Austin Aries has been released from his WWE contract, the company announced on Friday.
In a one sentence post on its website, the WWE said on July 7th, “WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Superstar Austin Aries. WWE wishes Aries the best in all of his future endeavors.”
This came pretty much out of nowhere, so what exactly happened here? Was Austin Aries fired? Is this a case of the WWE taking disciplinary action? Or did the two parties come to a mutual agreement about his future?
Well, the Wrestling Observer is now reporting that Aries did not request to be released from his contract, and he was instead fired. Wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio this week that Aries was very unpopular with the show’s writing staff.
Initially, it was reported that Austin Aries asked to be released from his contract, but according to the Wrestling Observer, that’s not the case. However, one could be fooled by looking at Aries’ Twitter account immediately after the news broke, as he made clear that he was very happy to no longer be working with the WWE.
The Wrestling Observer had also previously reported that Austin Aries did indeed ask to be released, but they subsequently said that this was not the case. Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Online also reported that Aries asked to be released.
In addition, PWTorch.com reported that Aries did not like being pigeonholed as a cruiserweight.
“…[A]ccording to sources, the reason Aries asked for his release was because he wasn’t happy being pigeonholed as a cruiserweight and saw a lot more for himself than being a 205 Live wrestler,” PWTorch reported.
In addition, PWTorch is reporting that Aries had a reputation for having a bad attitude. They also report that he has been working through an injury recently.
Aries had previously complained in an episode of Busted Open in early June that he’s suffering from some nagging injuries and might need to take some brief time off to recuperate.
“I’ve got some stuff going on, but just to be fair you could probably say that for a lot of the locker room,” Aries said. “It’s kind of part of what we do, I don’t think anyone is ever 100%. So I got a couple things going on and obviously at this point it might be a good time to take a little break which really could consist of two days to just adjust some of those things, try and get my mind and my body right and then come back and figure out what’s gonna be next and what the direction’s gonna be.”
Aries later said that he wasn’t going to take time off and that his quote had been taken out of context. He did also say that he was waiting to see how he factored into future WWE storylines.
“As far as what’s next for me from a creative standpoint or what my next move is, that’s to be determined,” he told the USA Today. “I need to regroup and take a look at the landscape and see where I fit in…You just have to keep tuned in and find out what’s going to happen.”
Aries recently concluded a lengthy feud with Neville, which ended with him being defeated by Neville at Extreme Rules. He has not been seen on WWE programming since the June 20th episode of 205 Live. He had begun a storyline with Jack Gallagher on that cruiserweight show, which airs only on the WWE Network.
Many fans have felt for a long time that Austin Aries is far more talented to have been stuck in the Cruiserweight division. Aries has had a pretty impressive career up until this point, having previously worked with Ring of Honor, Total Nonstop Action and Dragon Gate USA. He signed with the WWE in early 2016, spending some time on NXT before joining the main roster as a commentator later in the year. Interesting, his real-life fiancee, Thea Trinidad, recently signed with the WWE.