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Austin Aries Discusses TNA Moment Where He Put His Crotch In Christy Hemme’s Face, His Conversations With Hemme After the Incident, Mark Madden’s Role

December 14, 2019 | Posted by Ashish
Christy Hemme

During an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Austin Aries talked about the infamous TNA Impact Wrestling moment where Christy Hemme, then the ring announcer, botched the names of the wrestlers working the match, and called Aries and Bobby Roode the names of their opponents (Kazarian and Christopher Daniels). Aries, a heel at the time, backed her into a corner, demanded she correctly announce his name (which she did), and then went up to the second turnbuckle, resulting in his crotch being near Hemme’s face. Aries ended up being fined by TNA. Video of the incident and highlights of Aries’ comments are below.

On how the Christy Hemme incident still bothers him: “That’s one of the biggest things, I think, to this day that still bothers me. We don’t have to talk about it now, we can talk about Bound for Glory. But that was, to have your name attached to something like sexual harassment is a big deal.”

On what his thinking was when he put his crotch in Hemme’s face: “She announced me and Bobby as our opponents, Kaz and Daniels. We’re two of the top heels in the company, and so, understand, when I walk out the curtain, you’re in the mode, man. I think that’s, again, I hate when people say it’s what’s wrong with wrestling. This is where you gotta change the language. Nothing is wrong or right about wrestling. But it’s where it’s changing, and we can have opinions on if we like it or not.”

“You go out there in the mode, and so I hear it, and it’s live TV, and I’m trying to process what do I do. I can’t acknowledge I didn’t hear it, because we’re live, we can’t just do it over, we can’t get it in editing. was my first thought, can we get it in editing. Can’t get it in editing. So understand the thought process. The ring announcer, who is there to just announce names, she’s eye candy. Now I’m not saying, this isn’t Dan, my real name in my house, saying this about Christy the person. I’m saying this in the context of the show, she’s there to be hot girl announcing names, and I’m the top, former World Champion bad guy, with my partner, former World Champion bad guy. She just basically shit on us and disrespected us, and felt no need to correct herself. Which is where, I think, she just giggled it off, she probably was nervous. So I’m just thinking, what am I gonna do out here. So I didn’t think out all the logistics of this, but in my head, I’m thinking corner punch, if you don’t want to be there, leave. So I’m thinking, I’m gonna kind of get in her face and make her do it right. And once she does her job, like she dismissed us, once she does her job, I dismiss her. Like you don’t exist. You’re here for a single reason, do it, and now disappear. That’s a very dick thing, yes, I wasn’t thinking that it’s a real person, in my heel mode, I’m going, that’s a fucking, let me get some heat out of this motherfucking thing, right? So I got her back, and I’m thinking on the fly, and she backs in the corner and I say, ‘Do it again,’ right, and she goes, ‘Ha ha,’ and she says the name and I stand on the second rope and do my pose. I try to give her as much clearance as possible. I didn’t think about heights or, I didn’t think all this thing through, but I wasn’t acknowledging her. It was like she was now vanished. And I assumed she would just vanish if she didn’t want to be there. That’s not what happened. She was kind of, was obviously, like what the fuck, and she kind of tapped my leg, and I hopped off, and I stayed in character, and that was it.”

On what happened after the incident: “I didn’t think much of it, like, ‘OK cool, we got some heat.’ I was kind of a dick, and the way I was brought up and taught, this is what you do. Camera is on, we’re rolling. So I got to the back and nobody said anything. Went through the rest of the taping, nobody made any mention of it, that there was any issue. I got home, and then the next day I got a call from the office saying I was going to be fined $5000 for the incident with Christy. I was like, ‘Woah, what incident with Christy?’ I didn’t even know that was an issue. Why didn’t anybody say anything to me? I was there the whole fucking day and nobody came up and said, I was like, it was Al Snow, and I said, ‘Hey Al, let me call Christy and talk to her, I certainly wasn’t trying to offend her or whatever.’ So I called her, we talked for 20 minutes, I explained kind of where I was at, and I apologized if she felt whatever, and wish she would have said something to me, and she told me where her mindset was, and originally she wasn’t, but as the day went on and people were kind of coming up to her, she started thinking more about it. And I can understand, too, being a woman in the business, maybe some things can trigger you and maybe it’s initially, or maybe when people start coming up and going, ‘Are you OK? Do you feel this way?’ and you start thinking about it. Whatever. I get it. She explained her part. I explained mine. I didn’t have any issue with her professionally. And it was cool, and we ended the conversation on good terms. So I called Al back and was like, ‘Hey dude, we’re good, I called Christy, everything is cool.’ And he just said, ‘Well, Dixie thinks you should make an apology.’ And I was like, ‘For what?’ Suspending disbelief is, we gotta tell them, oh, we gotta tell them that wasn’t real, he’s sorry he did something as a bad guy that made you not like him. I handled it the way I needed to. I talked to her, we’re cool. I don’t care what people online think. Because she put some tweet out saying, responding to some fan, saying ‘Did you like when he did that?’ And she was like, ‘No, it was unacceptable.’ Well, that’s what she would say in character. Of course it’s not acceptable, it wasn’t supposed to be acceptable, I was being a bad guy.”

On how Mark Madden escalated the incident: “Mark Madden. I’m not gonna call him a bunch of names, like a midget stripper like he called me, but I find it funny that of all the people to champion women’s causes, it’s Mark Madden. Go look at that guy’s feed and see what he thinks about women. Anyway, and yeah Mark, I’ll call you out, because I never met you, but you sure took a lot of fucking time to make my life fucking miserable and paint me as something I’m not, so if we’re ever in the same room together, I’d like to meet you, and be nice, and you can introduce yourself properly to me. But it’s his job, he’s a shock jock, what else is he going to do. I mean look at him, the guy hates, if you don’t take care of yourself to that extent, obviously if you give so little a fuck about yourself, you obviously don’t give a fuck about anybody else or what you do to their life. You don’t even give a fuck what you do in your own life. He really started beating the drum of what this was, and listen, what happens here is that noise gets loud enough that now Viacom hears about it and asks like, what the fuck is happening with their wrestling company, the wrestling company goes what is all this shit, we gotta make it go away, we gotta fix it. So they want me to make an apology, and I did my normal shit that I do, pain in the ass, and I sat with Al for 25 minutes preaching my case, this is whatever, it’s irresponsible, and we can make a joint statement as a company to help me, and at the end, I say, I should probably just make this apology right, it’s the easiest thing. So I just want to be heard, you know what I’m saying? Fuck. So I go, ‘I’ll write something up and put it out.’ And he goes, actually, ‘I think Dixie already put something together for you.'”

On his conversation with Bruce Prichard (head of talent relations at Impact at the time) about the incident: “So I got a call from Bruce Prichard, head of talent at the time, and we had a conversation. And I just reiterated, ‘Hey dude, first of all, now things like sexual harassment are being thrown out there, that’s no fucking joke.’ And for me to make an apology, I just, why are we letting outside pressure tell us how to police our business? We should keep our business our business. We can make a joint statement, company wide statement, we’re aware there is concern over interaction between two of our characters, we all sat down and had a great talk, whatever, no smoke, no fire.”

On what he still blames Hemme for: “I told her straight up, Christy, your tweet saying this was unacceptable kind of started all of this. I said, ‘You put a tweet out can end all of this.’ I can’t say, ‘Hey, I called her and everything is cool,’ but you can say, ‘Hey, he called me, it’s all good,’ and this goes away. She was saying, ‘Hey, they don’t want me to say anything.’ Well so now you’re protecting your interests and you’re letting things be said that aren’t true. That’s not fucking cool. Because you said something. First of all, you screwed up your job, that wasn’t the first time, or the second, or the third. And then, now instead of taking the fucking ownership of that, OK, I made a bad decision, I didn’t think of all the factors and scenarios, that was my bad, I could of done a million other ways of being an asshole to correct her without standing on the turnbuckle, I’ll own that one, that was just bad judgment, but I’m not going to cop to fucking sexually harassing someone. That’s fucking bullshit. And also, I think it’s funny that, OK, is it because she’s an attractive female and I’m a guy, so the connotation is I must want to fuck her? Because that’s kind of what is implied. I never made eye contact with her, I never made any gyrations or anything. So there was never anything sexual about what I did. So if it’s sexual harassment, is it because I must want to have sex with her? That’s one thing I always found curious. Who is to say I didn’t have the chance and passed on it?”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit Chris Van Vliet with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

article topics :

Austin Aries, Christy Hemme, Ashish