A highlight of TNA in 2012 was Austin Aries cashing in his X Division title to win the World Championship. It seemed a good move but Aries was soon lost amid the "Aces & Eights" storyline and would drop the belt to the returning Jeff Hardy in October.
Having left TNA, Aries spoke on the "Busted Open Radio" Sirius XM and openly declared TNA dropped the ball on his title run. "I guess as frank as I can say it … somebody dropped the ball, and it wasn’t me. I was ready to run with it and somebody knocked it out of my hands from behind. I’m not sure where the decision was made, but I agree with your assessment and I think a lot of people agree with that assessment [that TNA had red hot momentum when they put the title on Aries]. You know, sometimes you have too many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak. At that time, that could have been the case of what was going on. You have different people fighting for different directions. All I wanted to do was to go on television every week and have the best… wrestling match of any company, anywhere. do feel that there was a lot more left on the table there that could have been done. And I think they may be a problem overall in wrestling … not just with TNA or any certain company. I think people tend to think that once a guy wins a championship, that’s when he’s made … and for me I always feel that’s when it begins. That’s when a guy has a real opportunity to cement himself as a superstar or as a top tier guy. But you have to be able to see that through and give the guy the opportunity to succeed or to fail on his own. That’s really all I wanted … was the opportunity to succeed or fail on my own. But plans change."
Aries was quick to praise Jeff Hardy and has no issues with him but his own feelings sum up what many fans feel: That TNA had a great opportunity on their hands only to let it slip away, a sad mantra for the company.