With the WWE pretty much calling Orlando home base for the next three days (the Royal Rumble is at the Amway Center on Sunday), plenty of crazy things could take place. Well at NXT Orlando tonight, something did happen. A former TNA World Heavyweight Champion showed up and officially declared he had signed with the WWE. And it wasn’t AJ Styles. Instead it was Austin Aries.

On a night where fans got a Bayley / Asuka tease and the building blocks of a feud with Sami Zayn & Samoa Joe, Austin Aries showing up is pretty big news. Mainly because it just shows what we’ve been saying in our heads ever since the New Japan rumors kicked up at the beginning of the year: Triple H is building a dream indy fed to battle all of the injuries on the main roster.

Aries was announced by NXT General Manager William Regal as one of NXT’s biggest international signings. Before Aries even hit the ring, he was attacked by Baron Corbin who’s made it a habit of announcing public disdain for any indy star that comes into NXT (see Samoa Joe, Apollo Crews). Check out Austin Aries’ NXT debut below via the NXT Facebook page, complete with a titantron that spells out AUSTIN ARIES on the logo.

WWE NXT's Newest Signee: Austin Aries

BREAKING NEWS: Austin Aries is the newest WWE NXT signee! #WeAreNXT

Posted by WWE NXT on Friday, January 22, 2016