It turns out that Austin Aries was actually released by WWE. He didn’t request it.
Many fans were caught off guard when the news broke four months ago. The news seemed to come out of nowhere and was a shock to fans.
Aries, who signed with the company back in 2016 and last appeared on television in May on 205 Live, had been in a top position in the cruiserweight division prior to his release by WWE. He was a big star on 205 Live on the WWE Network.
He feuded with WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville earlier this year that included a match at WrestleMania 33 in April in Orlando, Florida that aired on the pre-show as well as a classic Submission Match at the Extreme Rules PPV (pay-per-view) event. Unfortunately for Aries, he lost both matches.
Aries is currently promoting the release of his autobiography, “Food Fight: My Plant-Powered Journey from Bingo Halls to the Big Time.” His options are wide open now that he is not under contract with WWE. He has a past with Ring of Honor and could most likely work for any promotion that he wanted to, which will make things interesting.
Aries recently appeared on Talk is Jericho (transcript via wrestlinginc.com) to talk about various topics including his release by the WWE.
“I mean, long story short, and I can’t speak to stuff that I’ve read or that people have read because those things were never brought to me personally, so that’s really… I don’t like to deal with speculation. Just plain and simple, I was told that they had nothing for me creatively.
I was set to start… I just started rehabbing some nagging injuries on my neck. I’m obviously finishing up the program with Neville, and it left me… they didn’t have anything solid for me creatively, so speaking with the doctors, that it was a good time to give me a little time off, let me rehab, get some strength back. I had lost some size. And I was looking forward to that and then I got a call actually the day after I started doing that and just said that there was nothing for me creatively and that was really it. I was just told they have nothing for me and they’re going to let me go. And I expressed that, obviously, that was unfortunate. I wasn’t completely surprised.
I felt maybe from things leading up to it that that maybe the direction we’re going to head, but, hey man, that’s a business decision and the bottom line is I think I appreciate the opportunities that I was given there. I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t ask to be released. It never crossed my mind. I never had that conversation with anybody. I was more than happy to spend the time getting healthy and figuring out what they had for me next because, literally, I was happy to do whatever. I’ll go to NXT, put me as a mouthpiece, take me out of 205 [Live].
You can do anything with me. Like, I’m open and I’m at a point in my career where I’ve won championships, I’ve done all these things, and it’s cool, and I realized that I take pride in being a utility guy. Like, could you build Austin Aries to be the world champion? Well, yeah, you could. Right, but if you asked me, ‘would you build Austin Aries to be the world champion?,’ I’d go, ‘well, there [are] probably 10 other guys I’d do first, but could you do it with me? Sure, against the right opponent, with the right story and the right build, I can handle the load. I know, like, I have the talent, but I wouldn’t be the ideal choice and that’s not lost on me.
Luckily for me, I can do a lot of things and be a valuable asset that has nothing to do with winning titles or championships or any of that, so that [has] never been an issue. It was a business decision and I respect that.”
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