The rise of Austin Aries in TNA between the summer of 2011 and the summer of 2012 played out a lot like the rise of CM Punk and/or Daniel Bryan in WWE. Here was a guy that no one ever really picked out the be the top guy in the company but his work was just on a different level than everyone else and the fans demanded that the company give him an opportunity. Everywhere TNA went he got the loudest ovation and similar to how WWE fans would chant for Daniel Bryan during other people’s matches they did the same during this time period for Austin Aries.

Aries was the X-Division Champion heading into Destination X 2012 which is when “option c” came into play. Aries cut a deal with Hulk Hogan where he would cash in his X-Division Championship for a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in a match with Bobby Roode at Destination X. What took place at Destination X was one of the most memorable moments in TNA history and one of the last special moments that TNA has had.

During this time period Austin Aries was the best reason to tune into TNA which only makes it that much more confusing that they aren’t ding anything with him now. Aries is one of the best in the business right now and TNA is doing the fans wrong but not putting him in the spot he so richly deserves. But what the hell is TNA actually doing right these days anyway?