NWA World Champion Nick Aldis was the most recent guest on The Apter Chat with hosts Bill Apter and Josh Shernoff. Aldis opened up about a myriad of professional wrestling related topics including his participation at All In, NWA 70, his thoughts on the WWE, & whether there will be a rubber match between he and Cody Rhodes.
On The NWA Championship Finding New Meaning:
The way I looked at Chicago [All In] is that it was a monumental moment for both of us [he and Cody Rhodes]. It was monumental for me personally because I did what I said I was going to do. When I took on the challenge to become part of the new NWA, the resurgent NWA under Billy Corgan and Dave LaGana, I said that I was gonna take that championship and make it mean something. I made a promise that day that when I was done with that championship, that first reign, that it was gonna be defended on a stage that it deserved. I think that we can all agree that All In exceeded that expectation. To have 11,000 people on their feet before we even touched, it doesn’t get much more world championship than that, so I proved that I’m the right guy, but that was Cody’s night. He promoted that event. Everybody working that night was working for Cody and the [The Young] Bucks. Everything about that was sorta leaning in his favor and I think that everyone understand that no matter how you slice it, there was always gonna be a situation where people leaned his way and that’s what happened with the count out situation with the referee and the leniency toward Brandi [Rhodes], for me, the natural progression for the rematch – especially considering it was the NWA signature event at the 70th anniversary, the NWA in Nashville, with all the history attached to it – to me it made perfect sense to do two out of three falls. What exemplified the ten pounds of gold more than two out of three falls, sixty minute time limit, no excuses somebody’s gonna walk out a winner.
On A Rubber Match With Cody Rhodes:
At the end of the day gentlemen, it’s about business. If people want to break out the benjamins to see us again, than obviously I’m a businessman and I’m gonna let that happen. If we’re being technical, we could say we’re at two falls a piece now because the first match was one fall and this match was two out of three and now we’re at two falls a piece. I said this in the post-match special, I believe that Cody and Nick Aldis was the defining rivalry of 2018. I think it could be the defining rivalry of this era if it continues and I think that we’re all very much aware that if it ended here, we’d be leaving a lot of money on the table. I think one way or another, there will be a third match somewhere.
On NWA 70:
It was jubilant. One thing I took pride in doing right from the start, whether I was at a show with 100 people in the audience or 10,000, was I show up, dress nice, present myself well, carry the belt and Cody is the same way. When we started to circle each other like great prize fighters tend to do and start sizing each other up, people started to get that excitement before we even interacted. I think that was because they saw who we were and we gave the audience an excuse to buy into it because you have to believe it. It has to come through your eyes. It has to be in your heart. You have to believe you are worthy of that spot and Cody and I both do. We presented a situation that was so different than anybody else is doing including WWE and what really struck me when I got to Nashville was, I would say, at least 75% of the guys on that show showed up in suit and ties. We didn’t mandate a dress code. We didn’t say, ‘Please come in suits. Please dress appropriately.’ We didn’t do any of that, but they chose to come dressed that way because the majority of guys on that card appreciated given a spot on such a historic night. They really took it seriously. They believed it and when the boys believe it and take it seriously like that, the audience follows suit because they appreciate effort. They appreciate passion. When the boys show that passion the audience buys into it and everything starts to multiply because you feed off each other’s energy.
On NWA 70/All In Differences:
I actually felt as much hype and pressure and interest going into NWA 70 as I did going into All In. I think All In, as much as I believe Cody and I were the main event at All In, we were sharing a super card with a lot of big stars. At NWA 70 we were the main event. We were the attraction. The vast majority of the house was sold on the main event before any other matches were announced. We did in excess of $25,000 at the box office on the first day. The pressure was there for us to deliver, so in my mind I took it seriously. Plus, I knew it was going to be compared to All In and even though the building was packed it wasn’t going to be 11,000 people. The thing I’ve always found is that a full building is the most important thing and you see this a lot of times when you look at the WrestleManias when there’s 70-80,000 people in the stadiums. Sometimes the atmosphere gets lost with so many people because that electricity kind of travels upwards. It’s more of a festival kind of feel than an intense prize fight feel. I knew we would have that at the Fairgrounds because of the way that building was laid out. It’s two levels, so the people are right on top of you. They’re packed in tight. That building has so much history. I really believe in that. There’s an energy in that building based on all that history there. People travel from all over the world for that show. We had fans from England. We had fans from Australia. We had fans from dozens of different states. They came to see the NWA, so it meant a whole lot to us because we knew the responsibility was on us to deliver. We were pulling that wagon and I take that seriously.
On What Will Bring The NWA Back To Its Previous Prestige:
I think it’s eyeballs. Eyeballs and butts. However you get that is really up to you. People try to dissect the short term success of the NWA, the gross we’ve had in one year and I sum it up in one sentence with what our approach is and what it really is: traditional values with a modern delivery system. We take the traditional values of the championship, make the championship mean something, present it as it’s supposed to be, the most prestigious wrestling championship in the world today, but we deliver through YouTube and social media, so we can reach as many people as possible and we can reach them all over the world. Before you had to wait. You had to buy a magazine. You had to tune in at a certain time and now people want it right now. You can look at that two different ways. You can say, ‘Oh, it’s so much harder now,’ or you can say, ‘Yeah, but we also have the ability to create buzz in an instant.’ Something can happen and you can make it accessible and catch people’s attention right now and then they can watch it and they can go, ‘Ok, now I’m hyped for this.’ [With] Ten Pounds of Gold, we created a product and we created a show that made people go, ‘You know what? When this comes up I’m gonna subscribe because I want to see this when it comes up because I want to be able to talk about this whenever everyone else is talking about it because it’s that good that people are talking about it.’ That’s what social media is. It’s people talking about stuff and you want them to be talking about you and the best way to do that is to delivery something that’s worth talking about.
On An NWA Dream Match Against A Former Champion:
I think if I was looking at it from a nostalgic standpoint I would probably have to say [Ric] Flair, but from a practical standpoint, I would probably say [Ricky] Steamboat because I’m a heel and I think I would be a better dance partner for Steamboat because I dictate the pace. I sorta like to take control and a guy like Steamboat who has that incredible fire and sells so well and has that passion and that emotion that gets people behind him so much. I know who I am. I know that naturally I push people’s buttons and typically lean more on the dark side. I would want a classic good guy like Ricky Steamboat.
On Whether He Has Any Interest In Working With WWE:
I had interest and they had interest, I believe, when I was with TNA and then for whatever reason when I became available, it was a different story and quite frankly, I had too many conversations with them where there was too much – the first couple of times it was ‘no’ and then it was ‘no not right now’ and then it was ‘let me talk to this guy, let me talk to that guy.’ I just got to a point where I just sort of lost interest because that was all I ever wanted at one point and because for whatever reason it never seemed to materialize, it’s hard for me to say because I feel that there is something there that they aren’t telling me and I don’t know what it is. Frankly, we’re all adults – I’d rather them give me a straight answer, but you never get that with them. There’s so many people. There’s so many camps, so many snakes in the grass, I just don’t have time for it. I’d rather get a straight answer and they don’t ever seem to want to do that. I just don’t have time to play games like that. I just want to be a big time pro wrestler and if I have to be a big time pro wrestler by building my own big time to be a part of, then so be it.
On What He’d Like To Say To Cody Rhodes:
I’d like to thank him for being a great dance partner. You’re only as good as your last match, so right now I’m pretty damn good. To quote Ric Flair when he was talking to Cody’s father [Dusty Rhodes], ‘Our egos run side by side gentlemen.’ He wants to be the top dog in the entire business. So do I. We push each other. I’m inspired by things he’s done. He’s inspired by things I’ve done. That’s why we were destined to collide and why we’re destined to collide again and anytime he wants to do it, he knows I’m open for business.
On Wrestling At Madison Square Garden:
I don’t care who my opponent is, but I will try my damndest to be the first man in decades to defend the NWA Championship at Madison Square Garden. If anybody is going to bring the NWA Championship back to Madison Square Garden, shouldn’t it be the National Treasure?
(Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, WrestleZone)
Readers may listen to The Apter Chat in its entirety below:
Nick Aldis Talks WWE, All In, NWA, & If There Will Be A Cody Rematch