The WWE Universe has become familiar with Austin Aries as an announcer, but they will soon get acclimated with “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” inside the ring.
Aries, who is the announcer for WWE’s 205Live and during cruiserweight bouts on Monday Night RAW, had recently become more vocal on the shows. Aries’ on-screen interactions on RAW include prodding Anthony Nese with questions, and this past Monday, an in-ring interview segment with current WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville. Oh, and Aries has been the only person on RAW to have a banana placed in the breast pocket of his sports coat.
Aries joined NXT early last year but hasn’t competed since last October. The former TNA World Heavyweight Champion suffered an orbital fracture in his left eye during a match with Shinsuke Nakamura on a live event.
A smile and a wink for y’all. pic.twitter.com/RBCdTqJARt
— Austin Healy Aries (@AustinAries) October 27, 2016
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via Wrestlezone) is reporting that Aries has been medically cleared to return to in-ring competition. Additionally, there are unconfirmed rumors that Aries will face Neville for the Cruiserweight title at Wrestlemania 33. The match would be the first Wrestlemania appearance for both Neville and Aries; Neville injured his ankle weeks before Wrestlemania 32 and was called up to the main roster the night after Wrestlemania 31.
Aries has hinted at going after the Cruiserweight championship in the past. When Aries joined the 2015Live commentary booth, WWE.com teased him joining the division.
However, calling the high-flying action of the Cruiserweight division wasn’t the only reason Aries was at ringside; he also revealed he was scouting the competition and let his intention to claim the WWE Cruiserweight Championship be known.
The seeds for Neville vs. Aries may have been planted on RAW during the two men’s interview segment. Aries announced that the winner of a five-way match featuring Cedric Alexander, Noam Dar, Jack Gallagher, Anthony Nese, and TJ Perkins would face Nevile at WWE Fastlane; at which point all five Cruiserweights crashed the segment and ended it with a brawl.
Following next Monday’s No.1 contenders match, and title defense at Fastlane, the direction for “The King of the Cruiserweights” heading into Wrestlemania 33 will be clearer.
ARIES IN WWE
Aries left TNA in June 2015 and spent time with numerous independent promotions, in addition to a brief return to Ring of Honor, before making his NXT debut last March. Since joining the company, Aries has feuded with the likes of Baron Corbin, Nakamura, and No Way Jose.
Before NXT, Aries’ closest affiliation to WWE was when he did the voiceover for Jacob Cass on WWE 12 while still under contract to TNA. However, as Aries explained to WWE.com, joining the WWE was his final challenge.
“Frankly, it’s the only thing I haven’t done in my career. I’ve accomplished every goal I’ve set out to. I’ve traveled the world, I’ve competed in just about every promotion there is. The last mountain to climb was the one that resides in the WWE Universe. I’m excited to get that opportunity. The NXT brand is as hot as any brand in wrestling, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
While the gruesome eye injury put Aries on the shelf, it actually may have been a blessing in disguise. If not for the injury, he’d likely still be in NXT working with names like Bobby Roode, Roderick Strong, and others. However, 205Live has allowed Aries to keep his character on the air and put himself in a position to compete at his first Wrestlemania.
“From the moment I became a free agent, the WWE opportunity was the one I wanted,” Aries said. “Obviously, there were strong plays made by some other companies, but in the end, when WWE offered me an opportunity, I could not turn it down.”
[Featured Image by WWE]