Austin Aries: The Greatest?

Aries celebrating becoming the longest reigning X Division
Champion on Impact Wrestling 03/15 (photo Lee South)
On March 12, "A Double" Austin Aries became the longest reigning X Division champion ever. He broke the previous record set by Christopher Daniels, who held the strap for 182 days way back in 2005. But does this give the self proclaimed 'greatest man that ever lived' the title of the 'greatest X Division champion'?

The list of former X champions is impressive, with Styles, Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle being the stand out names, all of which are among the greatest of this generation, so Aries is in good company when it comes to those who have held the title. 

Longest Reign Ever

Being the longest reigning champion is a sure sign of greatness. It can even be argued that this automatically makes Aries the best and currently no one is showing signs of ending his terrific run with the gold. Contently turning in top rate performances, A Dub is the current highlight of Impact Wrestling and is being rewarded with main event slots and in-ring time with the World Heavyweight Champion, Bobby Roode. Which in itself is elevating the X Division Champion and giving the belt more exposure than it has received in years.  

Aries' reign began by defeating Brian Kendrick at No Surrender, mere months after winning a contract at Destination X, and has gone on to defend the Championship against all the X Division has to offer, month after month, including Kid Kash and most recently Zema Ion. But having already defeated everyone, who is left for Aries to go through and who is capable of besting him for the gold?

Lack Of Competition? 
Aries teasing the crowd
(photo Jeremy Borash)
Despite going through the X division roster, it could be argued that the division is the weakest it's ever been. Zema Ion is still a relative newcomer, Kid Kash who is an experienced veteran and has held the title before, Tony Nesse has been on television  only a handful of times, Brian Kendrick has left the company and who I feel TNA were likely to push as the next champion, Jesse Sorenson, suffered his life threatening injury.

Not taking anything away from the current crop, but comparing them to the early competitors there were a lot of strong potentials in a time that saw the title change hands multiple times, as it was strongly competed for. 

With Aries being pushed into main event slots, the title being given airtime and the chance to become the person to wrestle the title from the champ this could become desirable for those who have left the division behind such as Daniels or Kazarian. 

Ultimate X 

Aries has defeated everybody who has stood in his way but he has yet to test himself in the signature match of the division, Ultimate X. A win in this match up is probably the one thing Aries is missing from his resume to declare himself the greatest and with his showmanship and in ring ability would cement him as one of the companies top stars. 

With the crowd reaction and push Aries is receiving as of late it is difficult to see anything but a push into the World Heavyweight picture although before then I would like to see him retain the X Division championship for just a little longer, enough to headline the Destination X pay per view and reach a full year as champion even going through to Bound for Glory.

Along that path I would love to see former champions such as Daniels and Styles try and best the current champion and put on some match of the year candidates, and Kurt Angle to even challenge Aries for the title of 'Greatest Man to Ever Live'. Matches against opponents of their calibre would raise A Dub's stock further and put him firmly as the current Greatest Wrestler in TNA.    


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