Early Friday evening, the WWE put out a release announcing that they were releasing Austin Aries
Aries signed with the company in early 2016. He had only recently started wrestling on the main roster after recovering from an orbital socket injury. He was immediately put into the cruiserweight division, and faced Neville on three straight pay-per-views for the cruiserweight title, failing to win in any of those occasions. After the most recent loss, at Extreme Rules, Aries tweeted the following:
While there's nothing certain yet, early speculation is that Aries requested the release himself. As a former TNA and ROH champion, he seemed destined for something bigger than simply the cruiserweight division, so one can certainly understand his unhappiness in being put on 205 Live.
As of now, the cruiserweights are kept in a separate bubble from the rest of the roster. If someone like Aries was more ambitious, and wanted to face the rest of the main roster, that person doesn't seem to have that opportunity.
The question now becomes where does Austin Aries go from here. Certainly the newly rebranded Global Force Wrestling (formerly TNA) would be a logical destination, as would Ring of Honor. New Japan could also use another American star as they try to make inroads into the U.S. Or, as Cody Rhodes is doing, Aries could do a combination of all of it.
Wrestlers are showing that they can make a good living on the indies now, possibly even making more money than they did in the WWE. With Rhodes' success both financially and creatively in his first year out of WWE, you could start seeing more ask for their release if they aren't happy with where they are creatively.
It's a tough blow for fans of Aries, who thought that despite his size, his look and charisma could allow him to succeed in the WWE. However, you can be sure that wherever he ends up next, The Greatest Man That Ever Lived will continue to make an impact on the wrestling world.
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