National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis recently appeared on the WINCLY podcast ahead of the upcoming Crockett Cup and discussed his current championship run as well as the NWA's return to prominence on the professional wrestling landscape. Check out highlights below.
The Past Playing A Part In NWA'S Resurgence:
"I think that is part of it. I think the other part of it is there are so few things in the wrestling business that have historical value that WWE doesn’t own. All credit to them. They were very smart to acquire so much property over the years. So, they pretty much own the wrestling business and its lineage to an extent. The NWA was available and has a very strong history and strong brand. I think we’ve proven that with the right presentation and with a fresh coat of paint. I think we aren’t doing anything that is particularly revolutionary. I think we are reminding people of what this name means, what this championship means.With the Crockett Cup, yeah, it’s cool and something that has a history. Any time you have a history it just adds a little prestige to it because people can go back over the years and say, “Dusty Rhodes and Nikita won it. And these guys were in it. And these guys were in it.” It’s the same concept with the championship. It wasn’t like it disappeared. I just wasn’t on a particularly high profile. When we were able to give it a better profile again through the collaboration with Ring of Honor and all these independents all over the world. Literally, we’ve defended the title in four different continents in 2018. I think it just sort of gave people access that they’ve only read about in the past.Obviously, Ric Flair is the greatest wrestler of all-time. He is Elvis. He is untouchable. Such a big part of his legacy is that and his role as traveling champion. He went to all these places and brought out the best in different people across different territories. It wasn’t just Flair. Obviously, Harley did it, and Dory did it. That’s why when the time came, and they saw what we were doing, they were willing to put their seal of approval on us and on me. That means a great deal because it adds on to what we believed from the start when we took on this challenge and when Billy decided to buy the NWA. I think people cared about it. I just people needed reminding of what it means.”
Comparing His Runs As NWA Champion:
“There is more prestige attached to it. We don’t have to remind people as much. If you go back and look back at the Ten Pounds of Gold series, we’ve consistently paid homage to the legends who held that championship, but as time has gone on, we’ve been able to draw more from our more recent past because ultimately that’s what we have to do. I think in the beginning it was a case of reminding people over and over again this is the title Dusty Rhodes had, Harley Race had, Ricky Steamboat had, and Ric Flair had. Over time, now people are like, “Yeah, that’s the NWA champion Nick Aldis. That’s the title Cody and Nick feuded over. It was the belt that had this iconic moment in Chicago in September.” We’re creating our own legacy, so as time goes on, we see that. We’re still working for third party promotions. For how long, we don’t know. We’ve got a number of different roads ahead of us we can potentially take. Obviously, we are working with Ring of Honor right now.That has been beneficial to us. How far we continue with that, we don’t know. We’re a promotion in a true sense of the word. People are always asking us when we are going to get our own show and sign a bunch of wrestlers and get a building. That’s not a promotion. A promotion if you look at boxing and MMA to an extent, with the exception of UFC, which took the WWE model. Promotions usually represent other fighters and athletes, and they work with other promotions to organize an event and promote it.That’s where we are at. We’ve partnered with Ring of Honor and independent promotions. And we’ve run one event ourselves That’s a promotion in a true sense of the word. I’m contracted to that promotion because I’m the NWA champion. But as you’ve seen, Cody wasn’t under contract with the NWA. He was under contract with Ring of Honor at the time, but a business arrangement was made. That’s one of the things we want to stay on track with is keeping that thought in people’s minds that anyone can win this potentially.That’s something that is exciting to people. The possibility it’s a real world’s championship that could be defended in any promotion anywhere in the world. We like that and sort of build our content based on that. And as different opportunities present themselves, we’ll grow with that. I don’t think anyone can deny our growth as far as brand recognition and everything like that. That’s what we had to do first. I think it would have been foolish to pump a bunch of money into another company and doing another set of shows and trying to crack a TV market, which is absolutely changing fundamentally. That would be foolish. We have to build that trust first, and I think that is what we have been able to do.”
Harley Race's And Dory Funk's Initial Reaction To Another NWA Incarnation:
“Absolutely. You are always learning. I went to Harley’s camp in 2007, so it’s really cool for me. I saw him in St. Louis when I had this match with AJ on Impact on live TV, so it was really cool to see him that day and be in that spot and get the reaction I got. I’ve seen him a couple of times during house shows when we were in the area. I hadn’t seen him for a long time, so I was curious if he knew anything about any of the NWA stuff. I know in the beginning when we first started to do this stuff we reached out to Harley. He had basically said, “Thanks but no thanks. No offense, but I’ve seen too many reincarnations attempts with the NWA and wasn’t very impressed. He had a right to say that. I think over time once he saw what we were doing. This was not another bunch of ho-hum indies trying to band together and hop on an old legacy. This was a totally different approach. Obviously, with All In, that was arguably the most talked about show of the year in 2018. The true main event of that show was Cody and I for the NWA title. For Harley and Dory, I’m sure it meant a lot to them. They’ve told me privately that it meant a lot to them to see someone was able to make people care about the championship again to the point 10-11,000 were on their feet at the bell. Once you’re able to do that, you kind of earn your stripes with them. It meant a great deal that Harley was so gracious to me. He is an icon. When you talk to him, you listen because he is a genuine, authentic former world’s champion. The same with Dory Funk Jr. I’m actually working on my speech because I’m presenting Dory Funk with the Lou Thesz Award for the Cauliflower Alley Club. That means a lot to me because he could have asked any number of people to do that, and they probably would have done it. People who are more well known than me and more qualified than me. He chose me because he proud of what I’m doing. He still watches everything. He is still active in this business.He still has a school. He was at NWA 70 to shake mine and Cody’s hands when we went into the main event. Guys like that, that’s passion. You can’t teach that. That’s what the NWA has because of the history and legacy, there is a passion attached to it. I think you’re seeing that with the fans. The fans I saw in Winston Salem at WresstleCade, I was the TNA champion when we were on Spike TV, national television. I was on prime-time and the world champion, but I didn’t have anyone say the things that are said to me now as the NWA champion with a YouTube show. Young, old have shook my hand telling me it means a lot to them what we are doing."