“Carry yourself like a champion now so when you get there, it’s not a surprise”David Fizdale
For the past 20 years, Nick Aldis has been in the wrestling business working his way up through the ranks of multiple promotions proving time and time again that he has the heart and passion for this business. Nick Aldis took the opportunity offered to him by Billy Corgan to be the new flagship star and champion of the once prestigious NWA.
The initials NWA once symbolized the most prestigious wrestling championship in the world of professional wrestling. For many years, the brand was ravaged and slaughtered by irrelevancy due to being disregarded by multiple promotions such as WCW and WWWF as they would crown their own champions. Then the infamous Shane Douglas promo in ECW where he threw the title down, which the NWA never fully recovered from. For years the NWA existed but was meaningless to many new fans as they didn’t have TV coverage until TNA came calling, but like previous promotions TNA would end the partnership and named their own champions.
When Billy Corgan had a falling out with Impact’s management at the time, he didn’t leave the wrestling business, he decided to buy the NWA. I will freely admit at the time when he bought it my first thought was this brand is dead, but I knew the value and prestige of what the NWA used to be and as a wrestling fan I was curious if Corgan could possibly resurrect it.
I think the product lately is far from the best I have seen from the Corgan run NWA, but NWA 73 was really a special and highly underrated show and was the personification of the true essence of the NWA’s past glory. Probably the best decision Billy Corgan made was to make Nick Aldis his world champion and the face of the NWA.
Nick Aldis carried himself in front of that camera like a true champion whether he was champion or not. Always in a tailored made suit and his promos were on point, that gave the audience the impression that this man is a legitimate star. His presentation reminded me of the WWE HOFamer and AWA legendary champion, Nick Bockwinkel.
With Nick Aldis and Billy Corgan parting ways and for the first time in years, Nick Aldis finds himself in the prime of his career at only 36 years old as a free agent. Although Aldis is not necessarily a household name to a mainstream audience, that doesn’t mean that this man does not deserve an opportunity on a big stage to see if he can rise to the top like he has done in Impact Wrestling and the NWA.
To put this in a little more perspective, Aldis was a dominant champion in the NWA holding the title only twice, but his total days as champion were 1,309 placing him as the 6th longest reigning NWA Champion with only Lou Thesz, Ric Flair, Harley Race, Dory Funk Jr. and Dan Severn having longer reigns than him out of only 56 men to have held the championship in the almost 75-year history. Aldis’ second reign lasted for 1,043 days and to put that into context that is just under 3 years as champion.
There have long been rumors and speculation that Nick Aldis maybe blackballed in the business which is why WWE and AEW never brought him in, and it is something that Aldis himself has acknowledged. Personally, I think Aldis has proven he can be professional and be the face of a promotion and was able to make the NWA World Championship appear more important and relevant than it has been in many years.
I don’t think AEW would be a good fit for him as they already have a ton of talent, and it is questionable how they would book him as they don’t have the best track record of booking incoming talent other than the splash debut. WWE has had that problem as well lately with the returns but considering Triple H’s strong passion for the history of the business and Aldis having that same love of the past and being a trainee of Harley Race, I think he may fair significantly better in WWE than AEW.
How To Book Nick Aldis:
I don’t believe he goes to NXT if WWE signs him, and I know there have been rumors of a Royal Rumble debut. The question that arose when I was talking about this with WRWD group was the audience wouldn’t know who he is, I don’t think that is as big of a deal when it comes to the Rumble. A more hardcore wrestling fanbase tends to be in attendance for the 3 major shows a year: Summerslam, WrestleMania and Royal Rumble.
You also have the opportunity to do interviews and vignettes with him telling his story and introducing himself to the WWE audience. If Aldis is able to present himself as the “National Treasure” like he did in the NWA, I think he’d be the perfect person to help elevate the mid-card titles of the IC or U.S. titles. I think Aldis can help not only elevate those once prestigious workhorse titles, but also elevate the younger talent as well.
I think with the ideal place to put him would be in the U.S. title picture. I think he could fit perfectly in a feud with the current champion, Austin Theory and challenger, Seth Rollins. I truly believe these men could have tremendous chemistry together and could all be elevated by a program together.
I think if there is any black cloud over Aldis with anyone in WWE management, how he carries himself both on and off camera during this program could make or break his WWE run. WWE really has nothing to lose here as he could only help elevate Theory if he is willing to job to him. Having Theory pick up a win on a man that held the NWA World title for over 1,300 days does mean something and they need to acknowledge his NWA World title past.
I would have Aldis eventually win the U.S. title assuming he proves himself to the decision makers and I’d love for him to bring back the old school design of the title if they are allowed to use it. Even if it is just temporary for an angle that he represents honor and prestige and he is bringing that back to the U.S. title. A championship that was originally held by his trainer, the HOF legend, Harley Race. The reason to start him in the U.S. title hunt literally writes itself.
Assuming Nick Aldis is able to get over with the WWE audience and management he could certainly move over to world title picture. Nick Aldis is a talent that can certainly help any roster and elevate talent and championship. There are a number of talents in WWE such as Rollins, Theory, KO, Sami Zayn, Cody Rhodes etc. that he can have amazing programs and matches and segments with.
To be truly great in this business you need to not only get yourself over, but you also need to get your opponent over in the same match and segment. It’s about elevating and giving back to the business and Nick Aldis is the type of talent that could do that for WWE if given the opportunity in my opinion. I don’t believe it is a risk for any company whether it is WWE or AEW to take a gamble on Nick Aldis because he can bring value and make any roster better for being on it.
Photo Credits – NWA & WWE