TNA will be removing Roderick Strong and Austin Aries from their bookings for at least the next several tapings and possibly as long as several months in a disciplinary move for willingly putting themselves in a position where they could have missed the Against All Odds PPV this past weekend, despite orders to skip a Ring of Honor event to travel to Florida.
Aries and Strong were among a crew of TNA wrestlers scheduled to appear at Ring of Honor’s Lake Grove, New York event the night before Against All Odds in Orlando. Due to the heavy snowstorm that was heading into the Northeast, TNA management requested that everyone leave immediately for the airport and booked them on flights to Orlando. Jay Lethal, Alex Shelley, and Homicide all left and flew to Orlando. Aries and Strong, who hold the ROH Tag Team belts, remained and worked the show. They flew to Florida the next morning and appeared on the PPV as scheduled in a loss to the Naturals.
Strong and Aries were used in enhancement roles at the Impact taping two nights later. Their storyline where they and Alex Shelley had been complaining that they were being given chances in TNA, which teased an eventual showdown with Jerry Lynn, was also dropped, as the three never appeared together at the taping.
Unhappy with the two not doing what was requested of them, the company opted to “bench them” for the time being. There was a feeling among some in the company that it “wasn’t fair” that they stayed and worked the ROH date while others in the company willingly gave up bookings to insure they made it to Florida and avoided the storm.
There was said to be more heat on Aries for the situation then there is on Strong as he is considered to be the more outspoken of the pair while Strong is much quieter. Aries has the reputation for speaking freely about what he believes in, which in some circles can make him unpopular. The feeling among some I spoke to within TNA was that it was just a matter of time before Aries was being sent home for awhile regardless. It was noted that Strong was said to have been apologetic over the situation, while the same wasn’t said about Aries.
I was told by a number of sources that none of this had to do with their in-ring work, which TNA does value. It appeared Aries and Strong unfortunately ended up being made an example of because management is tired of talents missing PPV events when advertised. Although they made the PPV, Strong and Aries are being penalized by TNA in an attempt to send a message to the locker room and will have to pay the price.