On Sunday morning’s Wrestling Observer Radio show, Dave Meltzer gave an update on Austin Aries and what led to his departure from WWE. Apparently, there were a lot of people in the company that were not happy to work with him, including the writing staff. On Friday night, there were reports claiming that he was the one that asked to be released but WWE’s side claims that they were the ones that made the decision to let him go. Either way, Aries was probably happy to get out so it comes off more like a mutual parting of the ways. Oftentimes, when a wrestler asks to be released, WWE holds them to their contract and they are not allowed to work for another promotion until their contract expires. A good example would be Rey Mysterio. Aries is not being bound by his contract, which tells you that WWE was more than happy to cut him loose.
He will be able to use the Austin Aries name elsewhere (his real name is Daniel Healy Solwold Jr.) because of prior usage before WWE. He will get paid during his 90-day non-compete and during that time period, he can work anywhere that is approved by WWE. After that, he can sign with any company. His WWE contract was for 3 years and would have expired in 2019 so it worked out well for him in the sense that, if he asked for his release, WWE could have prevented him from working for a company like ROH, GFW, or NJPW for another 2 years.
Aries was said to be unhappy about his match with Neville not being included on the WrestleMania DVD which means that they would not get paid royalties from that show. In fact, he made his feelings clear in a tweet after the Blu-Ray was released in Canada.
— Austin Healy Aries (@AustinAries) May 19, 2017
So, what’s next for Aries? As I noted before, he had heat when he was in TNA but that was during the previous regime. I don’t know what his relationship is with Jeff Jarrett but GFW (TNA) is more financially stable now and people are getting paid on time so it’s a possibility that he would be interested in going back there. I would not be surprised if he decided to retire. In 2011, Aries made the decision to retire from the wrestling business because he was not happy with where he was in TNA. He has talked about not wanting to be one of those guys that is a prisoner to the world of wrestling and not want to be stuck doing conventions because he needs the money. At one point, he stopped taking bookings but got back into wrestling when he got a call to return to TNA.
Aries began his wrestling career in 2000 after training under Eddie Sharkey and Terry Fox. His first big break came when he was signed to Ring Of Honor in 2004. His run with ROH overlapped with TNA as he worked for both promotions for a couple of years. His first TNA run lasted from 2005-2007 before returning to ROH for another run with them from 2007-2010. Aries returned to TNA in 2011 before ultimately leaving the company in 2015 for one final run in ROH. He signed with WWE in 2016 as part of the NXT brand.
Aries is a former TNA World Heavyweight Champion, 6-time X-Division Champion, TNA World Tag Team Champion, 2-time ROH World Champion, and a former ROH World Tag Team Champion.
If you’d like to catch up on the top news stories from the last 48 hours, click on any of the links below:
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- Alberto El Patron says he will be waiting on The New Day, The Usos and Triple H on Tuesday night in San Antonio
- A top wrestling star is being pressured to leave the wrestling business
- Kevin Nash to undergo surgery this week
- John Cena explains why WWE doesn’t talk about Chris Benoit