New Generational Spotlight: ROH's Austin Aries

Joe Burgett Senior Writer IIIJuly 5, 2009

There is a lot to like about a person with an attitude; they may get annoying to some, but they are always someone people talk about.
One guy who is exactly like that would be ROH (Ring of Honor) Champion Austin Aries. The man made history recently by becoming the first wrestler ever to be a two-time ROH World Champion after he beat Jerry Lynn.
Aries is great both in the ring and on the mic, and probably one of the best heels in professional wrestling today, even more so than WWE's Edge, Jericho, or Orton. I know, shocking, right?
What I think is so shocking, is that Aries has only been wrestling for nine years. He started training back in early 2000 and made his debut in November of that year.
By 2004, he had made his way to ROH.
This was a big jump for Aries and he made the most of it, quickly. Although he lost his first match with ROH at Reborn Stage 2, he impressed a lot of the ROH management.
He soon formed a stable with now-TNA talent Alex Shelley, Roderick Strong, and Jack Evans. They called themselves Generation Next.
This stable wanted to get respect right away, and instead of earning their spot like others, they just planned on taking them. The idea of having these young talents come in and demand respect and make you want to hate them was great.
What stunk so bad for fans, though, was that you really couldn't hate them despite the fact they were heels. They were so good in the ring and incredibly entertaining, therefore making you actually want to see them every time.
He kind of reminds me of Randy Orton in the sense that, yes, he is a heel, but you always want to see him every week anyway.
Generation Next really took over ROH for some time. In fact, in December 2004 at Final Battle 2004, Austin Aries won the ROH World Championship from the then-longest reigning ROH World Champion, Samoa Joe.
This was around the time Samoa Joe left for TNA; therefore, ROH had to have him drop the title.
After holding the ROH Title for six months of non-stop defenses, mostly international, Aries dropped the title to CM Punk.
Punk didn't hold the title too long himself, as he left for the WWE a little while later. This was the time that Aries took over as head trainer for ROH's wrestling school, replacing Punk.
Aries didn't have to wait to long to get gold back around his waist, as he won the ROH tag titles with GN partner Roderick Strong from Sal Rinauro and Tony Mamaluke at Final Battle 2005.
On Sept. 16, 2006, he and Strong lost the tag titles to Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli.
In 2005, Aries had signed with TNA, because ROH lets their wrestlers go to other promotions while still under contract with them.
What was so weird in many people's eyes was that he was able to compete in both, especially because TNA was still a part of the NWA. In any case he worked for both, more so with TNA.
He managed to get into Kevin Nash's faction of Paparazzi Productions, making him a mainstay in TNA, so ROH took him off of a lot of their events they could have used him in.
Then, all of a sudden, in May of 2007 ROH signed a PPV deal with G-Funk Sports and Entertainment.
Once the announcement was made, Aries and Homicide were pulled from all ROH events because they both were under TNA contract. Which made Aries have to stay in TNA the entire time or leave and come back to ROH.
While he was going to pick TNA, but there was a certain event that changed his mind.
On April 18, 2007, Aries was suspended for 90 days from TNA.
On May 7 of that year it was reported by The Wrestling Observer that the suspension from TNA was "due to them asking Austin to tape promo vignettes on a day he believed to be his day off."
Aries finally agreed to do the promos but TNA saw this as a bad attitude. This was the sole reason for his suspension.
If this would have been today, he may have gotten away with it; if not, it is highly unlikely that he would get a suspension the way he did here.
Most believe that he was suspended as an example to the younger wrestlers. An “if you don't do as asked, then you will not progress in the company” sort of thing.
During the suspension, Aries requested, and was granted, his release from TNA.
This probably means we won't see him back in TNA any time soon, and it is highly unlikely he will go to the WWE; if he does, he won't be a World Champion there.
TNA would have been the best bet for him to be a World Champion for a promotion with a ton of exposure.
He is small, so due to his size he would never be a big time player in the WWE sadly. However, this man is not someone to ignore.
ROH knew this and when he left TNA, they took him back a month later. He has been there ever since, and now he is one of their biggest stars.
Since ROH got on HDNet, he has been on the show more than anyone else. This is saying something to me, because that shows that ROH knows he will have a good showing every time he is out there, so they want him on the show as often as possible.
Ever since I saw him on HDNet, I pretty much knew he was one of the best wrestlers I have ever watched.
I was really sold was when my stepfather (who is not a wrestling fan and thinks everything it totally fake) came downstairs while I was watching ROH.
It was the fatal four way match with Tyler Black, Brian Danielson, Jerry Lynn, and Austin Aries that happened about a month back.
He saw Aries hit a kick on Black, one of the hardest I ever saw. My stepfather immediately said "Ohhhhhh, geez."
I told him, “That was a KICK! He said, “I guess not everything is fake.”
A small reward for wrestling fans everywhere, I think.
When that happens, you immediately have to give respect to him. When a non-wrestling fan reacts like he would to a football hit, that is something special.
We have now established that his kicks are lethal. But he is great all-around, too.
He can do some mat wrestling, as he is skilled in submissions. On top of that, he is probably a suplex savant, as we see him do them a lot. Heck, one of his finishers is the Brainbuster.
He is not afraid of heights either; he goes to the top rope and seems like he has bought land up there, as he knows the place very well. He can do 450 splashes, corkscrews, and shooting star presses.
Some think that the CMLL has the best highflyers and there is no competing with any of them. I believe Aries can compete with any of them high flying-wise, and he could possibly be World Champion there, too.
That may be saying a lot, but I personally think it could happen.
While he has made history already in ROH, he has more history to make. I personally am a fan of this new generation of wrestlers. Sure, we had a great Attitude Era, on top of others.
But to me, the New Generation needs respect, too.
Sure, they will never be the people we saw in the 1980s and ‘90s. But who cares?
It is time for a change, and we need to get used to that.

I feel ROH realizes this, and is doing its best to feature the best young talent out there. And they are led by Austin Aries.