TNA's Magnus Talks Fatherhood, Career Milestones, His Controversial Run As TNA Champ, More

Nick Aldis, better known to TNA fans as Magnus, recently spoke with regarding a variety of subjects, including his experiences as a new parent, recent events in his career, his future goals inside the ring and beyond, and much more. Below is the first part of our interview with Magnus and we'll be posting parts two and three next week.


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

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Nick, you're a dad now. For the folks who don't know, you and Mickie James welcomed your first child, a son, into the world earlier this year. Has parenthood, with all the emotions and responsibilities that come with it, changed how you approach work in the ring?

I don't know if I can really answer that fully yet because I've really only wrestled a handful of times since Donovan was born. None of those have been TNA shows because of the structure of what TV tapings and everything. We put all of our TV tapings in the can. They actually did all of those tapings in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania right before he was born; it was like the week before he was born. So, I've really only done a handful of shows back in the U.K. and in Ireland since then. I did do one in North Carolina recently and he was actually there. Mickie was on the card. It was the WrestleCade weekend and she was on the girls' show and I was on the evening show for PWX.


I'm sure in the back of my mind, I'm thinking about staying healthy and being injury-free. But then, I think I've always tried to be smart and save the risky stuff or save the big bumps or whatever for when it's important or when it's financially viable. I think anyone who is somewhat successful in the business has to sort of think that way a little bit. But I don't think it's affected the way that I approach my work in the ring.

Looking back on the past two years, your work in TNA has brought about some noteworthy achievements. You won the TNA world title in late 2013 and carried that well into 2014. In 2014, you were ranked as the #8 wrestler worldwide by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Now, you've been wrestling since 2005; do you feel like your journey from working relatively small promotions in the UK to one of the top-ranked wrestlers in the world as well as being a world champion was a pretty fast journey or was it too slow for your liking?

Well, for my liking it was too slow but that's because I'm always putting tons of pressure on myself. I've always had little things?like I wanted to do certain things by the time I was 25 and I've wanted to do certain things by the time I was 30. One of the things I said once I got into the wrestling was that I need to be a world champion in a significant company before I'm 30 because you only get so many days on this earth and I need to make them count. I had just turned 27 won the title and I was somewhat pleased with that and I had certain financial goals as far as stability and security that I had in mind and some of those I've been able to achieve in some degree, as well. I do always put a huge amount of pressure on myself and I'm doing so more than ever after 2014 because, honestly I was spinning my wheels a little bit. There's multiple reasons for that. But I'm looking at things now and saying, well, I just turned 28 and I've got 2 years before I'm 30. A lot of people are probably thinking, "30? That's nothing!" but for me it's a significant thing.


I mean, I was pleased with the achievements. I think that there are anomalies in the business?like Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, even Shawn Michaels back in the day?who come in and get it and catch on really quick. But overall, they're very few and far between and I think that when I look at it realistically I think that by the time I was given the responsibility?because that's what it is, a responsibility of being champion?I think I'd probably put in my 10,000 hours, and I'm a big believer in that. So I thought, that's right?you know what I mean? I'd pretty much been in the business almost exactly 10 years by that time. I just happened to get into it young. I got into it when I was 17. I broke into it with Ricky Knight who is Paige's dad. I broke in really with that whole family because the whole family is in wrestling. So overall when I think about it now, I think that was a good timeline. And I think, obviously, I have achieved other things along the way that I am very proud of as well.

Let's talk about your reign as world champ a little. In your recent interview with Fighting Spirit Magazine, you're somewhat critical of TNA's booking decisions after you won the heavyweight title. From outward appearances, it just seemed like you slid into the role of a cowardly heel that didn't want to fight to defend the title but you've indicated there were different considerations at work here. Can you explain that a bit?


Sure. I want to clarify that: I've always loved that heel persona. I'm a huge Ric Flair guy and I always loved the way he did it. In a lot of ways, Triple H was a very heavy influence on me early on and still is, and when I really became a fan of the business and really sank my teeth into it was when he was that cusp of becoming the torchbearer and he always did that really well.

I think that it's easy to say that I'm critical of the booking or whatever you want to call it. We live in an age where kayfabe is long gone but I still believe in trying to maintain suspension of disbelief. You still have to care about your credibility, regardless of the fact that I have to do whatever I'm asked by the person that's writing the checks. You still have the responsibility as an independent contractor to protect yourself and protect your credibility. So that was really my issue; that I felt like it didn't make sense at this point it was very hard to build my credibility, for it to just evaporate before my eyes. But ultimately, I've always done what was asked of me. I always did business, even when it came to EY (Eric Young), I was more than happy to do business for him and I think I did business for him very well.


What you're referring to is the concussion. Those shows during that period were taped. They were aired weeks and weeks apart but they happened in the span of a few days. So on the night that I won the title in a cage match, in a cage/ladder match with Jeff (Hardy) I got a concussion. I'd never had one before. Never had one since. I'm totally fine, totally healthy. It was hard and I want to say, too, that it was absolutely my own fault. It had nothing to do with Jeff. Jeff was phenomenal. Jeff's a phenomenal performer and I love my matches with him. We had one in Roanoke Rapids for the One Night Only pay-per-view?which I don't think has aired yet?but that as my favorite match ever.

But (the concussion) actually happened very early on in the (title) match. I've watched it back since because I've thought of it like, 'Did that really happen??' He does that head scissors out of the corner where he kind of goes up and over to get on your shoulders. You know, I was nervous and probably a little 'cement legs'?because that's what happens to me when I get nervous?and I just happened to get my foot kind of jammed in the canvas a little, which can happen sometimes; you can sometimes plant your feet a little too much. I just kind of turned a little too late because I like to try and delay it a little to make it look believable and I pretty much just kind bonked myself right on my own head. Just kind of gave myself a huge DDT. You kind of don't see it. It looks pretty much like the particular move is normal. But as soon I did it, I just felt like my head was sand or something. I couldn't hear or anything. I felt like everyone had left the building. It was just eerie. Just very, very odd. For a minute I just felt like, 'Oh, I've gone blank. I just can't remember ?I can't think of anything.' ?And then it hit me like, I had actually gone blank for a reason.


Jeff absolutely helped me through the whole thing. I regained some semblance of?you know, some of it was instinct and some of it was Jeff. I remember just kind of grabbing him at one point and saying, 'I hit my head. I'm messed up and I don't know what's going on.' He was just like, 'Oh man! Are you okay?' and I'm like, 'Yeah? We've got work to do.' And everything, to the best of my knowledge?I can't remember, obviously?but I think we pretty much did what we had mapped out. I can't really remember anything that got changed or anything like that. But I took a few more bumps after that and Jeff?God bless him?he still did 'Whisper in the Wind' off the top of the cage and he put his trust in me when I was loopy but I was there for him and everything, thank God.

Anyway, when we did everything we were supposed to do and Jason Hervey was there and he grabbed me for an interview. I have no recollection of doing it at the time. None whatsoever. But now I've watched it a few times and it's actually one of my favorite interviews I've ever done. It's really good. I have no recollection of doing it at the time. Did the interview, turned around, Scott D'More had come down for the show because he was representing me at the time as my agent. He had come down because he'd done the same thing for Bobby (Roode) when he won the title and (Chris) Sabin, so Scott was there and another guy who was a medic... His name was also Scott. My memory of them is making a beeline through this crowd of people and just walking right up to me and Scott looking at me and saying, 'What's your name?' and "How many fingers am I holding up? Where are you right now?' And a few people were looking at him like, 'What are you doing? And he said, 'He's hurt bad. I can tell.' It was then people started realizing.


So obviously, we had a problem because the next day? they had decided to wrap up business with AJ (Styles). My own personal take on it is I don't understand why they felt they had to do it considering their concern. I felt like they could've just not done it. But anyway, that's just me. It was a tough situation. I was going to compete in the ring and I have to say that to TNA's credit, Bob Ryder had an impact, coming in straight away and did all the stuff. They monitored me and all that kind of thing. They pretty much said,
You need to go home and not do anything for at least a week. Maybe two.' I obviously said, 'We need to do something.' I wasn't physically able to really do anything and on top of that, I wouldn't have felt comfortable putting another wrestler in danger like that. Especially someone like AJ, where you really have to be there for him. He and I have had good matches in the past. I just didn't want to do that to him. I apologized because I was disappointed in the way things turned out but I really wished we could've had a good match. But it was what we had to do and it was what they decided. They decided what was the best course of action to try and cover it up. I wasn't really in any kind of position to have an opinion on that. They could've just said, 'We'll just take the title off of you and forget about it.' They could've done anything. I really wasn't in the position at that point to say, 'I don't think we should do this.' Plus I was just loopy. I didn't know what was going on.


Have you gotten any grief from TNA management about the FSM interview or for sharing your opinions about this situation publicly?

No. It was implied to me?I won't say by who ?but it was implied to me early on, after it happened, that, you know? 'People can't know about this.' And I always thought that was kind of unnecessary. But then I did let them know ahead of time because people have never stopped asking me about that ever since. I think it's fair to me and I think it's fair to the company to explain that were in a tough situation and we had to do what we had to do. And that was that, really. But it's a double-edge sword because the show ended up rating really well and I think it was a combination of that and Spike executives liking the fact that that it rated really well. They had a lot of influence over the project. It was implied to me that there was sort of a little bit of pressure on them of 'Hey, we should do more like that because people really seemed to like that. Obviously I didn't think that was the right course of action but it pretty much changed the course of my character or my story but it wasn't my favorite. At this point, I've just kind of dusted myself off and just kind of moved on. But at the time I was very frustrated.


Make sure to check back next week for the second part of our interview, in which Nick discusses TNA's move to Destination America, his thoughts on one of TNA's best up-and-coming wrestlers and his experiences working with ECW originals like Tommy Dreamer and Bully Ray.