When Australia’s World Series Wrestling goes on tour, it’s always a big deal. That’s because, for a company that’s only run 19 shows in its 13-year existence, WSW always manages to stack the card with the top talent from Australia and around the globe. It’s a showcase of some of the best in the business and the upcoming The Elite Takeover is no different. Level of talent aside, this event is also notable as it will mark the in-ring return of WSW Champion Austin Aries, who hasn’t wrestled since the controversial main event at Bound for Glory.
WSW ran its first event in 2005 with the three-day tour featuring a trio of matches between AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels, as well as Gail Kim, Frankie Kazarian, Rhino, Jeff Jarrett and Samoa Joe in action. Two years later, the next tour featured Aries, Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuinness. WSW didn’t run again for another 10 years but when they returned as an active promotion, they no doubt picked back up right where they had left off. WSW International Assault Tour 2K17 featured Joey Ryan, Tessa Blanchard, Adam Brooks, Brian Cage, Jonah Rock, Robbie Eagles and two main events pitting Ricochet against Zack Sabre Jr.
In 2018, WSW ran three tours for the first time in its history. All Star Invasion 2K18 featured the debuts of Matt Riddle, Slex, Deonna Purazzo, Marty Scurll, the Young Bucks and the Briscoes whereas Best of the Best 2K18 saw Hangman Page, Abyss, Jimmy Havoc and Johnny Impact step into the WSW ring for the first time.
Known for these stacked cards, WSW is preparing for their final tour of 2018, International Assault The Elite Takeover. The tour will take place from November 23-26 with two stops in Melbourne, one in Perth and finally in Sydney. And it’s quite possibly one of the most stacked rosters WSW has ever had with matchups that check off both the first-time ever and dream boxes.
There’s Brian Cage vs WALTER, Flip Gordon vs Jonah Rock, Marty Scurll vs Damian Slater, Cody vs WALTER, Cage vs Bandido, Scurll vs Adam Brooks, Cody vs Cage…the list goes on. Not to mention, Austin Aries will be defending his WSW championship against Flip Gordon in Perth and against Robbie Eagles in Sydney.
Which are you most looking forward to?
What happens if FLIP beats ARIES? Who would like to see FLIP v EAGLES in Sydney. pic.twitter.com/U7HqS8r1X8
— WorldSeriesWrestling (@WSWWrestlingAUS) November 15, 2018
The November 25th show in Perth marks Aries in-ring return for the first time in over a month. Now, if you’ve been watching Ring Warriors where Aries is a commentator and kayfabe part-owner of the company, you’re probably thinking, “I just saw him on TV this past Saturday.” That would be correct, but that match was taped on October 10, four days prior to Bound for Glory. So while an Austin Aries match was on TV just a few days ago, he hasn’t actually wrestled since he lost his IMPACT World Championship to Johnny Impact on October 14.
There is still a great deal of controversy surrounding the now infamous finish to that match which saw Aries no-sell the Starship Pain, give Don Callis the finger and walk away while shouting at the co-VP and others. Information has slowly trickled out but some of it is contradictory so we may never fully know the work-shoot extent of that match and what led up to it. Were the tweets part of the work, or the press conference, or the shoot-style strikes both men delivered in the ring? Did Aries walk from the company or was his contract up? Did he even have a contract in the first place or was he just working per appearance?
The Road to @WSWWrestlingAUS International Assault Elite Takeover Tour is upon us.
— WorldSeriesWrestling (@WSWWrestlingAUS) November 10, 2018
The latest rumor going around seems to be that Aries wanted time off as he was suffering from a minor concussion and just physically worn down, as well as that IMPACT Wrestling was reportedly still very high on him as a performer and that he’d be back with the company soon. But the source that should be the most trusted in all of this, Johnny Impact, admitted that the beef between him and Aries was “100 percent real” and that he’s not going to miss him in the locker room.
Whatever the case may be, Aries hasn’t been in a wrestling ring in over a month, something that will change when he faces Flip Gordon for the first-time ever at The Elite Takeover. It will be interesting to see if Aries is merely fulfilling some obligations here to defend his title before going back to his cave of solitude or if this is the start of his in-ring comeback. Either way, Aries vs Gordon is certainly going to be a fun match as will Aries vs Eagles. The two have faced off only once prior, in a tag match, where Aries teamed with Slex in a loss to Eagles and Impact.