You can bet Austin Aries isn't in the wrestling business for the money.
During a recent interview with Journal Sentinel, the former Ring of Honor, WWE, and TNA performer reportedly turned down a six figure deal.
Aries said that he declined the large monetary offer, as a means to reset.
"Really, since I left Impact Wrestling - some people say controversially - I've been really laying low," Aries said. "I've had contract offers. Even after (Impact) there was a six-figure contract on the table at the end of last year that I politely declined.
"MLW had contact me previously about maybe wanting to come in and do some things with them, but it wasn't the right timing," Aries stated. I just decided for the first half of this year just to reset. I'm also in the mindset that at this point in my career, I don't really want to work for anybody. But I will with with anybody."
However, that will change tonight when Aries returns to his hometown of Waukesha, WI to face Adam Brooks for Major League Wrestling's Fury Road. Aries said he wanted to return to his hometown because its community understands who he actually is. Contrary to the Aries that the world has come to know.
"The people in Waukesha, they know the difference," Aries said. "The people there know my character. Not the character you see on the screen, but my character as a human being. There's a lot of people in this business that have gotten my character and my character mixed up."
According to Aries, it was he who reached out to MLW this time around.
"Then I actually reached out to MLW and I said to them, 'Hey guys, I know we talked a few months back and you had expressed some interest. It wasn't really the right time. I said, 'You're going to be in my hometown. That interests me.' I'm not motivated by money and I never really have been. I'm probably not motivated by a lot of things that people think I am.
"But this was an opportunity to come back home and see my family and see my friends," Aries continued. "That, to me, had a value that probably trumped anything creatively or monetarily, you know?"
Austin Aries was released from WWE in mid 2017 before returning to TNA in early 2018.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Journal Sentinel with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.