Austin Aries spent less than 18 months in WWE but did get to wrestle at WrestleMania, which he considered easily one of the highlights of his career.
Appearing on the latest episode of Chris Jericho's Talk Is Jericho podcast, Aries said he "was super happy and stoked" to get a match at WrestleMania, and had quite a few family and friends in attendance.
The match between Aries and Neville was put on the kickoff show, rather than the main card, but the former TNA and ROH world champion said being part of the kickoff show didn't bother him.
"I'd been there [at WrestleMania] the year before and I know how empty that arena was for the guys that went out there and busted their ass on the pre-show or the kickoff show. And I think Neville and myself both took a sense of pride that that place was pretty full and people were sitting in their seats ready to see our match."
Aries noted they were allocated about 20 minutes -- arguably more time than the match may have received on the main card.
"Of course everybody wants to be on the main show but not everybody can be. It didn't bother me in the least. I look at it like, “I have a job to do. Now my job is to make sure everybody's here for the kickoff show. I'm going to tell everybody, hey, if you miss the kickoff show you're going to miss one of the best matches of the night because we're going to go out there and tear it down.' ... And I think we went out and did that."
Being placed on the kickoff show did, however, lead to the Cruiserweight Title Match being omitted from the DVD release of WrestleMania 33. Aries tweeted about it last May, writing, "#WrestleMania 33 is now available on blu-ray in Canada. Too bad one of the #greatestmatches of the night was left off the US/Canada DVDs."
Aries explained the motivation behind the tweet, which fueled speculation that it factored into Aries' departure from WWE in July.
"Sometimes I get paid to put things over by people who have things that they're selling and it just so happens that the one thing I was paid for this time happened to be was to put over that the DVD of WrestleMania 33 was now available in Canada on BluRay. Well as I went to put this out I realized, oh s---, I don't think I'm even on this DVD I'm about to promote. Well, how would I do that in all my sarcasm and wit? And that's how I chose to, right?" Aries said, adding, "That wasn't some smoking gun," he said. "I wasn't sitting around pouting, kicking things over because I was mad. It didn't even really dawn on me that it wasn't and it didn't really affect me but that's the story behind that."