Austin Aries has been released from the WWE, 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 they come to a mutual agreement about his future?
It appears that Austin Aries requested to be released from his WWE contract, and he was not fired. He makes that pretty clear on his Twitter, with Aries posting shortly after the news broke that it’s a beautiful day. He also posted a thumbs up emoji.
In case that wasn’t clear enough, the Wrestling Observer subsequently confirmed that Austin Aries did indeed ask to be released.
Why did he do that? Was it because he felt that he wasn’t being properly used in the company and wanted to move elsewhere? None of this is 100 percent clear yet, but Kris Zellner of Between the Sheets is reporting that Aries was upset about being pigeonholed as a cruiserweight.
Aries did complain 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.”
However, this probably isn’t related to him being released today, and in fact Aries said after that Busted Open interview 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.”