As the dust settled and the smoke cleared in the wake of Night of Champions and Bound for Glory, an unfortunate scenario was unfolding in Ring of Honor, as ROH original and two-time former champion Austin Aries parted ways with the company.
There haven’t been any press releases or emotionally charged statements from either “A-Double” or ROH management since the fracture. Rather, Aries' sudden departure from the company occurred in a strangely quiet way. It seems the relationship and communication between Aries and some members of the ROH brass had dwindled to a point where he had started seeking answers about his future with the promotion. According to Aries, those answers were hard to get until a few days after his last ROH On HDNet taping, when the company got word to Aries that it would be best if he took some time off.
Losing a two-time champion who is as identifiable with the brand as anybody and who draws such intense heat from fans obviously isn't a situation ROH can’t be happy about … and Aries can’t be happy about the manner in which his departure was handled … or mishandled … or not handled at all.
Unlike former ROH stalwarts Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuinness, who were afforded farewell tours and matches (even Tyler Black was given a ballyhooed send-off on September 11 before joining WWE), Aries was simply left to fade away. He wasn’t even written out the Ring Of Honor On HDNet script.
Without intimate knowledge of ROH’s fiscal condition or long-term plans, I can’t and won’t criticize ROH for letting Aries slip through the cracks, but I will criticize them for not doing anything to honor his substantial contribution to the company.