During this time of uncertainty, Aron Stevens works to stay positive. These days the NWA star has been reading on various subjects and taking time out to reflect on his journey.
“I think one of the best things to come from all this is people are reconnecting with people that they haven’t really talked to or been involved with in a long time,” he said. “Even friends and family members. I have a very close family. I’m very lucky, but there are some people I haven’t talked to in a while. We really reconnected, so it’s good…I try to be a realist with overtones of optimism. Is this an ideal situation for everyone? No, but there are seeds of positivity scattered, which is a good way to look at it I think.”
His advice to his fellow peers and fans alike is to take things one day at a time. Sevens is taking the mindset that this rough patch will pass.
“This is an unprecedented situation that we’re in as a planet really,” he said. “All areas are impacted, pro wrestling is no different. Across the board everyone is going through this. There are some financial setbacks. Using this time off, I tend to believe once this is under control, and it will be under control eventually. People are going to be starving for entertainment. They are going to be starving to go out. I think NWA is going to be right there to help fulfill that.”
The National Wrestling Alliance made the conscious decision to postpone its Powerr tapings, as well as the upcoming Crockett Cup. Stevens can’t wait to return to the company that he says reinvigorated his passion for pro wrestling. At one point the former WWE superstar Damien Sandow saw himself completely done with the business after a run with Impact Wrestling didn’t pan out the way he envisioned.
“What happened with Impact, when there was the administrative shift shall we say. I was there about six months, and during that time I developed a really good friendship with Billy Corgan. Things didn’t work out, but out of that the NWA was born,” Stevens recalled. “When I took time off, I thought about sitting out for a month. Then I thought that I couldn’t in good conscience come back and sort of just be half stance. That’s why I stopped because I owe it to the fans to give everything I have when I’m out there. With the NWA a couple of years passed, I got a call. They told me about the concept. I was actually in Hawaii filming a TV show. I thought, ‘You know what? It’s a couple of days. I’ll get to see my friends again.’ I remember walking into the studio and was completely hooked,”
He soaked in the old school feel of the classic NWA. Stepping into Center Stage gave him a sense of welcome nostalgia and reminded him why he became a fan in the first place.
“I looked at the announce table and immediately thought about the Four Horsemen with all their titles and everything. Conceptually, NWA is such a, I don’t want to say new because it really embraces tradition. But the in-ring action is very up-to-date and current. As far as the template, it is an easy to follow show. You know who the characters are. Everyone has a little something going on in terms of storyline. Everyone has an opportunity. It’s just so refreshing to me in this environment.”
The handshake agreement between Stevens and the NWA has benefited both parties. It’s a collaborative effort where the National champion feels his improv skills are embraced.
“As long as you keep it with the margins of what you’re supposed to be doing in terms of driving a storyline forward and not breaking any FCC regulations, that freedom is so wonderful,” he said. “I wish people would take more advantage of it or at least try it. Not everything is going to work the first time. It’s trial and error. When you do it a few times, you get I call it character fluid. I can go and be a Hollywood actor my first time there. Then a few tapings later I’m a karate man. At the same time, no matter what gimmick or what you’re wearing, the fans know that it’s you.”
He uses the example back in WWE where people bought in whether he was Sandow or The Miz’s stunt double or Abraham Lincoln. The constant for him in their eyes was the performer behind the character.
“There were times where they tried to take my freedom away. ‘Don’t do anything, but we’re telling you to do,’ which is funny because I don’t remember them saying that to anyone else,” Stevens said. “Now in the NWA it’s a wonderful experience to be able to know it was okay. I don’t have to worry about going to the back and someone saying that wasn’t in the script. It’s a great place to be. I don’t want to be one-sided. I also have a chance to improv in other organizations I work for too. Just not as much as NWA.”
Aron’s full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.