WWE News: Austin Aries Talks Shinsuke Nakamura, NXT, And Brand Split

Only a few months into his NXT career, professional wrestling veteran Austin Aries will tangle with fellow WWE newcomer Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT Takeover: The End. It’ll be the first time both men face each other in their careers.

With Aries primarily wrestling in the United States and Nakamura becoming a legend in Japan the last decade and a half, their paths never crossed professionally. During an appearance on The Wrestling Compadres Slamcast, Aries discussed his expectations for tonight’s match and why it’ll be a classic.

“It should be fun. I think at least two stars,” Aries jokingly said about the quality of the match (H/T Wrestling Inc). “It should be in that two-star range or whatever. I hope the fans are okay with that. It’s a great opportunity because he’s one of the guys I haven’t had a chance to get in the ring with. And we’re going to go out there and do our thing and have some fun.”

Aries mentioned that since both he and “The King of Strong Style” have been working at NXT, they’ve encountered each other at bars. The 38-year-old, self-proclaimed “Greatest Man That Ever Lived,” has high regard for Nakamura out of the ring but has higher expectations for their work inside of it.

“He’s not shy to go out and have a cocktail like myself. But yeah, we chat a little bit in the back and he seems to be a cool guy and I think we’ll get in there, we’ll put all that aside, and get down to business.”

Earlier in the year, NXT, the WWE’s developmental program, enjoyed a vast influx of talent. From Aries and Nakamura to mainstays like Samoa Joe and Finn Balor, NXT has slowly gone from a developmental program to a full-fledged third brand for WWE.

Aries’ first official bout came at NXT Takeover: Dallas during Wrestlemania 32 weekend, defeating “The Lone Wolf” Baron Corbin. Since then, he’s teamed with Nakamura to defeat Blake & Murphy — which ultimately led to their one-on-one match — and faced some NXT stalwarts such as Elias Samson, Tye Dillinger, and Angelo Dawkins.

While Aries has enjoyed the first few months of his NXT stint, he advises fans to keep watching as he’s set on showing more of his talents.

“It [has] been great. There are obviously some things about it that are new, lots of new challenges, and a new setting with so much talent. But overall, I’m just trying to find my way, do what’s asked of me, and go out there and just try to show people what I’m about. If anything, I’m still kind of scratching the surface and I think in the next few months, as I kind of find my comfort zone as I call it, I can unleash the side of me that maybe hasn’t been seen yet. I think people will get a better idea of what I can do.”

At this juncture, Aries and the rest of the NXT roster await notice on their future. With the brand split rapidly approaching — giving both SmackDown and RAW unique rosters — rumors have suggested that NXT talent will help fill out both rosters. A near two-decade veteran like Aries would be an asset to either show.

About two weeks ago, a list of WWE superstars and their rumored destinations leaked during the split. Aries’ name — along with several other NXT performers — is listed as part of the SmackDown roster.

Aries is not aware of any plans regarding his future or the WWE’s intended direction but is prepared for any opportunities coming his way.

“I suppose anything is possible. I’d never rule out anything in this industry. I haven’t heard anything. I think, just like everybody else, you read speculation and conjecture and you just kind of wait till you hear something definitive. So, I’m ready for whatever they put in front of me. Right now, that’s Shinsuke Nakamura at TakeOver week and that’s where I’m focused. And whatever they put on my plate, I’m hungry and I’m ready to eat, as long as it’s vegan, of course.”

[Featured Image via WWE]

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