WWE News: Austin Aries Explains Why His Stint With Company Didn’t Turn Out As Expected
When Austin Aries signed with WWE in 2016, he had an impressive resume that included world championship reigns in both Ring of Honor and TNA (later Impact Wrestling). However, that stint with the company ended about a year and a half later without a single title won while working for Vince McMahon. In a recent interview, the wrestling veteran recalled his July 2017 departure from WWE and talked in-depth about the factors that might have prevented him from living up to expectations.
On Wednesday’s edition of VOC Nation’s In the Room podcast (via Wrestling Inc.), Aries discussed how he was released from WWE almost three years ago, explaining that there were various reasons things might have gone wrong during his time there. However, he stressed that it all boiled down to how no one had told him what to expect in WWE and how his own expectations weren’t met.
Additionally, the 42-year-old grappler hinted that WWE was keeping a very close eye on his behavior. This, he said, served as one of the first clues that he might not be a good fit for the company.
“That question is probably better to ask Vince or to the people that were in charge. I’ll be honest, I came in as a short, old white dude. I’m 5’8, 5’9 in my boots. I was 38 years old. I came in basically on secret, double probation that’s what I was told.”
— WWE (@WWE) April 2, 2017
After further adding that WWE didn’t seem to have any fixed plan for him when he arrived in the promotion, Aries touched on how he worked as a color commentator while recovering from an eye injury. He explained that this led to a call-up from NXT to the main roster, which he then parlayed into a Cruiserweight Championship match against Neville at the WrestleMania 33 kickoff show — a match he ended up losing. As Aries explained, he wasn’t sure what else he needed to do at that point in his WWE stint.
“I think we both went in there with some reservations, and I think we both proved each other right as far as what they thought of me and what I thought of the system,” he related. “Ultimately it was their decision to move on and I can only go by what I’m told.”
On top of this, Aries suggested that he might not have gotten along well with WWE’s writing team, on account of his tendency to make a lot of suggestions for his character and his storylines. He compared his situation at the time to that of a gourmet chef working for McDonald’s and being told that his ideas aren’t welcome because the restaurant “[sells] a billion.”