Austin Aries says he turned a negative into a positive with his eye injury.
The injury happened when Aries was kicked in the face by Shinsuke Nakamura while on the NXT roster at a Live Event. He broke his orbital bone which required surgery. This occurred after WWE had started a new Cruiserweight division and crowned a new WWE Cruiserweight champion. As Aries' recovery time was coming to a close, he began doing color commentary for Cruiserweight matches on Raw and 205 Live. After returning to in-ring action, Aries went directly after Neville and his Cruiserweight championship. The two had a match at Wrestlemania 33 which Neville won after attacking Aries' eye. In an interview with YouTuber Myles, conducted before the Mania match, Aries said he is happy with how everything turned out.
"I've joked around and I said, If I would have been able to predict everything after my injury, I would have broke my eye hole myself six months before that, I would have fast tracked it. Listen, everything happens for a reason and I'm not going to try to figure out what would've or could've. The fact is I got injured and somehow out of a negative situation came out positive, this great opportunity," said Aries. "Right when I got hurt, I told Triple H, I don't want to disappear for six months, find something for me to do, whether it's commentary, managerial, something. I don't want to sit on the sidelines," he continued.
Aries spent months on commentary while alluding to his eventual return. Since he came back, he has competed on Raw and 205 Live a few times. In the interview, Aries talked about his preparation for his championship match and his feelings on being on the kick-off show.