Big news in the roster shuffle taking place around TNA as a man who held that promotion's World, X-Division and tag team titles will return to the company that now serves as a lead-in to Impact Wrestling on Destination America - Ring of Honor (ROH).
Austin Aries worked last Sunday's Slammiversary pay-per-view (PPV) and the television tapings which preceded but will air after it, and then said goodbye. He signed with a talent agency, promising a big announcement this week. That turns out to be his return to ROH, the company he worked for for six years on either side of his first TNA run in the Aughts, and for whom he was their first two-time World champ.
His last parting from the now-Sinclair Broadcasting owned promotion was not particularly amicable, but that looks like it was largely issues with then-Creative head Jim Cornette as opposed to current management. Hunter Johnson, the man in charge of booking, is a Cornette disciple, but has moved away from the mix of 80s Southern wrestling and mixed martial arts-lite angles & action that lead Aries to refer to ROH as "Smokey Mountain of Honor".
July 17 will see A-Double return to ROH for a Las Vegas house show. The Aftershock-branded event will serve as a lead-in to their next internet PPV, July 24's Death Before Dishonor VIII, but it's unclear at this time if Aires will be on that show.
Past big ROH returns like Samoa Joe or debuts like Alberto El Patron have been a bit disappointing, with the stars working only a handful of dates before moving on to other companies. Whether that will be the case with the self-proclaimed Greatest Man That Ever Lived will be worth watching.
If he were interested in working for Jeff Jarrett's Global Force Wrestling, he most likely would have followed in James Storm, Magnus or former tag partner Bobby Roode's footsteps. Lucha Underground is currently without an announced second season or planned tapings, and WWE has passed on Aries in the past - albeit before the push to use NXT as it's own brand.
While we wonder about that, here's ROH's announcement welcoming Aries back to the fold:
BREAKING NEWS: FORMER 2x ROH WORLD CHAMPION RETURNING TO RING OF HONOR!
For the first time in nearly five years, Austin Aries is returning to Ring of Honor! On July 17th Aries, who is the first 2x ROH World Champion, as well as former ROH World Tag Team Champion, will be in Sin City!
The always confident and outspoken former leader of Generation Next has told Ring of Honor officials he wants to address the ROH fans live in Las Vegas. Exactly what Aries has to say is not clear, but he has never been known to hold anything back and he is not one to shy away from controversy. Be there live on July 17th to see just what kind of impact Austin Aries plans to make in his Ring of Honor return!
Do not miss out on seeing the return of this unique former ROH World Champion.
Excited about this latest development in the 21st century talent wars?