Speaking to Inside The Ropes, IMPACT Wrestling X-Division Champion Ace Austin recalled his time training with The Wild Samoans in ‘World Xtreme Wrestling’, revealing how a phone call from the Samoans led to his 2018 ‘205 Live’ appearance.
The IMPACT Wrestling X-Division Champion told Inside The Ropes‘ Writer Liam Stewart how he believes beginning his career training under The Wild Samoans provided him with the “perfect Professional Wrestling foundation” before discussing how being trained by the Samoans has afforded him “extra trust and respect from people in the industry” – recalling a phone call in 2018 that led to him appearing for the WWE on 205 Live.
Responding to a question on his origins in wrestling and how they enabled him to get to where he is today, Ace Austin stated:
“I was originally trained by the Anoaʻi family, by the Wild Samoans. So that’s where my roots are. That’s where my foundation is and I have always said that it was the perfect foundation. Training with the wild Samoans, I truly believe, is what set me up for such great success. The foundation that they gave me was just unbelievable. Working with CZW after that is what then got me kind of broke into the indies and like really exploring the world of wrestling outside the WWE. Yeah, I started training with the Wild Samoans. I was training with WWE in mind as a kid. That’s all I really knew growing up. You know that’s all that really, that was the mainstream stream. So that was just at the forefront of my mind. So when I was looking for training schools and I found the Samoans, I thought it was going to be as simple as sign up for training, bust my ass and then get a job at the WWE – that was going to be it. And that very well could have been the route I took if I would have stayed with the Samoans.”
Continuing, Austin would discuss how his time travelling the East Coast with independent wrestling promotion CZW opened his eyes to the alternate routes to success outside of simply joining the WWE:
“But it was the time that I spent traveling on the East Coast with CZW that is what really opened my eyes to what wrestling can be outside of WWE, just how much I was meeting all these guys that were such successful independent wrestlers. Like CZW was still a big deal in 2016 when I had first showed up. So meeting those guys and seeing them make a living on their own and then learning about like all these other routes into like IMPACT and stuff with ROH. I knew of IMPACT’s existence, obviously, when I was a little older, but that’s not something I watch regularly growing up, like unless Jeff Hardy was involved, it’s not something that I really like noticed. And I was never like an internet kid. So even when the internet was a big deal growing up, I didn’t spend a lot of time surfing and like looking those things out. The only thing I was exposed to was WWE pretty much so my love for wrestling has only really grown in such a deep way since I started training because of the way that my eyes have been opened. My goals completely changed when I started getting out there and really experiencing this for myself.”
The 2021 Super X-Cup winner would then go on to discuss why he believes the foundation he developed under the Samoans guidance was in fact the “perfect professional wrestling foundation” for him.
“And so, yeah, that foundation with the Samoans is really like, bar none, just the perfect professional wrestling foundation – they teach you not only the basic movements that you need to know, but the way that they teach you everything is in such a way. You learn to pay your dues. You learn to respect the business and respect those that came before you. And you learn how to carry yourself in professional settings and you learn how to talk to people. And just working under that lineage really makes you feel like you’re a part of something and that, once you’re in with that family, it’s like those are connections that you can have for the rest of your life.”
Austin would then go on to reveal that his 2018 appearance on WWE’s Cruiserweight programming ‘205 Live’ was down to a phone called from the connections he made training under the Samoans:
“They’re such important connections, just because I trained with the Samoans years later in 2018, then after I had moved to the Midwest and I hadn’t been around in a while, I just get a phone call one day, “Hey, do you want to do extra work for WWE?” Just because I was a ‘Samoans’ kid and they knew that I was doing well and that I was living in the Midwest, WWE was coming to the Midwest. So Samoans gave me a call and they were like, ‘Hey, WWE’s coming to Midwest if you want to do extra work, we can set it up for you.’ So that’s how I got in, that’s how I got to do the 205 Live gig in 2018. Well, I mean, that’s how I got into the extra work. I done a trial match and then the trial matches what got me to 205. Yeah, but that was all because of my connection with the Samoans.”
Finally, ‘The Inevitable’ Ace Austin would summarise why he believes he is respected in the industry due to his roots with The Wild Samoans:
“So being able to tell people I was trained by the Samoans will always get me just a little bit extra trust and respect from people in the industry.”
During the same interview with Inside The Ropes’ Liam Alexander-Stewart, Ace Austin would discuss a potential dream match against Samoa Joe, his future plans in IMPACT wrestling and why he believes, regardless of the outcome of Rebellion’s main event, he will still become the youngest ever World Champion in IMPACT history.
Full interview coming soon to Inside The Ropes.
Thanks so much to Ace Austin for taking the time, and to IMPACT UK & Ireland for facilitating the interview. Fans in the UK & Ireland can catch IMPACT! every Thursday on IMPACT Plus you can also catch all IMPACT PPVs via IMPACT Plus and Fite TV worldwide including Sundays blockbuster Rebellion PPV.
If you use any quotes from this interview please provide a h/t and link back to Inside the Ropes.