Austin Aries was the guest on today’s Busted Open Radio on SiriusXM and he discussed a variety of topics, including his return to Ring of Honor, as well as his run with TNA. As recently reported by Inquisitr, the former TNA heavyweight champion is one of a number of wrestlers who recently left the company.
Recalling his 98-day run with TNA’s top title in 2012, Aries acknowledged the widespread perception that the company changed directions after he had worked hard to garner a lot of momentum and support from fans.
“I guess as frank as I can say it … somebody dropped the ball, and it wasn’t me. I was ready to run with it and somebody knocked it out of my hands from behind. I’m not sure where the decision was made, but I agree with your assessment and I think a lot of people agree with that assessment [that TNA had red hot momentum when they put the title on Aries]. You know, sometimes you have too many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak. At that time, that could have been the case of what was going on. You have different people fighting for different directions. All I wanted to do was to go on television every week and have the best… wrestling match of any company, anywhere.”
Austin Aries went on to give some props to Jeff Hardy, who ultimately won the title from Aries. He expressed an appreciation for Hardy’s spot in the company but also indicated he would have liked to do more once he was in a leading role for TNA.
“That’s really all I wanted … was the opportunity to succeed or fail on my own. But plans change. Jeff Hardy came in … no one is going to discount Jeff Hardy and what he brings to the industry with his name value, his name recognition … so it had nothing to do with Jeff personally, I just felt like I didn’t get the opportunity to really help the company to the best of my abilities.”
Aries shared optimism and enthusiasm regarding Samoa Joe’s new gig with WWE, stating that Joe’s long-awaited stint in NXT has “really opened some doors” in the wrestling business. In a 2012 interview with Pro Wrestling Illustrated, Austin acknowledged that he had once been in contact with WWE about possibly working there at some point but he noted that things didn’t work out at the time.
WrestlingINC and other news outlets republished a press release from Ring of Honor yesterday formally announcing that Aries will return to the company starting with an appearance in Las Vegas on July 17. Longtime fans of Austin Aries are expecting big things from the two-time ROH champion now that he is finally back in his old stomping grounds, where he has put on some of the best performances of his career.