NWA Worlds Champion Nick Aldis recently spoke to Graham Mirmina of Daily DDT. You can see the full interview at this link, and check out some submitted highlights below.
How did the opportunity to sign with the NWA come about and what was it about the brand that enticed you to join their ranks compared to your time in IMPACT?
Nick Aldis: Obviously, I had a relationship with Dave Lagana dating back to IMPACT, and I briefly crossed paths with Billy [Corgan], hadn’t really worked with him to any significant degree, but he was a fan of mine and really, I was just disenchanted with the product overall.
I was looking and felt that every wrestling company was going after the same audience. Everyone was going after the discerning fan that’s a lifer for wrestling, and I think that numbers have proven that if you cater to that fan base, you lose the rest. I think there’s a sweet spot where you can satisfy everyone.
The proliferation of social media and wrestling fans’ insatiable appetite for opinion to bring down the number one wrestling leads to a culture that unfortunately can exclude a lot of the more casual fans and I think that’s necessarily fair.
I don’t think any one person’s dollar is more valuable than another’s, but I cherish and respect the fans that just watch once a week and don’t engage in social media about it and don’t write blogs about it and talk with other fans about it just as much as I do those fans.
Passion is great, but ultimately, it’s a commercial business and I believe there’s a lot of fans out there who feel that they aren’t invited to the party. To me, the feedback I got from the things they always reverted back to were either the Attitude Era or either the late ’80s with the NWA and Jim Crockett Promotions.
We knew this was the case in TNA as well, we knew there was a specific number of people that just watched our product and IMPACT never appreciated that and we dropped the ball and that’s we lost them. There were fans who watched WCW and after WCW went away, they didn’t watch wrestling anymore.
We were getting them back bit by bit, they trust our brand to deliver them the things they like about wrestling. It’s Rocky. They want to see the struggle and the culmination of two guys’ rivalry leading to the final blow-off, someone has to win and somebody has to leave.
This isn’t a knock on people doing skits or doing silly stuff because there’s a place for all of it. There seems to be there’s this unhealthy mentality in the business where if you are a proponent of the wrestling, you are encouraged to hate every other type of wrestling and hate every other type of wrestling fan.
That type of culture gets nobody anywhere. We pay a little bit of feedback we get on our product, and one of the ones that comes up consistently is “This is wrestling I can be proud of, this is what I like, this is what I look for in pro wrestling, this is what I haven’t had in my pro wrestling for so long.”
And we like that, but if they start dumping on other types of pro wrestling, we don’t have any time for that. We’re not in that business. We’re not interested in taking down anyone else because I’m all for every one of my brothers and sisters in this business to make money.
To answer your question, Dave and Billy reached out to me in the summer of 2017 and said, “You never reached your potential” and I said I agreed. WWE wasn’t an option and nowhere else was sort of tickling my fancy.
I looked at it and went, “I’ve done everything I can do” and especially in IMPACT, I’d done everything I could do. I’d been the world champion, I’d been the tag champion, I’d been in marquee matches and rivalries with guys like Samoa Joe and AJ Styles and obviously beaten Sting in the middle of the ring on Pay-Per-View.
There’s not really much I can do here except it’s a step down. I’d rather take on a new challenge. Once Billy laid down his vision for the NWA and what he wanted to do with it, I realized there was a great opportunity there to basically to deliver the one thing I always wanted to do in wrestling was to spend more time on doing this long, dramatic build to one match instead of churning out storyline, storyline, storyline, Pay-Per-View, storyline, storyline, storyline, Pay-Per-View.
There’s an ability here to make it more of destination viewing by making it more like a prize fight instead of having a schedule where we have to try to fit our creative around. Instead of trying to fit the creative around our schedule, we fit our schedule around the creative.