Austin Aries had a bright future with WWE but he was underutilized and pigeonholed to the Cruiserweight Division.
The Greatest Man That Ever Lived has since left WWE and is on to other ventures. But while he was on the injured list after a misfired toe from Shinsuke Nakamura caught Aries in the eye socket and broke it, WWE decided to place A Double in a role where he really thrived: the commentary booth.
Austin Aries was recently a guest on Talk Is Jericho where he talked about how that decision came about.
“When [the injury happened] happened, I was talking with Hunter and I said, ‘I don’t necessarily just want to disappear for whatever extent of time, so if there [are] things I can do, whether it’s commentary, managerial, anything, I’d like to stay, somehow, in the scenes.’ And this was at NXT, so when the 205 [Live] idea was brought to light, and they said, ‘going off of what you said, maybe this would be a fit for commentary’ and it provided an opportunity that honestly I am so thankful for and it [has] opened a lot of doors for me. I learned a lot working with Michael Cole and having Vince, literally, after my fight night, [saying] ‘Goddammit, you’re a natural. Nobody [has] ever had a debut like that before.'”
Aries continued to discuss his first night on the 205 Live commentary team where he revealed a rather enthusiastic and unexpected reaction he received from The Chairman Of The Board. “I walked back to Gorilla [position] and he was standing there with a big smile on [Vince McMahon’s] face and ‘Goddammit, you’re a natural!’ I was looking at him like, ‘what are you saying?’ Literally, the greatest complement you could probably get at that point in your career. Sure, and Vince has sat in that seat and heard everybody and I mean everybody, good and bad, so for him to come back and heap that kind of praise on me, I didn’t take that lightly.”
Austin Aries really was a natural on commentary which was a role that suited him well. But his real home is in the wrestling ring and while he’s still able to compete he plans to do so for as long as he possibly can and he won’t let his size get in his way. But it’s great to know he’s got his skills on the microphone to fall back on in case he wanted to pursue that option.
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