Justin Barr

Since winning the TNA World Championship earlier this year, Austin Aries has been swimming with the sharks in TNA, and on August 12 at TNA Hardcore Justice against former champion Bobby Roode. Though I haven't followed Austin Aries much, or have watched a lot of TNA in a while, Aries kind of reminds me of the underdog champions like Bret Hart, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. He's the guy who's not expected to be the biggest dog in the fight, but can hang with the big dogs when the fight begins. He's not built like a big guy, but has the in-ring technical skills to be a long-time champion.

My question is, can Austin Aries be "the man" as TNA World Champion? Most definitely yes.

With Bound For Glory on the way, Aries will have a lot of possible competition to scout, with the BFG Series still underway. So far, James Storm leads the series with 66 points, and in second place is Samoa Joe with 53 points. Guys like RVD, Mr. Anderson, AJ Styles, and Jeff Hardy have some catching up to do come Hardcore Justice and victories in their respective matches will help them out a lot before Bound For Glory. There are two matches for the series taking place at Hardcore Justice, worth 20 points each, which could vault a guy like Jeff Hardy or Mr. Anderson back into the race, or in the case of James Storm, give him an outright lead.

If Aries can escape both Hardcore Justice and Bound For Glory still champion, it will solidify his title reign since winning the title at Destination X, and with the Aces & Eights story playing out, it will be interesting to see if James Storm is really behind the group, which will instantly make him a heel, and have a solid reason for him winning the BFG Series, thus setting up a possible instant classic between him and Aries at BFG. The next couple of months will be vital for Aries to keep focus if he wants to keep his championship, and keep proving that it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.

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