TNA's Magnus Talks Destination America Changes, Social Media, TNA's Most Promising New Star, More

Nick Aldis, better known to TNA fans as Magnus, recently spoke with regarding a variety of subjects. In the second portion of our interview below, he talks about TNA's move to Destination America, his views on the role of social media in the wrestling business and he shres his opinions on which member of TNA's roster is an up-and-coming star. You can read the first installment of our interview with Magnus at this link. We'll be posting the third and final part of our interview later in the week.


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It looks like things are going to be very different in TNA under their new deal with Destination America. How do you feel about the move to a new home on television and the changes that fans are already hearing about from marketing strategies, to possible roster additions to less?or even no?blood in matches? How do you feel about there being a paradigm shift or a new approach on the horizon?

I don't know that much about it, to be honest. I had a conference call with Creative last week (date of interview) and I had a long conversation with one of the Vice Presidents this week. I always take a keen interest in this kind of thing and I said, 'Look, you can tell me as much as you want to tell me but, what's the business model now and what do they want? What do they like? What are we dealing with?' You know, to prepare myself.


I think what's going to happen?or at least my impression of it?is that I think visually the show is going to be pretty similar but I think that there's going to be more of a streamlined kind of approach. Now I know that's one of those words that gets thrown around and it's like, 'Okay, what you mean is budget cuts or whatever.' But I don't really know that much about that side of things. Time will tell because I have no idea what the Discovery family or what Destination America or anyone else?what they see.

I do remember them being at a TV taping a long time ago checking out the show and stuff. Obviously they like what they see. The main event of the first show has already been set (Lashley/Roode III), so clearly they're happy with some of the direction. But I think with the other stuff, taking a break and having almost like a season end?which I've always thought is kind of doable for wrestling and maybe we would benefit from taking a little break every know and then?it gives everyone a chance to have a fresh start.

All I can do is I'll just show up and I'm bringing a lot of new ideas to the table. I feel great, I'm in the best shape ever and I'm still learning and improving all the time. I just turned 28. I don't think I know everything. I don't even know a lot. But I do think I'm getting good at it.


Let's talk a little about your style and how you work in the ring. It seems like your approach or style shifted considerably in the year or so since you lost the strap. Particularly in your work with Bram, you've been involved in some hardcore-style, heavy hitting work. What do you prefer when it comes to in-ring work? Traditional grappling, fast-paced, explosive work or hardcore, smash mouth fighting?

Well, I think there's a place for the hardcore stuff. For the weapons and all that. I mean, I don't mind doing it but it's easy. And I certainly don't mean to imply that I am disparaging guys who have absolutely sacrificed their bodies for incredible moments like Mick Foley, Terry Funk, some of the ECW guys and stuff. But for me it's pretty easy to get a reaction when you go out and you have a lot of weapons. I like to tell stories. Maybe even because I don't do a lot of high-flying, I don't do a lot of flips or sort of meaningless spots. There are spots that sometimes I'm not necessarily credited as much as I could be perhaps because of my ability to tell stories. For example, I was really proud of the match that AJ and I had back in Saint Louis in late 2013?the BFG final. I was proud of it because we told a really unique story. I think AJ is really underrated in that regard. I mean, he is phenomenally talented but I don't think he's often credited for what a good storyteller he is. But he does a lot of amazing stuff, but he also does it in the right places. And also, the return match that EY and I had for the title after he won it at TV, we had a return match at the pay-per-view and we were really put in a kind of unwinnable situation because there had been a tables match and then a last man standing match and then we were told, 'Go out and have a wrestling match.' Like, with no gimmicks, no nothing, none of that. Which is kind of ironic because that's what I wanted to do when I had the title. But we did it. And that was in Orlando, too, where they (the Impact Zone audience) had become very conditioned. And I was very proud of that in that respect, too, because we told a really good story.


With that distinction in mind between the storytelling and the hardcore stuff, what does someone like you learn from rubbing elbows and locking up with guys like Tommy Dreamer, Devon and Bully Ray?

I try and learn from everybody that I work with. Certainly, those three that you've mentioned?Bully ray in particular?have had a really good career, good longevity, and they've managed to reinvent themselves. Not completely reinvent themselves but to be bold. But ultimately, those three guys are obviously big disciples of Paul Heyman and he was a genius of getting the most out of somebody. The thing with wrestling is: go out and get a reaction. If you're supposed to be a bad guy, go out and make everybody dislike you. And if you're supposed to be a good guy, go out and make everybody 'pop.' Those three guys have always been able to do that in some respect.

Anybody who gets over, I try and learn from. And I think to that point, one of the things that's sort of difficult now is that?for me perhaps?I sort of wonder if it's a bit of my own success that I was a heel who was legitimately disliked. I think that sometimes it kind of gets forgotten that that's the plan. If you go back and look at the U.K. TV tapings in 2013 where I was a babyface, I got one of the biggest babyface reactions of the night?if not the biggest. Don't hold me to that, but I was there and so was Hogan, who, by the way, when I came back was like, 'That was the biggest pop of the night.' Then fast forward to one year later at the TV tapings in the UK in 2014?bearing in mind I'd just won the world title and I was the first Brit to do that?they were terrified that I was going to go out and just get a 'pop.' They were terrified of that?that I was going to get a huge babyface reaction and it was going to kill off Joe and all this kind of thing. And I said, 'You're crazy, especially when it comes to Joe.' I remember saying to them, 'If you're worried about me getting a babyface reaction, then I need to work with Joe' because Joe is always going to be over and Joe is incredibly popular in the UK.' So I said to them, I will go out and get a heel reaction.' I'm not afraid to go out? you know, in my home country? I mean, what the f–k is that? It's not my hometown; it's a whole country! Americans wrestling in America don't go, 'Oof! I'm worried I'm going to get a big reaction here because I'm American.' I said, 'These fans in the UK are invested in the characters and the product. They're invested in my character. So, I'm confident I'm going to go out and I'm going to be a hated heel because they're going to think that I've disgraced them.' So much so, in fact, that people sent in letters to my local newspaper. So I'd said earlier that kayfabe was dead? Not according to some of the fans in King's Lynn who sent angry letters to the local newspaper saying, 'I can't believe you'd cover the fact that he won the world title. He cheated! He's aligned himself with Dixie Carter!'


So, it worked. But I somehow, sort of think it became a kind of black mark where they were like, 'Oh. The fans don't like him.' I need to be unequivocal when I say this: social media has been blown so wildly out of proportion in terms of its importance for the business. It's taken so seriously and really crazy. There's no correlation between the increase in emphasis on social media and ticket sales, television ratings, merchandise sales. There is no correlation. So in other words, I treat social media, for what I think everyone should; as like a little instant focus group. You take all of the crazies and you eliminate them, then you take the good the bad and the ugly and all the rest of it and you start to see a common thread.

Having been to the top yourself, who are some of the best workers in TNA right now in your opinion? Who are some guys that haven't made it to the top yet but will likely get there soon?

It's going to be an obvious one?and this doesn't really do me any favors to say it because he'll become in a lot of ways almost like a kind of competition for me, but Bram is excellent. But then, they know that I think that because I was the one who got them to sign him. I was the one who, when WWE let him go, I said, 'You need to look at him. You need to take a look at this guy. He is, legit, one of my best friends, he's really great and they don't know what they're missing. And you should take a look at him.' In the end, they said, 'Yes, we love the fact that you guys are legitimately friends and we want to use that to introduce him,' and they pretty much said, 'We need you to get him over,' and I said, 'No problem.'


He still needs to fine-tune. He needs to learn how to pick his moments. He's still in that stage?he's in a really fun stage where you're just really establishing yourself. Where you're just going, 'This is who I am" and giving everybody everything every time he goes out, which is absolutely fine at this stage. But he needs to start showing some layers. Once he does that I think there are infinite possibilities for him.

As far as who I think are best in the company, I still think Joe is just so good in anything. I'll say this: nobody has done more for me than Joe as a performer, first as a tag team opponent and then as an opponent. He just got me so much better and continued to do so. Like, with little pearls of wisdom all the time and a real authority in the dressing room, which you need at times like this and he's just the guy for that.

You can follow Nick Aldis on Twitter via @MagnusOfficial and visit his personal website at

Please check out the first installment of our interview with Magnus at this link and look for the third and final part of our interview later in the week.