For years, the WWE Universe wondered how successful “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” could be with WWE. After fifteen years in the industry and overwhelming success in Ring of Honor, New Japan, TNA, and everywhere else he had been, Austin Aries finally joined NXT for a short run. He suffered some unfortunate injuries, but Aries was eventually brought to 205 Live to provide a huge boost to the Cruiserweight division.
Austin Aries was booked as a top babyface for the brand heading into Wrestlemania 33, and his rivalry with Neville over the Cruiserweight Championship just concluded with the latter emerging as the winner. A lot of people thought Aries would take the title from Neville eventually, but WWE officials decided against it for a specific reason that “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” revealed during an interview with Busted Open.
Apparently, the decision was made to keep the Cruiserweight Title on Neville because Aries is still suffering from nagging injuries over the past few months. As a result, he will be taking some time off from television to heal from those issues. It’s unclear how long he needs to recover. It could be anywhere from a couple days to a few weeks. Regardless, there will be new creative plans for Austin Aries whenever he returns to the ring.
As of this writing, there isn’t an indication of what WWE officials have planned for him once he’s healthy. A huge benefit of having a veteran like Austin Aries on the roster is he can be utilized in almost any way. There is some speculation about him feuding with someone new on 205 Live or returning to NXT for another cup of coffee. During the same interview, Aries said the following about the former’s progress with WWE fans.
“With 205 Live, I think the main thing that people have to keep in mind and understand is that there’s a big vision for this. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s still really in its infancy stages and there’s going to be growing pains, and there’s going to be figuring out the right formula. There’s a lot of talented guys who haven’t had a chance to really be spotlighted yet.”
The expectation is WWE officials will continue to use Austin Aries to get 205 Live off the ground. The show hasn’t performed well on the WWE Network despite a very talented roster of wrestlers and the platform to perform every Monday night on Raw. Austin Aries also seems passionate about helping the brand grow into something special, but WWE officials may want Aries to find his way onto Raw or SmackDown Live soon.
Someone as accomplished as Austin Aries would be a welcome edition to either show. Not to mention, Aries has an extensive history with several WWE Superstars on both shows. There are also several dream matches the WWE Universe would enjoy seeing sooner rather than later. There is no doubt that Aries would do well on Raw or SmackDown, but the big question will be if WWE officials are comfortable pushing him like that.
Hardcore wrestling fans would be thrilled, but you have to wonder if the average WWE fan would see Austin Aries as a main roster guy after getting his exposure with him as a part of the Cruiserweight division. There’s not too much concern that Aries would earn his spot over time, but there could be an adjustment period.
A lot of people are expecting Neville to receive a big push on Raw or SmackDown as a main roster guy after his run with the Cruiserweight Championship ends. WWE officials could use Austin Aries as the measuring stick to see how challenging it will be for the WWE Universe to accept a Cruiserweight as a regular wrestler.
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