WrestlingEpicenter.com
Guest: TNA Impact Wrestling's Aron Rex FKA Damien Sandow
Your Hosts: Patrick Kelley & James Walsh
He was one of the most popular performers in the WWE regardless what he was given to work with. He took characters that might have been
destined to fail and turned them into successful ones. And now, he's one of the top stars of TNA Impact Wrestling. At TNA's Bound for Glory, he
will compete in the finals of the Impact Grand Championship Tournament to crown the first Grand Champion. Of course, I am speaking of the
former Damien Sandow, now known in TNA as Aron Rex. And, he's our guest this week on Interactive Wrestling Radio!
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On his Impact Grand Championip Tournament Finals Match with Drew Galloway at Bound for Glory:
"Aside from the issues Drew and I have had which we've demonstrated, it has been exclusive to say the least... I am fully aware of what Drew is capable of. I'm fully aware of the athlete that he is. I believe he also knows what I bring to the table as well. This is a match... It is the chance to be the first at something. There will always be the "next champion" but to be the first is something that is very, very cool. You can always be the new champion but not too many opportunities come around to be the first champion. This is a way to cement your name in history and be part of something really cool. There's three three minute rounds, there's judges. There's a different psychology that goes into it but it is also great. "
On the changes in Impact Wrestling backstage:
"The changes going on here at Impact, it is already being felt. Just look at the stuff Matt Hardy is doing... Just look at how the show is being presented - And look at the talent! There is a lot of talent in this company. And, as the weeks go by, I think it is going to only become more apparent. Bound for Glory, a pay per view that is coming along at the same time as major changes within the company. We're not necessarilly playing by the same rules that the industry has set for so long. We're just presenting our product in a unique way and we've got the best athletes in the world going at it. It is only going to get better. It is only going to stand out more, I assure you."
On the freedom of working with TNA:
"Without a doubt. The freedom that I've gotten here and in return the loyalty that I already have for TNA because they gave me that freedom because I realize how valuable that is, it is a win-win situation for everyone. I think that is only going to continue. Is every relationship perfect? No. but, I'll tell you what. The general direction that the company wants to go. The performers, the management... There's a lot of people on the same page and there's a lot of people working for the greater good."
On Cody Rhodes and other former WWE colleagues joining the TNA roster:
"It is. I'm not sure it is finding refuge so much as it is being given a platform to show what they can really do. Everybody has their own reasons for changing companies. This is a fresh start. It is a new platform. It is a fresh coat of paint for everybody."
On if the Poffo family was an influence on his career:
"Without a doubt. I ran into Lanny right before I was to go on TV with that character - There were a lot of similarities, a lot of similar character traits. I asked his permission. He was very very gracious in doing that. Before I did the Randy thing, I reached out to him (Lanny) and said, "Look, this is what I've been presented with. Here's how I want to present it." Right now, regardless my feelings, that was the hand I was dealt. So, I wanted to make it a tribute to the man not a parody of the performer. I told Lanny that and he gave me his blessing.. And I asked for his blessing before I did it because I did not want to do anything that would hurt that name. I was Damien Sandow... Well, I was Aaron playing Damien Sandow playing the "Macho Man".
On who did a better "Macho Man" character, "himself or "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal:
"Well, Jay Lethal does a much better elbow from the top than myself. So, I'm going to have to give it to him."
On if it is difficult to do something even if you don't believe in it yourself:
"No, that is what makes a good performer. Anybody can go out there and play themselves. Great! What else you got? This is 2016. I can go out there and I can have 20 minute knock down, drag out brawls and I've done that on WWE television. The role I was cast in was not that for whatever reason. So, you know what? I'm still going to be a top guy. I'm just going to do it my own way. If you look at the crowd response I always got, I mean in WWE or where ever, the fans make top guys - Not corporate people. If you have that real connection with the fans, that doesn't go away. I think I'm one of the few guys that has had that. It is a transition company. That's a big deal. That wouldn't have happened without a lot of different factors. But, I'm just really that that it did."
On if he liked being a comedy character or a serious wrestler more:
"I preferred not being niched which has always been an uphill battle. Who is to say you can't have somebody operate on every single place of the spectrum? You can have the old school (in a deeper voice, perhaps Vince McMahon?), "No, no, people view you as entertainment." No, you know what? They can view me however I want them to because I'm that good and I can get them to do that. If you want proof of that, look at my debut at Impact. I went out there, I spoke from the heart. I didn't criticize anyone. I thanked everybody who ever gave me a platform to work and that includes my most recent employer. I'm going to be me, though. I'm very serious. Look at my matches. Look at what I'm given the opportunity to do. I don't see why, if you can't do it, you can't operate on all parts of the spectrum. I would like that, ultimately, to be what I'm known for - Someone that can do it all! And, the Impact Grand Championship, what it means to me, it kind of cements that yes, I can do everything. It is proving myself right. That is going into October 2nd (Bound for Glory) and that is what I'm bringing with me."
On his thoughts of Eli Drake:
"Extremely talented. There are some people that just have a knack for getting the fans riled up. He's a natural. He's an absolute natural! He's already a big star. But, I only see things getting bigger for him. Even the guy I squared off with in the first round, Trevor Lee, WOW! I mean, WOW! I don't even want to think in 5 to 10 years where he's going to end up."
On the feeling backstage in TNA presently:
"You know what? We all realize what it is. When you have the talent level that the locker room has. When you have the business sense of a Billy Corgan and the direction, and what he brings to the table... He's an extremely knowledgeable person about the wrestling industry! You forget that you're talking to one of the biggest rockstars in the history of the world (Billy Corgan) when you're talking about Adrian Adonis and Roddy Piper at WrestleMania 3 with him. It is cool! It is very, very cool. All of us realize where we're at as a company. We realize what we have the opportunity to be a part of. When you combine that talent with the knowledge that's there, not only at the management level but also the talent level, you have a bunch of guys and girls going out there to prove themselves right and to make their own way. That is going to be what sets Impact apart. And, people are already starting to talk about it. That is on us to say, "You're exactly right" and this is we can do."