Austin Aries released from WWE

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In a rather stunning announcement on Friday, Austin Aries was given his release by WWE.

After making his shocking debut in NXT last March, former TNA star and Ring of Honor World Champion Austin Aries was given his outright release from WWE on Friday.

Aries, who hasn’t been seen on WWE programming since losing in a Cruiserweight Championship match at Extreme Rules to Neville, didn’t spent a ton of a time on the main roster due to an orbital bone injury suffered last October that resulted in the former indie star getting titanium plates inserted in the surgery to repair the bone.

It’s a rather stunning turn of events for Aries, who felt like such a perfect fit in the 205-pound division after spending some time in NXT. His match with Neville during the WrestleMania 33 Kickoff Show was one of the better matches of the entire evening and the two had a solid feud following the company’s biggest show of the year. It really looked like Aries had found his place on the main roster with the 205-pounders.

The release could’ve been because of the injury that Aries suffered. He did come back to compete for a bit on RAW and 205Live, but WWE has become more cautious with stars suffering serious head injuries over the past few years, specifically in the complicated Daniel Bryan concussion/neck situation that resulted in his retirement from in-ring competition.

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Still, it’ll be curious if Aries pops up in his old stomping grounds of TNA or ROH in the future for a one-off match or a brief stint somewhere else. Aries is a fun performer and a fantastic talker. He still carries some weight from his days on the indie circuits, so maybe we’ll seen him back in the ring sooner rather than later.