Latest on Austin Aries Impact Status + Elite Turn Down ROH Contracts?
-As was previously reported, Austin Aries ended the most recent Impact PPV by basically storming off after losing the title to Johnny Impact. The two had engaged in an intense and increasingly personal feud leading up to their match. The outcome and fallout led fans to speculate that Austin Aries was actually done with the company following the title loss.
Adding fuel to the fire was that his contract with Impact had in fact expired with the conclusion of the show. Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer has now reported some more information about Austin Aries’ status, as well as what Impact thought of the angle.
Relative to Austin Aries, it appears the star has not yet re-signed with Impact, but he is still expected to return shortly. On the angle with Johnny Impact, management within Impact Wrestling were not made aware of the worked angle ahead of time, which made them unhappy. However, given that the angle effectively went viral with coverage on mainstream sites like TMZ, they quickly got over it.
-As speculation swirls around Elite members like Cody Rhodes and Adam “Hangman” Page and the Young Bucks as they approach “free agent” status when their Ring of Honor contracts expire, there is now some contract news.
Dave Meltzer reported on a recent Wrestling Observer newsletter that while Ring of Honor had extended the faction’s members new contract offers, they had all declined the offers. At this point, in spite of numerous denials that they’d leap to WWE, all involved do seem content to wait until their existing contracts are up before making any decisions.
The existing contracts for Cody Rhodes, the Young Bucks and Adam Page all expire by the end of the year. The expectation is that none will decide where to go next until January of 2019. It is worth pointing out that January is, of course, WWE’s Royal Rumble. Over the years, this event has become well known for big returns and debuts, some more surprising than others.
It is certainly possible that we see the faction debut for WWE in January, either as entrants into the Rumble, or perhaps by attacking the match winner to announce their arrival.