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.
The NWA and Ring of Honor have had a great working relationship for some time now. Do you think more companies can benefit from working together?
Aldis: I don’t think it’s a case of benefiting anymore as it is a case of surviving. That’s just my take. Some companies have to pull their head out of their (expletive). That’s the reality.
Instead of worrying about signing guys to exclusive deals and trying to screw over other companies who are in the same boat as they are, what they should be doing is figuring out… What we do is eliminate the typical rules and parameters of, “This guy is under contract and that’s the only promotion he can wrestle in.”
We recently sat down and said, with me for example, “Anywhere in the world, who are your top five title matches that you can do right now?” I said, “I said this guy from WWE, this guy from WWE, this guy from New Japan, this guy from wherever,” and obviously me and Cody III, the rubber match. Just to remind ourselves that anything is possible. So many companies exhaust what they have because they’re not thinking outside the box.
We proved how easy it was to happen. Ring of Honor produced All In. That was a Ring of Honor show for all intents and purposes. It was just co-produced by Cody and the [Young] Bucks. In order for Cody to have what he wanted, which was the match with me, Ring of Honor had to work with us and out of that, we ended up with a more long-term relationship.
They also brought in other people that they used who weren’t under contract to Ring of Honor and frankly, we don’t see as ambitious as other people do as we could end up doing that with other companies, or with the company. Ultimately, who has their hands on more history in this business than WWE. When you’re scrambling to make moments that mean something, a real easy thing to do is build off history, and nothing has more history right now than the Ten Pounds of Gold.
DDT: After a ton of speculation from fans that he was either WWE or AEW bound, it was announced at Best in the World that Eli Drake would not only be your partner for your match with The Briscoes but also that he was the newest member of the NWA roster. What do you think Drake brings to the table in the NWA?
Aldis: I had a big hand in bringing him into the NWA. He had at least two other offers, one from one of the companies you mentioned, and one from Ring of Honor. Dave made his pitch and Dave asked me to call him and basically tell him my experience because Eli saw what we had done with me and said, “I want that.” Why wouldn’t you? I called him and we had a good talk and I told him what I thought this could be for him long-term.
He’s a few years older than me, he’s 36 and I’m 32 and I’ve always had one eye on the future post-wrestling and I’m sure he kind of has that too because he’s a creative guy, he’s a smart guy with a good business brain and I’m sure he wants to have an option or at least the opportunity to work in behind-the-scenes role going forward if he wants to do that and it’s a seat at the table.
I think we offer more than anyone else right now and we truly offer guys to tell their story the way they want it to be told. We have the least amount of cooks, the least amount of agendas, and I’m a partner in NWA. I’m not just the world champion. We’re very judicious with who we bring in as far as contracts go. We want guys who look good, who can talk, who can go and deliver the big moments and I think that Eli is that guy.