NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis was interviewed on the Battleground podcast.
Aldis talked about his matches with Cody Rhodes, how there was supposed to be a third match, ROH working behind-the-scenes to make All In happen, future plans for the NWA, and more.
Here are some highlights:
Nick Aldis talked about his favorite wrestlers before breaking into the business: “As a kid, I would say my first real hero was Bret The Hitman Hart. I try to explain this to American fans because obviously Bret was a huge star and a huge influence to a lot of wrestlers, particularly from my generation. I don’t know if American fans truly grasp how huge Bret was to fans overseas. Wembley stadium, people talk about SummerSlam ‘92, but the perfect example of that is, it was a split crowd. Later on, when I wanted to do this, it was WrestleMania 15 with The Rock and Stone Cold. I loved the whole piece of business. I remember watching these guys come out and seeing how they had command of the audience. You felt at that point in time that there was nothing else going on in the world. That’s the feeling every wrestler is striving to achieve at every point in their careers.”
How did you come to the NWA: I finished up with TNA. I worked my way through every part of that promotion. I had a couple of conversations with WWE over the years during that time and both times I decided to stay. I'm not going to lie. A lot of times it was for leverage. I got to a point in 2013 where I was thinking, I'm 25 or 26 now. I had the chance to go before and I opted to stay because I felt like I was going to learn more getting to work with all these great wrestlers like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Doug William, Beer Money, The Dudleys, and on and on as opposed to go to wrestling school with a bunch of guys at the same experience level as me. That was my decision to make. I expressed that at the time to Ty Bailey and thanked him for his interest and told him I think it's a better education where I’m at. I had another conversation in 2013. Again, TNA came through with a good offer. It wasn’t so much the money. The money was OK, but it was the fact that it was an ironclad guaranteed deal which at the time was nice to have that security. By the time I won the title, and I’ll say this, I stuck around because at that point in time I had a rotten gimmick when I first showed up in TNA. I was handed this complete dud of a gimmick. I survived that. I've been in tag teams, repackaged in tag teams and back to singles. I felt I earned my respect with the audience and the locker room. I could feel people acknowledge me as a guy that could be the main event. By the time I got to being world champion, I was already telling my buddies I've done everything I could do. I finished up in 2015. I wasn't expecting WWE to call me up and say come in and win the Royal Rumble and headline WrestleMania, but I felt like I've done enough to earn an opportunity. When that didn't happen, I was so deflated and also kind of humiliated. I was angry at myself for putting all my eggs in that basket. There are a few different theories floating around as to who is responsible for that and why. Tommy Dreamer called me up to wrestle for his House of Hardcore. He said I would be the perfect heel because I am the antithesis for these Philly fans. Those fans in Philly hated me. That coincided with Dave Lagana reaching out to me and he basically said what's going on with you? Why aren’t you in WWE? Why aren't you in ROH or New Japan? Did you quit the business? I said no, I think the business quit me. He said he left TNA because he is with Billy and Billy bought the NWA. They laid out their vision. I told Dave there is too much wrestling on right now and it's all just wrestling matches. There are no stakes, no rivalry, no personality, no pizzazz and no soul. Billy called me. The one thing that stuck with me is Billy said, I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of seeing my next-door neighbor do gymnastics routines with each other. I met Tim Storm and realized I could have a good story with him and get an emotional response. He was so humble and likable and American. I thought to see a traditional fan seeing this guy up against this sort of slightly brash, slightly unlikeable, slightly arrogant British quintessential wrestler is a natural matchup. Our M.O. has been storytelling.”
Aldis gave his opinion of Randy Orton: “You see these people online. They would call Randy Orton, who is probably the greatest worker in the business today, and they would say he is boring. He is lazy. No, I will tell you what lazy is. Lazy is deciding to do 20 finishes in one match because you’re too lazy to try to work on your storytelling or work on putting them in the right order, or work on your facial expressions and your emotional connection to the audience to care about one finish.”
Aldis talked about his match with Cody; “We wanted a trilogy, but Tony Khan came into play and that made things difficult. I think it was when I first arrived in Chicago, I could feel the audience was looking at me and feeling, this is the champ. It was a different energy from everyone. I remember when we did the weigh-ins.
You can listen to the entire interview by clicking here.