This week, we attended the most recent installment of IMPACT’s weekly Bound For Glory Championship series Press Pass podcasts.
Kicking off the event, Chris Sabin of the Motor City Machine Guns and Ace Austin came Zoom to Zoom, just a few weeks before their fatal-4-way World Tag Team Championship showdown, at Bound For Glory.
Hosted by IMPACT’s own Josh Mathews, this week’s press pass is especially rich in wrestling heritage.
(To Sabin) During the Motor City Machine Guns’ first tenure with IMPACT Wrestling/ TNA, despite your success it seemed as if you guys were often overlooked by management. What are your thoughts on that during your second tenure?
Sabin: We were tag champions a few times before, and had great matches with Beer Money Inc. and Generation Me, if you know of those guys, but ultimately the timing wasn’t right. The atmosphere wasn’t right, but people are excited now. They needed something happy when we returned, and that was us.
Austin: I think people are more excited to see the Motor City Machine Guns extinguished, at Bound For Glory.
(To Austin) When Madman Fulton and yourself first teamed up, it attracted some comparisons to Shawn Michaels and Diesel. Is this a comparison you welcome and do you plan on bringing something fresh to the big man- small man dynamic?
Austin: Absolutely, I think 90% of what I do is something you’ve never seen before. I’m one of the most authentic and original professional wrestlers of not just this generation, but any. I never did see myself in a tag team picture, but when things didn’t go to plan at Slammiversary!, joining the tag division seemed like the next logical step. Why not go for the Tag Team Championships? Ace Austin becoming a Triple Crown champion seems inevitable. So I’ll start here, and soon I’ll be coming back for World Championship.
(To Sabin) Alex Shelley and yourself have been a solid team since even the first Bound For Glory. How does it feel for someone to have your back going into these big events?
Sabin: It helps with confidence. We’ve been a team for over a decade and known eachother so long. When you have someone you can rely on and trust by your side, your confidence is never shaken.
(To Sabin) Do you see yourself in any of your Bound For Glory opponents?
Sabin: I do. Especially Ace, like I remember having an attitude like his when I was his age too. When you get older and gain more experience, you realise your ego holds you back more than it helps you.
Austin: I’m the youngest X-Division Champion of all time. Seems like I’ve got a pretty good track record for myself.
Sabin: You do. But it will catch you up kid, trust me.
(To Sabin) How influential do you think the X- Division has been to modern wrestling?
Sabin: I think the influence has been huge. If you go back and watch the early days, you see it’s always been this melting pot of different styles. With the internet having developed and becoming more accessible at that time, people became more exposed to different styles of wrestling, Japanese, Mexican, British; styles from all around the globe. Our generation just happened to bring it all together & try to combine them. You see the influence of different worldwide styles a lot more in the modern generation.
Mathews: To follow up on that, Chris, you and Austin are both former X–Division Champions, with Austin being a part of the current generation rather than yours. Do you consider yourself to be part of the modern generation too?
Sabin: When you’ve been around 20 years, you have the right to consider yourself both.
Mathews: Ace, anything to add about the X-Division?
Austin: Unbelievable. A guy comes in to ask about the X-Division and doesn’t ask the greatest X-Division Champion of all time. What a missed opportunity on his part. He doesn’t deserve my thoughts.
(To Austin) Do you have any tricks up your sleeve that will help you with a victory come Bound For Glory?
Austin: If you know anything about Ace Austin, you know Ace Austin has always got an ACE up his sleeve. Of course I’ve always got a plan. If Plan A doesn’t work, there’s always a Plan B.
Sabin: I appreciate that question. I was hoping he was going to say what his game plan was, but I guess not.
Austin: Young but not dumb, Chris.
(To Sabin) When you first arrived in TNA, you had older teams putting you over. Do you feel there’s a pressure on you to do the same for younger teams such as Ace Austin & Madman Fulton?
Sabin: No. We’re not ready for that yet, we’re in a bitter veteran state and we aren’t going to put anyone over.
Austin: As if there’s a choice.
(To Austin) At 23, you have achieved a lot in your career. Are you the future face of IMPACT Wrestling?
Austin: The future face? Slammiversary! May not have gone my way, but I didn’t think there was any doubt that IMPACT Wrestling is already mine. I am the face. But I guess you could say the future face, because I don’t plan on letting that go any time soon.
(To Sabin) We heard FTR of AEW make some interesting comments about the Motor City Machine Guns in regard to who they want to face. IMPACT Exec Vice President Scott D’amore has said he’d be open to interbrand match-ups. Are you interested in representing IMPACT in facing FTR?
Sabin: Sure but they can come to our turf. If FTR comes up IMPACT Wrestling and fight us on our terms, they can have their match.
(To Austin) You wouldn’t be at Bound For Glory if you weren’t in Championship contention. With that said, what kind of preparation are you having with Madman? Who himself is not all that experienced in the chase for gold.
Austin: I’m always ready. If BFG last year was evidence of anything, I do always have that Ace up my sleeve. Madman, yeah he might not have all the experience, but what he lacks there he certainly makes up for with that raw power, size, strength; look at the man. He doesn’t need to get ready, he’s an immovable object. And you can’t prepare for something you’ve never seen.
What does a victory at Bound For Glory mean for your careers?
Austin: Have a look at what BFG did for me last year. Then I main evented Slammiversary! For the World Championship; a victory on Oct. 24th will be another feather in my cap.
Sabin: It will solidify our dominance over these other groups for sure; remind people why we are the champs. When these teams lose, they’re all the way back to the bottom of the contention list, bye bye.
(To Austin) What can you put your fast rise through IMPACT’s ranks down to?
Austin: I was the youngest person ever signed to IMPACT, my raw power and potential stored ready to come out which it did at Bound For Glory last year. That’s when it became clear to me that Ace Austin is the future.
Mathews: As we get ready to log off here, gentlemen what are your final thoughts in the lead-up to Bound For Glory?
Sabin: The Motor City Machine Guns have worked for years and years for this and for our status and we’re still always training. They’re gonna find out why we’re the best at Bound For Glory, as will those other teams.
Austin: Initially, I was upset that this Bound For Glory was a four-way. Madman and myself definitely deserve a two-on-two, especially considering I have a pinfall victory over Chris Sabin… but, my final thoughts? It’s time for new Tag TeamChampions come Bound For Glory.
Watch Bound For Glory on October 24th, available now from FITE.TV; now also available in the UK via Premier Sports for just £9.99