I recently had the chance to speak with former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis. We discussed a number of topics including how real his feud with Cody Rhodes was, Doug Williams’ retirement, past stereotypes of Bristish wrestlers, his relationship with Mickie James and much more:
Nick Aldis on being called a veteran:
I find it funny when people refer to me as that. I remember when I went back and did some one off shots for Impact as a favour to Jeff, and I remember Pope was the color commentator and he described me as a veteran. I hated it, I was like ‘oh god I’m old’ but you know I understand where he’s coming from, because outside of someone who has worked for WWE, not a lot of guys my age have done what I’ve done in the sense of who they’ve worked with. Obviously there are guys who have made more money, and who are more famous. But just in my first few years with TNA I got to work with The Dudleys, Beer Money, Booker T & Scott Steiner, Kurt Angle, Sting, and so many other names like that. That’s one of the reasons why I stayed there.
On the success of his All In match vs Cody:
Dave [Lagana] and I are funny, we’re not overly sentimental about stuff, but we kind of had that brief moment where we said “we don’t do this very often do we?”. That was about as perfect of a match as we could’ve had in that moment, for that championship. I truly believe it was probably the best story told this year in wrestling, and it’s just beginning. We’ve got so much more to go.
On how his story with Cody was real:
The best stories are real. The reason Cody and I work so well as a rivalry is because the rivalry is real. We’re very similar in age, but we have vastly different origins. My frustrations as a professional do not mirror his and vice versa. He, for example, may have some insecurities when it comes to me when it comes to size and physical attributes. My insecurities with him are obviously because he’s been able to make a great deal of money in the business and he’s had a tremendous amount of opportunities. He’s done a lot with that, but for someone like me who grew up in rural Norfolk in England and had to make every opportunity for myself, it’s different to a guy who’s got the right last name.
Aldis on his relationship with Mickie James:
But we [Nick and Cody] also have parallels. Despite the fact that I did everything myself in this business right up to winning the World Championship in TNA, now, because people are ignorant and my wife is in the WWE, people who hadn’t heard of me until recently are saddling me with the stigma of ‘well he’s married to Mickie James’. That doesn’t mean s***. It’s actually worse than that, because it’s probably held back my options with WWE more than helped it. At the same time Cody has done a tremendous amount, and at the end of the day, your last name only gets you through the door. It doesn’t get you any more than that.
On the former stereotype of British wrestlers:
When I was coming into the business, obviously there was a far away vision that I could crack America and become a star around the world. We also had to face the reality that there had not been a British pro wrestler featured on television since William Regal, and he was not presented like a top guy. He was a very capable in ring wrestler and an underrated entertainer, but he wasn’t presented like a top guy.
Nick Aldis on Doug Williams’ retirement:
It’s hard to put into words, I’ve tried my best many times. Doug is one of the most important British wrestlers in history. Doug was considered one of the best in the world, and he was. He took me under his wing very early on outside of TNA, on the independents, and to end up in a situation where the team at TNA were very keen to promote me and give me a platform because of what I’d achieved on Gladiators, it led to Doug getting an opportunity. Before that they didn’t really know what to do with him besides being a good wrestler, so they saw an opportunity with me who had a look but wasn’t ready to carry the load in the ring. It actually helped us both.
I’ve said this many times – he saved me. I probably would’ve been cut or fired within a few months, because they would’ve realised this guy isn’t ready and isn’t getting over. I’m just so glad that he got the moment that he deserves, because he’s such a humble guy and he has very little ego – almost to a fault. There were times where he should’ve been like “no, I’m Doug f*****g Williams”. But he never has been like that. He’s just been a flawless professional wrestler for twenty years. The only thing that I was disappointed about was that I couldn’t be there [at Hello Wembley].