It's been said that this was NOT a work. That what Aries did should be considered sexual harassment, and you got Mark Madden calling on Hemme to sue Dixie Carter and TNA. You got the IWC in an uproar saying he should be suspended.
Let's assume it's not a work. What Austin Aries did was wrong. No question about it. He should be reprimanded, make a public apology to Christy Hemme, possibly suspended for a month without pay, and take a sexual harassment class.
If Christy Hemme wants to sue TNA, then by all means sue TNA. BUT She'll never win in court and I'll tell you why. All Austin Aries has to tell the court is that he was just "acting in character" and Hemme will lose. Whether or not he really was in character or not is irrelevant. Once his entrance music hit and he walked out from behind the curtain in front of the cameras he was considered to be "In Character". That is a fact. Austin Aries character is that of an arrogant bad guy. That is a fact. Austin Aries grabbed the mic and cut a promo on her in character before climbing the turnbuckle. That is a fact which further adds credibility to the perception that Austin Aries climbing the turnbuckle with his groin in her face was just him acting in character.
Now, here's the thing that everyone overlooks that adds credibility to Austin Aries. He NEVER grabbed her, put his hands on her, or touched her with any private parts of his body. In fact right before he climbed the turnbuckle, Christy Hemme put her hand on his shoulder. After he climbed the turnbuckle she put her hand on his right thigh and pushed him at the same time he jumped off the turnbuckle. She put her hands on him twice. That is a fact. Also Bobby Roode went with him to the corner that she was in so it just made it seem like they were acting like heels.
Do I think Austin Aries took it too far? Yes. But do I think she would win a lawsuit over it? Absolutely not. Once his music hits he is considered to be in character. He cut a HEEL promo right before climbing the turnbuckle. He never grabbed her, physically forced her, or put his private parts on her.
On top of all this, her credibility takes a hit automatically because you can make a case that she has a long track record of presenting herself in a way that is "asking" for that kind of attention. People forget Hemme made a bunch of money by posing nude for Playboy so a bunch of perverts can look at her naked. She wears risque and scantily clad clothing on the Knockouts website, and participates in sexually provocative TNAShop.com commercials. This type of public perception can hurt your credibility in a sexual harassment case of any kind.
And here's the elephant in the room that no one wants to see. Christy Hemme could have climbed out of the ring, but she didn't. James Storm could've stopped Aries, but didn't. James Storm was a babyface so it would not have seemed weird for him to get on to Aries, especially being the guest referee. Bobby Roode could have stopped Aries, but he didn't either. All of this is pretty much the icing on the cake that in the court of law, Aries would win by just claiming he was acting "in character". I feel bad for Christy Hemme, and I do think Aries should get reprimanded. I just don't think her case has a chance in court.