Daniel Healy Solwold Jr. (born April 15, 1978) better known by his ring name Austin Aries, is an American professional wrestler. He is currently a member of the IMPACT Wrestling roster, where he is the current IMPACT World Champion in his third reign. He also holds titles on the international and U.S. independent circuit, holding eleven world titles through out his career.
Aries began to work with Ring of Honor in 2004, joining the Generation Next faction. He won the ROH World Tag Team Champion with his teammate Roderick Strong and at Final Battle 2004, ROH's biggest event, defeated Samoa Joe to win the ROH World Championship, ending his 654-day reign. He would regain the title on 2009, becoming the first two-time champion. Aries also worked in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling between 2005 and 2007 under the ringname of Austin Starr. However, he found success during his second stint, between 2011 and 2015. Aries won the TNA X Division Championship six times. His first reign is the longest of the title's history, at 301 days and created the "Option C" concept, where he traded in the X Division Championship for a World Heavyweight title opportunity at Destination X, winning the title. He also won the World Tag Team Championship and the IMPACT Grand Championship, making Aries a Grand Slam Champion in IMPACT Wrestling.
Professional wrestling careerEdit
Early career (2000–2004)Edit
Solwold began training under Eddie Sharkey and Terry Fox in 2000 and debuted on November 11, 2000, facing "Sheriff" Johnny Emerald. He wrestled in the Midwest for several years before his east coast wrestling career was jump started after he progressed to the finals of the 2004 ECWA Super 8 Tournament, where he was defeated by Christopher Daniels.
Ring of Honor (2004–2007)Edit
From there, he joined Ring of Honor. Aries made his ROH main show debut at ROH: Reborn Stage 2 on April 24, 2004. Aries was unsuccessful, however, losing a four corner survival match also involving Jimmy Rave, Rocky Romero, and the winner, Nigel McGuinness. Aries was scheduled to return at the show of May 22, Generation Next, to compete in a one night series which would showcase young, upcoming ROH talent. Alex Shelley, however, hand-picked Aries, along with Roderick Strong and Jack Evans, as members of a new stable (also meant to promote young, upcoming ROH talent) who, instead of earning their spots, would simply take them. The group took the name Generation Next as their own.
Aries captured the ROH World Championship at Final Battle 2004 on December 26, 2004, by defeating the longest reigning ROH World Champion Samoa Joe. On June 16, 2005, Ring of Honor named Aries the new head trainer at the ROH wrestling school, replacing the former head trainer, CM Punk, who had agreed to a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment. After a six-month string of non-stop defenses, many of which were international, Aries lost the championship to CM Punk on June 18, 2005.
On December 17 at Final Battle 2005, Aries teamed with Strong to defeat Sal Rinauro and Tony Mamaluke for the ROH World Tag Team Championship. The two then disbanded Generation Next on June 3, 2006. In a first time ever match, Aries took on Pro Wrestling Noah wrestler KENTA on June 24, but was defeated following KENTA's Go 2 Sleep.
On September 16, he and his partner Strong lost the ROH World Tag Team Championship to The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli). Aries and Strong continued to team together for the rest of the year. At Battle of the Icons on January 27, 2007, Aries and Strong teamed up with Jack Evans to defeat Davey Richards, Delirious and SHINGO. This apparent Generation Next reunion was short lived when, at the following show on February 16, Strong attacked Aries after their tag team title match against Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal. Strong then formed the "No Remorse Corps" with Davey Richards. Jack Evans ran down and pulled Strong off Aries, but refused to side with either of them. The following night, Aries called out Strong twice, but was unable to get his hands on him. When Evans refused to side with him, Aries said he was going to form a new faction with members of the next generation of wrestling. With that, he formed "The Resilience" with Erick Stevens and Matt Cross.
On April 27, Aries unsuccessfully challenged Takeshi Morishima for the Ring of Honor World Championship. On May 4, 2007, Ring of Honor announced on their website that they had signed a pay-per-view deal with G-Funk Sports and Entertainment. Following the announcement, TNA pulled Aries and Homicide, both under contracts with TNA, from all Ring of Honor shows.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2005–2007)Edit
In July 2005, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling held an Internet poll to select an opponent for the TNA X Division Champion Christopher Daniels at their August 14 pay-per-view, Sacrifice. Billed as an "Internet dream match", the poll offered voters the choice of Aries, Roderick Strong, Jay Lethal and Matt Sydal, none of whom were contracted to TNA or had even appeared with the company on a regular basis in the past. Aries won the poll by a landslide, and thus faced Daniels in a non-title match at Sacrifice, which he lost. Following the event, it was rumored that TNA officials had been impressed by Aries and were considering offering him a contract, and these rumors were seemingly substantiated when Aries faced and defeated Roderick Strong at Unbreakable on September 11 in a "showcase match".
On September 22, 2005, Aries announced on his website that he had received a contract offer from TNA, and intended to sign it. He became a regular member of the TNA roster, and formed a stable with Roderick Strong and Alex Shelley. Many fans referred to this group as the second coming of Generation Next, which had contained Shelley, Strong, Aries, and Jack Evans in Ring of Honor.
In February 2006, he and Strong were both suspended for two months for arriving four hours late for the pay-per-view Against All Odds. This occurred because of Aries and Strong's decision to remain in Long Island for an ROH show, despite TNA's last minute request to travel to Florida because of the potential of a snowstorm.
In the build-up to Bound for Glory, promos began to air advertising the debut of a new wrestler, Austin Starr, at the event with the slogan: "A Starr is Born." Starr appeared for TNA on October 22 as the first entrant and became the winner of the "Kevin Nash Open Invitational X Division Gauntlet Battle Royal" at Bound for Glory. After the match, Kevin Nash presented Starr with a bowling trophy and a hug.
On the following episode of TNA iMPACT!, it was announced that Starr would work closely with Nash's group Paparazzi Productions, much to the dismay of one of the group's founders, Alex Shelley. Starr replaced Johnny Devine as a member of Paparazzi Productions and participated in the Paparazzi Championship Series along with Shelley, eventually losing to Shelley in the finals at Final Resolution 2007. Starr then went on to feud with Senshi.
On April 18, 2007, Starr was suspended for ninety days. On May 7 it was reported by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the suspension stemmed from TNA asking Austin to tape promo vignettes on a day he believed to be his day off. Starr did ultimately agree to do the vignettes but TNA saw this as a bad attitude and was reason for his suspension. During the suspension, Aries requested, and was granted, his release from TNA.
Return to ROH (2007–2010)Edit
One month after being granted his release from TNA, Aries made his return to Ring of Honor. At United We Stand on June 22, 2007, Aries was in attendance, but as a "fan". During a match between the No Remorse Corps and The Resilience, he was verbally called out by Roderick Strong. Aries tried to climb over the guard rail, but was held back by security as he was no longer employed by the company. The following night, at Driven, Aries was again in attendance. Following a six-man tag team match between the No Remorse Corps and Delirious and The Resilience, Aries ran through the crowd and attacked the NRC. He then signed an ROH contract in the ring.
Aries' first match back came at Race to the Top Tournament: Night One, when he faced Roderick Strong, Jimmy Rave and Gran Akuma in a Four Way Fray for the FIP World Heavyweight Championship. The feud between The Resilience and the No Remorse Corps continued at ROH's Death before Dishonor V weekend. The first night, Aries teamed with Erick Stevens to defeat Roderick Strong and Rocky Romero. However, they were not as lucky the following night, when they, along with Delirious, lost in a Street Fight to the No Remorse Corps and Matt Sydal.
At Manhattan Mayhem II, Aries defeated former Generation Next stable mates Roderick Strong and Jack Evans in a triple threat match. At Glory by Honor VI: Night Two, Aries disbanded The Resilience in order to focus on regaining the ROH World Championship. At Rising Above, Aries faced current ROH champion Nigel McGuinness in a losing effort in an attempt to regain the ROH World Championship.
Aries began to act frustrated due to losing matches and began refusing to shake hands after matches. Jimmy Jacobs displayed interest in adding Aries to The Age of the Fall (AotF). Tammy Sytch also offered Aries her managerial services. Aries was defeated by McGuinness a second time at Supercard of Honor III in March 2008. Afterwards, Aries left with Lacey, seemingly joining the AotF. Aries returned in April and revealed that Lacey had decided to leave the AotF and that he and Lacey had become a couple. This outraged Jacobs, who attacked Aries and started a feud with him. Shortly afterwards, Lacey was apparently attacked by Jacobs outside a gym.
On April 23, Aries was chosen by Jay Briscoe as his replacement for brother Mark Briscoe as to defend the ROH World Tag Team Championship against The Age of the Fall after Mark was forced out of action due to an injury. The reasoning for this choice was Aries and the Briscoe Brothers' shared hatred for the Age of the Fall. Aries was not considered to have won the championship a second time, but rather to have been a substitute in a title defense. After their first and only title defense, the championship was vacated.
On June 6 Aries teamed with Bryan Danielson in Ring of Honor's one night tournament to crown new World Tag Team Champions. They defeated Roderick Strong and Davey Richards in the first round before being eliminated in the second by eventual winners Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black. On June 7 Aries and Danielson received a title shot against Jacobs and Black but were defeated when Black pinned Danielson with a Phoenix Splash.
On June 27, Aries was defeated by Necro Butcher in a "Relaxed Rules" match following a chair shot to the head. Aries had unsuccessfully attempted to get Butcher to leave the Age of The Fall and when Necro refused, he ceased fighting back against him. On June 28, Aries pinned ROH World Tag Team Champion Jimmy Jacobs in a "Relaxed Rules" match following a 450° splash despite interference from Necro Butcher, Tyler Black, Allison Wonderland, and MsChif. On July 25, Aries and Jay Briscoe teamed to defeat ROH World Tag Team Champions The Age of The Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black) in a No DQ match when Briscoe pinned Black. On July 26, in Detroit, Aries spent much of the show brawling with Jimmy Jacobs culminating in both men brawling at the top of a 20-foot ladder. Jacobs' partner in the Age of The Fall, Necro Butcher, eventually tipped the ladder over sending them both crashing through a table below.
Aries continued his feud with Jimmy Jacobs throughout the fall. In the second Steel Cage Warfare Match at Glory by Honor VII, Aries' team (Aries, Briscoe Brothers) defeated Jacobs' team (Jacobs, Black, Delirious) and Necro's team (himself only). The two had a best of three series to somewhat put an end to the feud. The first match took place at Ring of Homicide 2, where Jacobs (with help from Delirious and Brodie Lee) defeated Aries in a Falls Count Anywhere match. The second match took place at Bound by Hate, and Aries defeated the bloody Jacobs in a Dog Collar Match. The deciding match was at Rising Above 2009 in a "I Quit" match. Lacey returned to ROH in Aries' corner, and Aries won the match. Aries continued his feud with the Age of the Fall this time against the heavily cheered Tyler Black. At Final Battle 2008, Black was defeated by Aries in a Number One Contender's Match. After the match Jacobs attacked Black, and Aries ran in to make the save. Instead, however, Aries teamed up with Jacobs to attack Black. Aries later explained that the reason that he attacked Black was because the fans turned on him.
In addition to his work in ROH, Aries was announced as a member of Team Epic War for Chikara's King of Trios 2009 tournament. On the first night, Aries, along with Ryan Drago and Tony Kozina, lost to the F1rst Family (Arik Cannon, Darin Corbin & Ryan Cruz) in the first round. On the second night, Aries lost to Player Dos in the Rey de Voladores opening four corners match. On the final night, Aries lost to Eddie Kingston in a singles match.
In early 2009, Aries also underwent a complete character transformation, cutting his long hair, donning new pink and black trunks, and coming to the ring in a bright pink fur jacket. He dropped his darker persona and adapted to a new ladies man gimmick, often referring to himself as "A Double" and "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived", the latter after a song by Weezer, which also became his new entrance theme.
On June 13, 2009, at Manhattan Mayhem III, Aries won a three-way elimination match against the ROH World Champion Jerry Lynn and Tyler Black, to become the first person to have held the ROH World Championship on more than one occasion. On December 19, 2009, at Final Battle 2009, ROH's first live pay-per-view, he defended the title by wrestling Tyler Black to a 60-minute time limit draw. On February 13, 2010, at the main event of ROH's 8th Anniversary Show, Aries lost the ROH World Championship to Tyler Black. During the following months he feuded with Delirious and Jerry Lynn, while also becoming the manager of Rhett Titus and Kenny King, the tag team known collectively as the All Night Express, dubbing himself the "Greatest Manager That Ever Lived". In October 2010 Aries' profile was removed from ROH's official website, after reports had surfaced that the promotion was going to be cutting down the size of their roster. On October 6, 2010, competing promotion EVOLVE announced that Aries would make his debut for the promotion on November 20.
Dragon Gate USA (2010–2011)Edit
On October 12, 2010, Dragon Gate USA announced that Aries had signed a contract with the promotion. Aries made his debut for the promotion on October 29 at the Bushido: Code of the Warrior pay-per-view, where he was defeated by Open the Dream Gate Champion Masato Yoshino in a non–title match. After the match, Rich Swann, whom Aries had offered to adopt as his protégé, turned his offer down. On January 28, 2011, at United: NYC, Aries defeated Swann in a singles match. The following month Aries started a storyline, where he claimed to have lost the motivation to continue his professional wrestling career, after failing to make the cast of WWE Tough Enough, before offering to put his Dragon Gate USA career on the line in order to get one last shot at Yamato and the Open the Freedom Gate Championship. On April 2 at Mercury Rising 2011, Aries was unsuccessful in his challenge, thus seemingly bringing his Dragon Gate USA career to an end. The following day at Open the Ultimate Gate, Aries was defeated by Jimmy Jacobs in what was billed as his Dragon Gate USA farewell match. However, after the match Aries feigned passing the torch to Chuck Taylor, Johnny Gargano and Rich Swann, the trio known collectively as Ronin, before turning on them and joining the promotion's top heel group, Blood Warriors, claiming to have found his purpose under the leadership of CIMA. Blood Warriors and Ronin faced each other in a six-man elimination tag team match on June 5 at Enter The Dragon 2011, which Ronin won after Johnny Gargano managed to submit the Gargano Escape on both CIMA and Aries.
On June 9, 2011, it was reported that Aries had left both Dragon Gate USA and EVOLVE to reportedly pursue a career outside of professional wrestling. Aries later revealed that he considered retiring from professional wrestling because he "didn't want to be Randy the Ram in 10, 20 years." However, he decided to continue wrestling after receiving an offer from Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, to be a part of the X Division Showcase.
Return to TNAEdit
X Division Champion (2011–2012)Edit
On June 13, 2011, at the tapings of the June 16 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries made a return to TNA, defeating Jimmy Rave and Kid Kash in a first round match of the X Division Showcase tournament for a contract with the promotion. On July 10 at Destination X, Aries defeated Jack Evans, Low Ki and Zema Ion to win the tournament and earn a contract with TNA. In his first match on Impact Wrestling since being officially re-signed, Aries defeated Shannon Moore in a singles match, after hitting him with a steel chain and then pinning him for the victory, thus returning to his A Double character and establishing himself as a heel. On the July 21 episode of Impact Wrestling , Aries cost Alex Shelley, who had previously confronted him on his win over Shannon Moore, his shot at the X Division Championship. Two weeks later, Aries defeated Shelley in a singles match. On August 7 at Hardcore Justice, Aries and Shelley competed in a three-way match for the TNA X Division Championship, but were both unable to win the belt from the defending champion, Brian Kendrick.
On the August 18 episode of Impact Wrestling Aries won an eight-man gauntlet match to earn another shot at the X Division Championship. On September 11 at No Surrender, Aries defeated Kendrick to win the X Division Championship for the first time. On October 16 at Bound for Glory, Aries defeated Kendrick in a rematch to retain the title. On the March 8 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries was defeated by Zema Ion via disqualification, after Aries was caught using Ion's hair spray on him; as a result, Aries retained his title. On March 12, Aries became the longest reigning X Division Champion in history by breaking the previous record of 182 days, set by Christopher Daniels in 2005. On March 18 at Victory Road, Aries successfully defended the title against Zema Ion. On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries again retained the title after he wrestled Ion, Kid Kash and Anthony Neese to a no contest, following interference from Bully Ray. Aries would then team with James Storm to defeat Bullt Ray and Bobby Roode in the main event the following week. The rivalry between Aries and Bully Ray continued on April 15 at Lockdown, where the two were on opposing teams in the annual Lethal Lockdown match. Aries' team, led by Garett Bischoff, ended up defeating Bully Ray's team, led by Eric Bischoff. Aries continued his record-breaking title reign on the May 10 episode of Impact Wrestling by successfully defending the X Division Championship against Zema Ion. Three days later at Sacrifice, Aries defeated Bully Ray in a singles match, submitting him with the Last Chancery. On May 19, Aries announced that he had signed a contract extension with TNA. On the live May 31 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries successfully defended the X Division Championship against Chris Sabin. Earlier in the episode, Aries had a run-in with Samoa Joe, which led to Joe costing Aries his match with Crimson the following week. On June 10 at Slammiversary, Aries defeated Joe to retain the X Division Championship. On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries competed in his first Ultimate X match, where he successfully defended the X Division Championship against Chris Sabin and Zema Ion.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion (2012–2013)Edit
Following his win, Aries announced that he was not satisfied with being just the X Division Champion, which led to General Manager Hulk Hogan promising him a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, but only if he first vacated the X Division Championship. The following week, Aries agreed to Hogan's terms with the caveat that every year before the annual Destination X pay-per-view, future X Division Champions be given the same opportunity. Aries relinquished the X Division Championship two weeks later, ending his record-breaking reign at 298 days. On July 8, Aries defeated Bobby Roode in the main event of Destination X to become the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion. On July 17, TNA president Dixie Carter announced that Aries had signed a new long-term deal with the promotion. Aries and Roode had a non-title rematch on the July 19 episode of Impact Wrestling, which ended in a no contest, when both competitors were attacked by a group of masked assailants, known only as the "Aces & Eights". On August 12 at Hardcore Justice, Aries successfully defended the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Roode, with a pre-match stipulation preventing Roode from getting another rematch for the title as long as Aries was champion. During the following weeks, Aries moved from Roode to defending TNA against the Aces & Eights. On the September 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, after Jeff Hardy had won the 2012 Bound for Glory Series to become Aries' next challenger for the World Heavyweight Championship, Aries began working as a tweener, claiming that he could match anything Hardy had ever done in his career. On October 11, during the final episode of Impact Wrestling before Bound for Glory, Aries continued his turn into a villainous character, claiming that he worked best when people were against him, before crotching Hardy on the ring ropes and dropping him with a brainbuster. Three days later in the main event of Bound for Glory, TNA's largest annual event, Aries lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Hardy, ending his reign at 98 days.
On the October 25 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries attacked Hardy, after he had successfully defended his title against Kurt Angle, stealing one of his two title belts and announcing that a rematch between the two would take place at Turning Point. On November 11 at the pay-per-view, Aries failed to regain the World Heavyweight Championship from Hardy in a ladder match. On the November 22 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries moved from Hardy to becoming a disruption around the Impact Zone by revealing a secret relationship between Bully Ray and General Manager Hulk Hogan's daughter Brooke. The following week, Aries was chosen by Hogan as the number one contender to Rob Van Dam's X Division Championship. Aries defeated Van Dam in the main event via disqualification, following interference from Bully Ray, but as the title does not change hands on a disqualification, Van Dam retained. On December 9 at Final Resolution, Aries defeated Bully Ray in a singles match, following a distraction from both Brooke and Hulk Hogan and a low blow from Aries. On the December 13 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries was revealed as the man who paid the Aces & Eights to prevent Bobby Roode, who originally paid the group to help him win the World Heavyweight Championship, from winning at the pay-per-view, which led Jeff Hardy to issue him a title challenge. On the December 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries was unsuccessful in his challenge for Hardy's World Heavyweight Championship, following interference from Bobby Roode. Aries and Roode faced off in a number one contenders match on the December 27 episode of Impact Wrestling. The match ended in a no contest after the two attacked referee Earl Hebner and then were, in turn attacked by Hardy. The rivalry culminated in a three-way elimination match on January 13, 2013, at Genesis, where Aries failed again to regain the World Heavyweight Championship from Hardy.
Championship pursuits and reigns (2013–2015)Edit
On January 25, at the tapings of the February 7 episode of Impact Wrestling in Manchester, England, Roode and Aries defeated Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Hernandez to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship, thus giving Aries the TNA Triple Crown. Roode and Aries made their first successful title defense on March 10 at Lockdown, defeating Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels & Kazarian) and Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Hernandez in a three-way match. On the March 21 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries and Roode defeated Guerrero and Hernandez to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship, following interference from Daniels and Kazarian. Afterwards, the champions were attacked by Daniels and Kazarian. On the April 11 episode of Impact Wrestling, Roode and Aries lost the TNA World Tag Team Championship back to Guerrero and Hernandez in a Two-out-of-Three Falls match, ending their reign at 76 days. Aries and Roode received their rematch on the April 25 episode of Impact Wrestling, but were again defeated by Guerrero and Hernandez after an inadvertent interference from Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. Aries and Roode faced Daniels and Kazarian in number one contenders match on the May 9 episode of Impact Wrestling, however, the match ended in a no contest after special guest referee James Storm superkicked Aries and Daniels and walked out on the match. Aries and Roode received another shot at Guerrero and Hernandez's titles on June 2 at Slammiversary XI, in an fatal four-way elimination match, which was won by Gunner and James Storm.
On the June 13 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries defeated Eric Young to qualify for the 2013 Bound for Glory Series. The following week, Aries defeated Jay Bradley in his first BFG series match via pinfall to earn seven points in the tournament. On the June 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries disguised himself as Suicide and defeated Chris Sabin and Kenny King to win his second X Division Championship. Aries unmasked himself at the end of the show, after Hulk Hogan discovered the real Suicide and demanded the fake Suicide to unmask, and announced that he intended to trade in the X Division Championship for a World Heavyweight Championship match at Destination X. The following week, however, Aries lost the X Division Championship back to Sabin in a three-way match, which also included the real Suicide, now known as Manik. On the August 1 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries turned face after praising AJ Styles, before being interrupted by his former tag team partner Bobby Rhode. Aries also competed in the Bound for Glory Series before being eliminated by Styles on September 12 at the Impact Wrestling: No Surrender event.
On October 20 at the Bound for Glory pay-per-view, Aries competed in an Ultimate X match for the X Division Championship, but the match was won by Chris Sabin. On the December 12 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries defeated Sabin to win the X Division Championship for a third time. On the January 2, 2014 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries drop the X Division Championship back to Sabin. Three weeks later, on the January 23 special episode of Impact Wrestling: Genesis, Aries once again defeated Sabin to win the TNA X Division Championship for the fourth time. On the February 6 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries successfully defended his X Division Championship against Zema Ion, who cashed in his Feast or Fired briefcase.
Three weeks later, on the February 27, Aries served as the special guest referee in a match between Bobby Roode and MVP. Aries attacked MVP, allowing Roode to win the match, turning heel once again. On March 2, Aries lost the X Division Championship to Seiya Sanada at Wrestle-1's Kaisen: Outbreak event in Tokyo, Japan. On the May 22 episode of Impact Wrestling, Aries helped Eric Young against MVP, Lashley, and Kenny King but was attacked by the trio. On June 15, 2014, at Slammiversary, Aries defeated Kenny King in a match to determine which one would face TNA World Champion Eric Young in a title match. Later that night, Aries lost to Young.
At the June 20 Impact Wrestling taping, Aries won back the X Division Championship from Sanada for his fifth reign. A mere five days after regaining the championship, Aries chose to invoke "Option C" to vacate the championship for a title shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Destination X on June 26, where he lost to the champion Lashley. Aries would then enter in a short feud against James Storm and his new apprentice The Great Sanada, when Aries was defeated by him on the August 27 episode of Impact Wrestling. Aries suffered a loss once again against the duo in a tag-team match, teaming with Tajiri on the September 10 episode of Impact Wrestling. Three weeks later, Aries challenged Samoa Joe for his TNA X Division Championship, but was ultimately defeated. On January 7, 2015, Aries defeated Low Ki to regain the X Division Championship for the sixth time. Low Ki recaptured the title during the January 16 Impact Wrestling episode after interference from The Beat Down Clan.
During the January 23, Aries won the annual Feast or Fired, affording him an opportunity at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Throughout February and March, Aries continued to feud with the BDC with Low Ki stealing Aries' briefcase after a match with Samoa Joe, with Aries eventually taking it back. At Lockdown, Aries took part in the annual Lethal Lockdown match with Team Kurt Angle, defeating The Beat Down Clan. Aries also reformed the Dirty Heels with Bobby Roode, with the two challenging The Wolves to a best of 5 series for the Tag Team Championship. The Wolves would win the first two matches, while Aries and Roode won the third. At Destination X, Aries cashed in his Feast or Fired briefcase for an opportunity at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on Kurt Angle, however Angle retained the championship. After defeating The Wolves in the fourth match of the series, which was a Full Metal Mayhem match, Aries defeated Davey Richards at Slammiversary XIII to have the option to choose the stipulation for the final match in the series. Aries and Roode chose an Iron Man tag team match, which they ultimately lost on the Bell to Bell special edition of Impact Wrestling. On the August 5 episode of Impact Wrestling (taped before his release), Aries asked for a title shot, General Manager Bully Ray scheduled Aries against Rockstar Spud after Aries turned heel and ripped on Spud and the whole X Division. After Aries lost the match, he was forced to leave TNA. Aries's heel turn was short lived after Aries showed respect to Rockstar Spud by handing Spud his bow tie and raised his hand, turning Aries face in the process. On June 28, 2015, Aries left TNA as his contract with the company expired.
During a select amount of episodes of Impact Wrestling in October and November (taped in July), Aries was put into the TNA World Title Series for the vacant TNA World Heavyweight Championship, scoring 4 points in the tournament, but he finished in third for his block, thus failing to advance through the qualifying round of 16.
Second return to ROH (2015)Edit
On July 6, 2015, Ring of Honor announced the return of Aries. Aries was then announced as the replacement for Roderick Strong in the Vegas Wild Card six-man tag match on July 17 alongside Moose and ROH World and Television Champion Jay Lethal against Jay Briscoe, Dalton Castle and Kyle O'Reilly.
On January 22, 2016, WWE announced that Aries would be joining NXT. On the March 2 episode of NXT, Aries made his debut as a fan favorite, being introduced by NXT General Manager William Regal before being attacked by Baron Corbin on his way to the ring. A match was booked between the two at NXT TakeOver: Dallas on April 1, where Aries defeated Corbin. On the May 18 episode of NXT, Aries teamed up with Shinsuke Nakamura to defeat the team of Blake and Murphy. On the May 25 episode of NXT, Aries declared his intention to become the next NXT Champion, which prompted a response from Nakamura, and NXT General Manager William Regal then scheduled a match between the two at NXT TakeOver: The End on June 8, which Nakamura won. On the June 22 episode of NXT, Aries came out to seemingly thank No Way José for reminding him that wrestling was about having fun, only to attack him after an impromptu dance party, turning heel in the process. Aries defeated No Way José by submission at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II on August 20. Aries entered the second Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament, teaming with Roderick Strong but the pair dropped out of the tournament after advancing through the first round after Aries suffered an injury.
On October 27, Aries suffered a large orbital socket injury during a live event at Fresno, California, in a match against Shinsuke Nakamura and was expected to be out of action until early 2017. It was revealed in November 2016 that he had permanent titanium plates.
On December 18, at Roadblock: End of the Line, Aries made his WWE pay-per-view debut alongside Michael Cole and Corey Graves, calling the triple threat match between Rich Swann, TJ Perkins and The Brian Kendrick. The following night on Raw, Aries provided commentary during the cruiserweight match. Aries also provided commentary alongside Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves on 205 Live, as well as on Main Event.
On the March 6, 2017 episode of Raw, Aries turned face by attacking WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville while taking an interview with him. On March 7, he made his 205 Live in-ring debut, defeating Tony Nese. On March 13, Aries defeated Ariya Daivari on his Raw in-ring debut. On the March 14 episode of 205 Live, Aries defeated TJ Perkins, Akira Tozawa, The Brian Kendrick and Tony Nese in a Fatal 5-Way elimination match to become the number one contender for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania 33, last eliminating Kendrick to win. However, Aries lost to Neville during the pre-show in the opening match. On the April 4 episode of 205 Live, Aries defeated Jack Gallagher, TJ Perkins and Mustafa Ali in a fatal four-way match to earn a rematch against Neville at Payback, which he won by disqualification. Aries again failed to win the Cruiserweight Championship after he was defeated by Neville at Extreme Rules in a submission match.
On July 7, Aries was released from his WWE contract. Initial reports stated that Aries was frustrated with his role in the company and asked to be let out of his contract, but Dave Meltzer stated that Aries apparently did not ask for his release and was said to be incredibly unpopular with WWE's writing staff and others backstage. He was originally scheduled to face Neville at WWE's live house show event at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, but he was replaced by Cedric Alexander due to his release from his contract. Soon after, Aries was under a 90-day non-compete agreement imposed by the WWE which officially expired on October 5, 2017.
Independent circuit (2017–present)Edit
After his release from the WWE and his 90-day non-compete clause expired, Aries made a surprise return to Impact Pro Wrestling in Des Moines, Iowa providing commentary during their event and promoting his book on November 4. Then on November 18, Aries returned to House of Hardcore 35 where he was promoting his book and calling himself "The Truth." Aries then was scheduled to appear and compete at World Series Wrestling Australia's tour. Aries competed against Ricochet and Brian Cage for the WSW championship at Adelaide's show, however he fell short on capturing the title. He won the title at Sydney's show where he defeated Ricochet after an interference from Brian Cage. On December 2, House of Hardcore 36: Blizzard Brawl Homecoming, Aries defeated Joey Mercury in his House of Hardcore in ring return.
On December 4, Aries appeared on a show for the UK based Defiant Wrestling promotion. The following day, in Birmingham, England, Aries defeated Marty Scurll to win the Defiant Championship. At No Regrets 2018, Aries lost the title to Rampage.
On December 17, Austin Aries defeated Mark Haskins at IPW:UK The Big Bang: Undisputed to win the IPW:UK World Championship.
On April 13, 2018, Aries wrestled on a card for the Seattle based independent promotion DEFY Wrestling, and won that company's championship.
Return to IMPACT Wrestling (2018–present)Edit
Aries made his official return to IMPACT Wrestling in early 2018 calling himself the "Belt Collector", displaying all of the championships he was holding in various other promotions. He then defeated Eli Drake to win the IMPACT World Heavyweight Championship, renaming it to simply be the IMPACT World Championship. Aries also won the IMPACT Grand Championship, defeating Matt Sydal, a few days later in a Winner Take All match, which at that point made him an IMPACT Wrestling Grand Slam winner, a double champion within IMPACT Wrestling, and at one point being a sextuple champion overall with six titles between five companies based in three different continents (North America, Europe, and Australia). After feuding with Eli Drake and Matt Sydal, Austin Aries began a feud with Alberto El Patron for the IMPACT World Championship. Set to fight for the tile at IMPACT's Redemption pay-per-view, Alberto El Patron was released from his contract by IMPACT Wrestling after no showing the IMPACT Wrestling vs. Lucha Underground event at WrestleCon. The main event of Redemption was then changed to a triple threat match, pitting Austin Aries against Lucha Underground’s Fenix and Pentagón Jr., with Pentagón Jr. walking out as the new IMPACT World Champion. Two nights later, Aries turned heel for the first time since 2015, when he used a low blow to defeat Pentagon Jr. at the IMPACT! tapings to once again become IMPACT World Champion for a third time. On June 4 during a press conference Aries unified the Grand Championship with the World Championship. At Slammiversary XVI, Aries successfully retained his title against Moose.
Third return to ROH (2018)Edit
On March 9, 2018, Aries returned to Ring of Honor (ROH) for the third time at ROH's 16th Anniversary pay-per-view, where he originally challenged Kenny King to a match for King's ROH World Television Championship at a later date, the only ROH singles title Aries has yet to win. On May 13 on the ROH / NJPW War of the Worlds Tour, Aries challenged Silas Young, who won the World Television Championship at Supercard of Honor XII, for the title in a match that Young won by disqualification when King hit him with the title. After the match, Aries attacked Todd Sinclar and King, turning heel.
- Finishing moves
- 450° splash
- Brainbuster, sometimes from the second rope
- Discus Fivearm (Discus elbow smash)
- Horns of Aries / Last Chancery (Bridging arm triangle choke)
- Signature moves
- Crucifix bomb
- Death Valley driver
- Figure Eight Leglock (Modified figure-four leglock)
- Fish Hook of Doom (Presses both knees onto a facedown opponent's arm before applying a fish hook)
- Forward Russian leg sweep
- Frog splash
- Head stand into a dropkick
- Heat Seeking Missile (Suicide dive under the middle rope)
- IED (Running corner dropkick)
- Inverted suplex slam
- Japanese arm drag
- Macho Neck Snap (Neck snap to the rope hung opponent)
- No-handed springboard moonsault
- Pendulum Elbow (Pendulum backbreaker hold followed by an elbow drop to the opponent's face)
- Powerdrive Elbow (Twisting elbow drop, with theatrics)
- Rolling fireman's carry slam
- Scissored armbar
- Sidewalk slam
- Slow Motion Special (Running jumping delayed knee drop, with theatrics)
- Slingshot back elbow to a cornered opponent
- Slingshot corkscrew splash
- Shin breaker followed by a leg-hook Saito suplex
- Thea Trinidad
- "A Double"
- "The Belt Collector"
- "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived"
- "The Greatest Manager That Ever Lived"
- "Mr. It"
- "MV3 (Most Valuable Vascular Vegetarian)"
- "The Star"
- "The Truth"
- "The Vascular Vegetarian"
- Entrance themes
- Independent circuit
- "From This Day On" by Machine Head
- "Born of a Broken Man" by Rage Against the Machine
- "Personal Jesus" by Gravity Kills
- "Obsession" by Animotion
- "Disdain" by Aries Rising
- Ring of Honor
- "Born of a Broken Man" by Rage Against the Machine
- "Interstellar Overdrive" by Melvins
- "Personal Jesus" by Marilyn Manson
- "Fire It Up" by Black Label Society
- "Devil Ride" (w/ "Personal Jesus" Intro) by Phil Garrod, Reed Hayes & Scott Schreer
- "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)" by Weezer
- "Black Wednesday" by Terry Devine-King
- "We're on Our Way" by Torch the Spires
- "Disdain" by Aries Rising
- Total Nonstop Action Wrestling / IMPACT Wrestling
- "Alliance" by Dale Oliver
- "U Are" by Dale Oliver
- "Starr March" by Dale Oliver
- "Mercenaries of the Elite Guard" (Remix) by Dale Oliver
- "Raging of the Region" by Dale Oliver
- "Dirty Heels Theme" by Dale Oliver & Serg Salinas (used as a member of The Dirty Heels)
- "Disdain" by Aries Rising
- "Wolfcards" (Instrumental) by Matt Spezia (used while teaming with Killer Kross and Moose)
- NXT / World Wrestling Entertainment
- "Ambition and Vision" by CFO$
- Independent circuit
Wrestlers trained Edit
- Bobby Dempsey
- Ernie Osiris
- Rhett Titus
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- Defiant Wrestling
- Defiant Championship (1 time)
- DEFY Wrestling
- DEFY Wrestling Championship (1 time)
- European Pro Wrestling
- EPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom
- IPW:UK World Championship (1 time)
- Mid-American Wrestling
- MAW Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Midwest Championship Wrestling
- MCW Light Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Midwest Independent Association of Wrestling
- MIAW Cruiserweight Championship (2 times)
- Minnesota Independent Wrestling
- MIW Cruiserweight Championship (2 times)
- NWA Midwest
- NWA Midwest X Division Championship (1 time)
- Neo Pro Wrestling
- NPW Cruiserweight Championship (2 times)
- NPW Cruiserweight Championship Tournament (2002)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Ranked #60 of the top 500 wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2017
- Pro Wrestling WAR
- PWW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Ring of Honor
- ROH World Championship (2 times)
- ROH World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Roderick Strong
- Steel Domain Wrestling
- SDW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Ted Dixon
- Total Nonstop Action Wrestling / IMPACT Wrestling
- IMPACT Grand Championship (1 time)
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship / IMPACT World Championship (3 times)
- TNA World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Bobby Roode
- TNA X Division Championship (6 times)
- Feast or Fired (2015 – TNA World Heavyweight Championship contract)
- Gold Rush Tournament (2014)
- X Division Showcase (2011)
- Fifth TNA Triple Crown Champion
- Fifth Impact Grand Slam Champion
- World Series Wrestling
- WSW Heavyweight Championship (2 time, current)
- Xtreme Wrestling Alliance
- XWA Xtreme Rumble (2018)