Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Austin Aries Back in Impact Wrestling

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A Double - One last gasp in Impact
For those not in the know, Austin Aries used to wrestle in TNA as Austin Starr. Of course, those people not in the know are probably like me, folks who didn't pay much attention to either the indies or to TNA until recently. So suffice to say, I'm guessing a whole bunch of you out there knew that. Okay. Well, that's not the compelling news. What would be compelling? Well, if he went back, that would be pretty newsworthy.

Well, according to several reports, that just happened last night. There was a three-way match at the Impact tapings last night that pitted Aries against Kid Kash and Jimmy Rave, reportedly for a contract with the company. Aries won. Whether that was for a long-term deal or whether it's just through Destination X (since all three guys identify with the X-Division) is unknown at this point. However, I'm not really concerned with the news as much as I am with the implications here.

I always thought that Aries and the now-Impact Wrestling departed on bad terms. Then again, what bridge remains burnt in wrestling? Not many. It's no secret that Aries wants to make money in wrestling. He's at an age where he could either leave the business with his health intact and do something else with his life, cherishing his notoriety in the indies, continue on in the indies and degrade his body for no chance for more financial security or make one final play to get to the WWE or to make bigger money by breaking through in Impact. That's what this move says to me.

Now, whether it'll work or not is a different story. For as many times as the phrase "wrestling matters" is uttered in association with Impact, the actions in the ring don't show it. I mean, the top storyline is still about Sting feuding more with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan, wanting to keep his title because of "stroke" rather than being the best in the company. With Destination X confirmed as being a X-Division themed event with the six-sided ring coming back one night only and everything, maybe there's a chance things turn around. Maybe they see the positive reaction to the event and start pushing guys like Aries and his brethren more meaningfully. But the former-TNA's track record suggests otherwise. You can't expect a leopard to change its spots until it actually goes through with the process, or else you set yourself up for failure.

Even with the lip service paid though, there's still a chance for A Double. Right now, both challengers for the top two WWE Championships made it in TNA before going back up North. They've taken fliers on Low Ki, Chris Harris, Consequences Creed, Lance Hoyt, Alexis Laree, Gail Kim1 and other TNA talents to varying degrees of success. If using the month between now and Destination X is the audition that gets Aries by the mythical WWE age ceiling, then it'd be worth it, right?

Even looking at it that way, it might be a long shot. I wouldn't go back to Impact, but then again, I'm not a wrestler. I'm not Aries specifically either. I can't be in his frame of mind because I've never been in his position even in my own field of work. So if this is the way he wants to go, then so be it, it'll be the way he goes. If I get a month of things to actually look forward to on Impact because of it, then yeah, I can dig it. I can't get enough of A Double.

So while I don't have the highest hopes for his long term future, the immediate month will be something to enjoy. Hopefully, this turns out for the best for Austin Aries, because hey, he's one of my favorites, and I always want to see guys I like do well. Just don't expect me to be brimming with optimism about whether that will happen.

Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein - Please visit his site to view the plentiful amounts of pictures he's taken for DGUSA, ROH and other indie feds: Get Lost Photography

1 - I know most of those names flop, but at the same time, Aries is way, way, WAY more charismatic than all those names.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

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