Austin Aries has not only returned to Impact Wrestling, but he's now the new Impact champion.
Eli Drake was already in the ring celebrating his life alongside Chris Adonis when Aries made his return to the promotion. He listed off his accomplishments, was offended at the fact he had called himself The Greatest Man That Ever Lived and challenged Drake to a match. Adonis jumped Aries from behind, which caused Eli Drake to call for the bell and started to attack him. Despite the cheap shot early in the match, Aries rallied back and won the title for the second time.
Aries has been largely wrestling on the independents since either leaving or being released by the WWE in July of last year. The circumstances behind his departure are muddled as initial reports said he requested his release, while he himself has said he was let go.
This is not Aries' first run with the title. In his last run, he defeated Bobby Roode for the title back on July 8, 2012 and held it for 98 days before losing it to Jeff Hardy. Eli Drake held the title for 143 days, winning it in a Gauntlet for the Gold match after Alberto El Patron was stripped of the title.
Impact starts their tapings tonight and will continue through January 15.