In a “surprise” moment to end this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling, Austin Aries made his return to the company and defeated Eli Drake to become the new Impact World Heavyweight Champion.

Of course if you’ve been following along with any news even remotely having to do with Impact you’ve probably heard about this by now, since the company’s own social media accounts spoiled the return AND title change when it occurred at January’s television tapings. Tonight’s show was the first under new management with Scott D’Amore and Don Callis calling the shots.

Aries, who ended his year-long run with WWE back in July, interrupted a segment between Eli Drake and his stooge Chris Adonis, who was in the middle of airing video highlights as a tribute to the champion’s life and title reign. Drake apparently crossed the line when he referred to himself as “the greatest man that ever lived”, prompting A-Double to come out and defend his admittedly arrogant catchphrase.

After a bit of showboating from both sides, Aries convinced the champion to put the title on the line and promptly won a short match with his signature Brainbuster manuever. This is his second world title run with Impact Wrestling, not to mention his six reigns as X-Division Champion and a single run as TNA World Tag Team Champions alongside Bobby Roode.

IMPACT has just become a little bit more GREAT. @AustinAries HAS RETURNED TO IMPACT WRESTLING! #IMPACTonPop

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— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 2, 2018

Champ up…CHAMP DOWN! @AustinAries is the NEW IMPACT World Heavyweight Champion! #IMPACTonPOP

— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 2, 2018

AND NEW IMPACT World Heavyweight Champion – The Greatest Man That Ever Lived @AustinAries!

Congrats to Aries on becoming a two time IMPACT World Heavyweight Champion. Welcome home. #IMPACTonPOP

— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 2, 2018

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