|>> || Daily DDT spoke with Nick Aldis to get his candid thoughts on why the NWA is destination viewing, what led to his departure from IMPACT, why WWE is no longer his endgame, almost signing with AEW earlier this year, and much more. |
this is long, here are some highlights: https://dailyddt.com/2019/07/18/nick-aldis-aew-impact-wrestling-nwa/
>I was looking and felt that every wrestling company was going after the same audience. Everyone was going after the discerning fan that’s a lifer for wrestling, and I think that numbers have proven that if you cater to that fan base, you lose the rest. I think there’s a sweet spot where you can satisfy everyone.
>The proliferation of social media and wrestling fans’ insatiable appetite for opinion to bring down the number one wrestling leads to a culture that unfortunately can exclude a lot of the more casual fans and I think that’s necessarily fair.
>I don’t think any one person’s dollar is more valuable than another’s, but I cherish and respect the fans that just watch once a week and don’t engage in social media about it and don’t write blogs about it and talk with other fans about it just as much as I do those fans.
>I can tell you for a fact that TNA and in particular Dixie [Carter] had a hugely disproportionate view of what the Twitter conversation represented in the wider audience because they represented at the time one-third of our overall audience.
>Around 2010-2011, the product told them “All that stuff you liked that made TNA unique? You don’t want that anymore.” And we lost them. We never got them back. Twitter is very easy to manipulate to make it look like you’re doing better than you really are. “Look, we’re trending!”
>It’s not equally converted to Pay-Per-View buys and merchandise buys and things like that. What it can do is maintain loyalty with a portion of our audience is creates a false sense of security and a bit of a pathway to laziness and that’s certainly what happened with IMPACT....
>I’ll tell you the truth: I was made an offer by AEW. I counter-offered with, “I’d like to be able to do both.” I’d like to work with them because obviously I have great admiration for Cody and the Bucks for what they’ve been able to do. But I wasn’t prepared to walk away from the two years of work I’ve done with the NWA. And that was that. I left it open with, “If you can find a way to keep doing this and do your show, I’ll do your show.”
>They essentially wanted to offer me a contract and have me walk away from what I’m doing here and I said that doesn’t make any sense to me. Really, there’s no reason to. It’s just a hangover from the way things have always been done. Obviously, we hear this “Change the World” phrase a lot, but that was my pitch to them. “If you really want to change the world, why can’t we do that?”
>Because that really would be a change for one guy to work there but also come here. I’m still on very good terms with Cody and the Bucks and I had a very nice conversation with Tony [Khan] and everyone was aware of it. Billy and Dave were aware of it.
>At the time, my stance was if I can do both, then I’ll do it and I think that as it shakes out and everyone starts to realize the demand that will be on them with cable TV and stuff like that, those possibilities will be way more apparent in the next coming year for some guys.....
>Before we knew it, we had this sort of thing where I was going to defend the title on four different continents in one year and then suddenly you realize we achieved what we wanted to do with the NWA which was the traditional values with a modern delivery system.
>I could be the traveling champion and put it out there with Ten Pounds of Gold and documented it and put it out in different ways like packages instead of going, “Here are the results, he defended the title here, blah blah blah.” We show clips and we made packages. We showed me traveling all over the world. That’s just effort. That’s not money.
>Okay, there’s a little bit of money involved and Dave Lagana just so happened to fly with me and bring all of his equipment and shoot and edit everything, but Dave’s running the company. Compared to hiring a sound stage and getting a load of people and a load of wrestlers and a load of events, the cost of that is minimal, but we were amount to able create something that was a body of work. Not just me, but the entire NWA that is now usable and can be built off of.
>It puts us in a very strong position, especially now we head into the rest of the year with AEW and WWE moving to FOX. There’s going to be some real monumental shifts happening in the entire business. Ring of Honor is going to be in trouble and IMPACT is going to be in trouble and it’s no secret that there’s only so many hours in a day they can spend watching wrestling and only so many dollars they can spend, they’re going to make a decision....
>I had a big hand in bringing Eli Drake into the NWA. He had at least two other offers, one from one of the companies you mentioned, and one from Ring of Honor. Dave made his pitch and Dave asked me to call him and basically tell him my experience because Eli saw what we had done with me and said, “I want that.” Why wouldn’t you? I called him and we had a good talk and I told him what I thought this could be for him long-term.
>He’s a few years older than me, he’s 36 and I’m 32 and I’ve always had one eye on the future post-wrestling and I’m sure he kind of has that too because he’s a creative guy, he’s a smart guy with a good business brain and I’m sure he wants to have an option or at least the opportunity to work in behind-the-scenes role going forward if he wants to do that and it’s a seat at the table....
>I’m just going to say it. I have a vision of eventually headlining Starrcade with the ten pounds of gold on the line, but Starrcade currently belongs to WWE. That to me would be the pinnacle, my crowning achievement for the body of work I’ve done with this with this brand and this championship. To me, the two perfect-world opponents for that would be Randy Orton or Triple H, based on the historical significance of it.