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Austin Aries previews Samoa Joe vs. Brock Lesnar, comments on suffering injury while wrestling Shinsuke Nakamura

Austin Aries recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to promote his new book, “Food Fight: My Plant-Powered Journey from the Bingo Halls to the Big Time.” During the interview, he was asked about Samoa Joe challenging Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship at the Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view event in Dallas, Texas on July 9th.

“Joe is a man who doesn’t fear Brock Lesnar,” said Aries. “He has been doing this a long time, and he’s been in the ring with legends, main eventers, and Hall of Famers. Joe is a cool cat and a cool customer. I’m sure he’s preparing, but I don’t think he’s sweating it. I think he’s looking forward to it as much as I’m looking forward to watching.”

Over the last few months, Aries has been working with Cruiserweight Champion Neville on WWE television. Most recently they had a solid match at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view event. Aries praised Neville by saying that he is operating at another level and has really found himself in the mental aspect in and out of the ring. He said that he would have had liked to have a different outcome at Extreme Rules, but he is very proud of what they accomplished on 205 Live in terms of bringing out the competition and passion in one another.

Back in October of 2016, Aries suffered a broken eye socket during a live event at Fresno, California while working against Shinsuke Nakamura. He was kept out of action after having surgery for permanent titanium plates. With Aries not being allowed to wrestle, WWE put him on the announce team as a color commentator for the cruiserweight division. He is still healing from that injury in fact. When asked about the injury, Aries admitted that Nakamura did not even kick him that hard.

“Nakamura didn’t kick me that hard, or at least not as hard as he kicked me other times,” noted Aries. “It just happened to catch me at the right spot, and I didn’t protect as I would have liked.”

While Aries’s left eye will never fully recovery, doctors put a small titanium plate there. Aries said that he would add it to the list of sacrifices that anyone who has done this for a length of time has made physically with their bodies. He added that wrestlers accept that because they love what they do and in some ways, it may be a blessing in disguise.

“I don’t know where my path would have taken me had that not happened. I do know where it took me after it did – to go into commentary on 205 Live, then transition onto Raw, which led to my opportunity at WrestleMania and a great series of matches with Neville. If that came out of the broken eye hole, it’s a fair trade-off.”

Aries also talked about WrestleMania 33, his new book, and more. You can read the entire interview here.

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