Nick Aldis Explains Why He Is Leaving The NWA
Nick Aldis details why he is leaving the NWA
Nick Aldis' time in the National Wrestling Alliance will come to an end soon when The National Treasure departs the promotion in January 2023. Aldis has been NWA's top star for the past several years but he has given the promotion his notice.
After going public about his decision, NWA suspended Aldis and he will not be involved at the company's Hard Times pay-per-view on November 12.
Aldis explained his decision to give his notice on Notsam Wrestling and the former NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion noted the promotion has simply changed into something he no longer wants to be a part of.
"Look, I can't get around it. I'm not saying all of it, but there was enough of it that, for me, didn't pass the Harley Race test. I know that people will hear that and be like, 'Harley Race? What the hell?' What you have to understand, Harley Race wanted nothing to do with the NWA because of what it had been prior. It had some pretty dark days. Then he agreed, not only to be back associated with it. [He] asked me to come to Missouri to defend the title, agreed to appear on-camera, talking to me about being NWA Champion, and that ended up being the last interview he ever gave on-camera before he passed away. That means a lot to me," Aldis began.
"It was because of how we had presented pro wrestling consistently for three years at that point or whatever it was. We had consistently presented pro wrestling in a serious and dignified way. I know people will hear dignified and pro wrestling in the same sentence and say it's an oxymoron, you know what I'm saying. I just found myself, again, this isn't me trying to do scorched earth. I'm just saying this is what factored into my decision to give my notice. I started looking at stuff like Gaagz the Gymp, a social distancing match where the two wrestlers can't touch each other. [fake laugh] On and on it went with different wacky, silly comedy nonsensical stuff, and I said, 'How would I have justified this to Harley Race, if Harley Race had been here today?' Imagine if I'd have been stood there with Harley Race, and what would Harley Race say watching this, or Dory Funk? Or Ric Flair? I thought, if I was stood here with those guys right now, I'd be kind of embarrassed. Because they would look at me and go, 'This is you? This is your company?' I'd have to go, 'No.' I didn't want to be in a position where I'm like, 'Oh, that's not me.' Because if I'm in, I'm in."
Aldis later added: "I heard an interview, the interview that Triple H did with Ariel Helwani, and Ariel asked him about NXT and how it had changed. To me, his answers sort of mirror how I feel in a lot of ways about the NWA. It moved away from what I had wanted it to be. Again, much in the same way I suppose, not now, obviously because he's running the place now, but at that time, he kind of had this, it seemed to me, he had this mentality of well hey, there's nothing I can do about it. That's sort of where I got to, with the NWA. I sort of went, what it's become now is not what I envisioned it to be and it certainly isn't what I was laying the groundwork for it to be. It didn't have the core values that I had tried to sort of maintain. Again, this was not a knock. It was just me going, 'This isn't for me anymore.' I wanted to do an alternative wrestling brand that represented all those things about the NWA that people missed in the current product, whether it be from sort of over-production or a different mentality or a different style. Let's give them all their things because I felt like there was a good portion of the audience, particularly in the south, who missed 'rassling. That was it. I wanted it to be burgers and fries, red-white-and-blue 'rassling because I loved that stuff. It wasn't because I hate high spots and I hate these other types, I hate sports entertainment. No, it wasn't that. It was more like, looking at it from a business point of view. Hey, there's a gap in the market I think for this type of product, and when I had the influence to sort of make that happen, like you said, we steered everything toward that vision, and it worked."
The National Treasure noted the promotion was never the same after NWA 73 when he dropped the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship to Trevor Murdoch.
"Year and change. So [NWA] 73, the first St. Louis show was, for me, was kind of like, once that business was transacted, it was never the same. Here's the thing, the first thing that anyone's gonna say to that and the first thing I'm sure Billy would say, 'Oh, well, because he wasn't champion anymore.' The reality is that, prior to that, I had been sort of steering the ship because the world title angle was obviously, like in any promotion, the world title angle should be the one that really anchors the promotion. I had worked very hard for the last three years, well, even before that, because even when Cody (Rhodes) and I kind of traded the belt back and forth, I was still in the thick of it. I had worked very hard to make sure that every time I was involved in a world title angle that it was meaningful, it meant something. I felt that was always the driving force. That was always sort of pulling the wagon. Obviously, when I wasn't in that picture anymore, voluntarily, I would like to add. I was the one who said, 'I think it might be time for a switch here.' Here's an opportunity, here's all these things that are presenting themselves. St. Louis, Trevor, Harley Race, Wrestling at The Chase. All these opportunities presented themselves, and I went, there's a moment there. There's a piece of business to be done there. It was kind of my baby, and I hate getting into these p*ssing contests of 'This is my idea' but that whole angle was kind of my baby. I [was] kind of soup-to-nuts [with] that whole thing. I also knew enough to know that it’s very important, it's not just about losing the title. It's what you do after," he continued.
"So I had a whole thing in place. 'Here's what I can do next.' I can go into this programme with Thom [Latimer]. Thom can turn on me because I'm not his meal ticket anymore. I lost the belt, now I'm no use to him. I'll turn babyface because I knew that was coming too. I could tell at that point, there was just so much goodwill and sentiment. People knew what I had done. It was getting hard for them to continue to hate me because they kind of know he's been, he QB'ed this whole thing. I was getting a lot of that. So I went, I think the time is right, I'll be a sympathetic character. I lost in the middle of the ring, I sort of passed the torch. I did business."
On what happened after NWA 73, Aldis said: "It's irrelevant what I think about it. It's irrelevant whether I liked it or not. The audience didn't like it. So fast-forward, we get to the new year, and they can't sell tickets. They can't sell any tickets. So it comes back to me like, 'What should we do? You're the only person I trust?' I get put in this really awkward position because I'm like, well now you're forcing me to sort of advocate for myself, which I knew could be twisted and manipulated against me at any point. Without saying, 'It should be me.' [laughs] 'Hey, well, you know what you should do, brother. Put the old strap-ski back on me', which I never said, by the way. I was presented with the question, 'What's different now? Why is it not working now compared to how it was?' I sort of went, again, you're forcing me to give you an answer that paints me in this awful light, but I'm going, the difference is, you had a world title angle that people were interested in, and now you don't. You know what I mean? I don't know how else to tell you that.
"That's what led to [Matt] Cardona and then me and Cardona, and we got that going. Again, we got it going and we decided, hey, let's stretch this out. Let's get this going. Matt got hurt, and that was kind of, for me, when it all fell apart again. Then somewhere in there, I get the screw where suddenly it's turned it, 'Well you were advocating to get the belt back.' I kind of went, woah, hold on. I made a point to say, when we had the initial conversations to include Pat (Kenney) and make sure that it was never a one-on-one [with Billy Corgan] so that that couldn't happen. I kind of went, 'this is exactly what I was afraid of, so you know what, I'm bowing out. You do what you want.'"
Aldis then revealed that Billy Corgan had a chat with his wife Mickie James, during which Corgan claimed The National Treasure was advocating to get the worlds title back.
"This was something that he said to Mickie. He and Mickie had a private conversation that he didn't realise that I was privy to. He goes, 'Well, your husband is pressuring me to put the belt back on him.' For me, that day I went, this isn't a work."
H/T to Fightful