A year ago at this time, Austin Aries was recuperating from an eye injury sustained taking a kick from Shinsuke Nakamura at an NXT live event. He talked about what happened during an appearance on the latest episode of Chris Jericho's Talk Is Jericho podcast.
The injury happened in the main event of an October 26, 2016, house show in Fresno, California. Aries took a running kick from Nakamura that fractured his orbital bone.
"It was literally the freakest of accidents," Aries said on the podcast. I've kicked myself harder than that, I think. I'm not even saying that to disrespect him—the guy's lethal with his feet if he wants to be. But it was literally just, instead of a flat foot catching me it was a toe and it just caught me in the right spot. I must have really weak eye sockets, I wasn't aware. But now I don't because I have titanium in this one."
While the injury certainly looked gruesome, Aries said it wasn't particularly painful. It also arguably hastened his call-up to the main roster, as a commentator for 205 Live.
"I've had much more painfui injuries and after surgery, I wasnt in a lot of pain. I still have a little numbness and stuff," he said, adding, "If you would have put it on the table at the time and said, 'Well, listen here's the deal, we're going to move you up to Raw, you're going to do commentary, that's going to lead you to wrestling on Raw, that's going to lead to WrestleMania 33. The only thing is, we've got to break your eyehole. Are you down?' ... Things are blessings in disguise and I just try to look at the bright side of things."
Aries, who was released by WWE in July, is scheduled for his first matches since the end of his 90-day non-compete on November 17-18 for Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore promotion.