Austin Aries has garnered a number of monikers over the years. A-Double. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived. And most recently, The Belt Collector.
Now he’s looking to add one more: ROH World Television Champion.
Aries, a two-time former ROH World Champion, shocked the wrestling world at ROH’s 16th Anniversary pay-per-view last week by showing up unannounced with championship belts from four promotions in his possession. He proceeded to issue a challenge to ROH World Television Champion Kenny King immediately following King’s successful title defense against Silas Young. King, who has earned a reputation as a fighting champion, told Aries, “You want it? Come and get it,” although ROH officials have yet to make the match.
Over the past several months since Aries left WWE, where he competed at last year’s WrestleMania, he has been traveling the globe and winning championships. Regarded as one of the most-skilled in-ring competitors in the sport, Aries currently holds the top titles in four promotions, including two based in the UK and one in Australia. It certainly speaks to the prestige of the ROH World Television Title that a competitor who is recognized as a world champion in other promotions has set his sights on it.
It was in ROH that Aries first made a name for himself on a national stage. He made his ROH debut in 2004 and spent six years with the company. He returned for one match in 2015, teaming with Jay Lethal and Moose in a losing effort against Dalton Castle, Jay Briscoe and Kyle O’Reilly in a six-man tag bout in Las Vegas.
Aries made history when he defeated Samoa Joe for the ROH World Championship at Final Battle in 2004, ending Joe’s reign at 645 days, which remains a record. After losing the title to CM Punk six months later, Aries again made history by becoming the first man to regain the championship, as he defeated then-champion Jerry Lynn and Tyler Black in a three-way elimination match. Aries’ second reign lasted eight months, and only five men have held the ROH World Title for more combined days.
During his title reigns, Aries successfully defended the championship against such stars as Joe, Bryan Danielson, Kevin Steen, Nigel McGuinness and Roderick Strong, among others.
In addition to his success as a singles competitor, Aries teamed with Strong to win the ROH World Tag Team Titles at Final Battle in 2005. They went on to hold the titles for 273 days, which was a record at the time.
Aries is certainly no stranger to King. In 2010, Aries managed the tag team of King and Rhett Titus, who were known as The All Night Express.
If ROH officials make the match between Aries and King happen, will Aries add to his collection of belts by taking the ROH World Television Title from King? Or will King humble the self-proclaimed Greatest Man That Ever Lived and make him bend the knee?