Just over three months after leaving WWE, the man formerly known as Damien Sandow is ready to return to the ring, and he will do so when he appears on Thursday night’s Impact Wrestling. Rolling Stone had the chance to catch up with him, and find out exactly what made TNA an appealing landing spot.
“TNA just seemed like the perfect spot for me,” Sandow, who went by Aaron Stevens when wrestling on the independent circuit in his time away says. “They are a growing company with a proven track record. I really believe that they have their finger on the pulse of what the audience wants, and they will gear their product towards that.”
As he revealed in our interview back in May, at first he felt that he might want to spend some time at home, or possibly focus on opportunities outside of wrestling. However, he started to feel the itch, and when the opportunity with Total Nonstop Action came up, it wasn’t one that he felt that he could pass up.
“I really was not planning on signing with anybody this soon, I was serious about that. But the way the conversations went with several TNA officials, and the strong feeling of a family atmosphere, really made me want to explore the possibility of getting in the ring sooner than I expected.”
This isn’t the first major talent to come to Impact Wrestling in recent months. Former Ring of Honor star Moose joined the company a month ago. “The Miracle” Michael Bennett, with his wife Maria Kanellis, also joined the company from ROH this year. Add that to a revitalized Matt Hardy with his new “Broken” character (and the two have already interacted), TNA champion Bobby Lashley, and The Wolves, and Stevens has plenty of new opponents to really prove himself against.
“I am just looking forward to showcasing myself in a way that I have not been in the past. There is so much talent at TNA that I just can’t name one person that I really want to face over another. It’s just a pleasure for me to have creative freedom and continue to work with talented supportive people.”
Despite the talented roster, he knows that there will be challenges ahead of him once he joins the company. However, more than a personal challenge, he looks as any challenges that come his way in TNA as something that everyone involved has to face. For him, it’s not about the individual, it’s about the show.
“The challenge is to have a television show that continually gets better with every single episode and that is not just on me. That is on every one of us as a team. And everyone, as a team, really seems to be motivated and headed in the right direction.”
His slogan coming in is that he’s going do be doing it “His Way.” We’ll now have to wait and see what his way really is.