Wrestling Inc. President Raj Giri recently sat down with NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis to discuss NWA's plans for the rest of 2020. Aldis is set to take on Mike Bennett for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship tonight on the United Wrestling Network, and Aldis spoke about the NWA's new partnership on The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast.
"Well, our focus now is primarily on Primetime Live with United Wrestling Network," Aldis stated. "So that opportunity was presented to us kind of as a combined unit. Thunder Studios in Long Beach, CA, it's a really cool facility, and the opportunity to have a time slot every week live on FITE and on in demand PPV seemed like a way to ease back in to doing some shows that we can basically focus on our core audience and ask for a small PPV for sort of key match-ups that we want to book and promote.
"And then it gives us a vehicle to make the kind of content that has sort of defined the NWA pre-Powerrr, very much sort of in the build videos, in the long form kind of doc series like 10 Pounds of Gold. So we're sort of getting back to a condensed model. A variation of that but on a more kind of regular basis.
Aldis elaborated more on NWA shifting it's focus back to telling more focused, personal stories believing that Bennett has an interesting story to tell and that NWA can best tell that story. He noted that NWA has done the same with Tim Storm and himself and notes that NWA Powerrr would not have been as impactful without the kind of storytelling that was done on the 10 Pounds of Gold series.
"So for example, this first one, we're going ahead with with myself and Mike Bennett in the main event," Aldis said. "We felt like Mike had an interesting story to tell, and that's really what we've always tried to do in the space to make ourselves different is to pick the guys that we feel have the unique story to tell and tell it in a way that other shows are not always able to do because they've got to try to fit so many guys into so many segments with a set schedule. We don't have that.
"We have the ability to kind of luxuriate on a story like we did with Tim Storm or with me or with other people that we've worked with, and and that's proven to be the way that's been successful for us because ultimately, people gotta care about you before they pay to see you or before they watch your show. If we would have come right out of the blocks with Powerrr, the show still would have received an amount of critical acclaim because because of the quality and the production and the uniqueness of it compared to all the other stuff being done, but it wouldn't have had the same impact because they wouldn't have cared about the key characters, they would have cared about me, Tim, you know Camille and later on in Thunder Rosa and other people that we've been able to kind of build off of that.
"And we did that starting with the 10 Pounds of Gold series. My whole thing on wrestling has always been I'd rather have one match that people care about than ten matches that nobody cares about."
This past summer saw David Lagana resign as NWA VP amidst sexual assault allegations made towards him. His departure leaves a big hole in terms of production, but Aldis pointed out that he was heavily involved himself and he credits the many other people at NWA would helped contribute to NWA and Powerrr. He stated that NWA is more than just one person and that everyone has input on creative decisions, but notes that NWA President Billy Corgan has final say.
"I was heavily involved anyway. I don't think that's any secret," Aldis noted. "The only that I've taken more of an active role in since David's departure is some of the actual physical production of stuff simply because we've defined a certain style for ourselves, and we sort of realized in our period of inactivity that it was going to take just as long again to find somebody with the skill set but then also to kind of get them up to speed on how we tell the story because previously, the relationship was basically a lot of it, I would describe in my mind's eye. What I could see and then David would put it into action.
"Now, I'm certainly not doing it alone, but I've taken more of an active role in that. The NWA was never one person. We had some incredible production talent working on Powerrr and working on post-production like Karen Tran, Billy Trask, Dan Schram and Ary Dalton. A lot of it is just sort of piecing together the input from different people, and obviously, it's all overseen by Billy. Billy has the final say on everything. Billy's the the overriding kind of creative vision."
Aldis spoke more on the role he has taken in NWA saying that while he has enjoyed his new role in the NWA, he still wants to keep things separate as a talent. He also pointed out that if he was in it for himself, then he would have signed with AEW a long time ago highlighting his dedication to the NWA.
"I've taken on more of a role, but that's out of necessity, and I'm enjoying it, but obviously, we still want to try and maintain some of that separation of church and state, you know as a talent, but I think at the moment, I think everyone kind of gives us a pass on that because one, I think I've proven that I don't think that anyone's looking at me and thinking that I'm sort of operating exclusively on my own interests," Aldis explained. "I think if I was, I think I would have taken the offer to go to AEW. So I think that there's an understanding there. I kind of planted my flag in the ground with this entity for as long as we can survive and thrive."
Aldis later talked about the NWA's new partnership and his involvement as a broadcaster in not just pro wrestling but also boxing and MMA. He talked more about how the partnership came together and how he has enjoyed his work as a broadcaster as it challenges himself in a new endeavor.
"It really stemmed from the initial discussions for Primetime Live, which will be our partnership with them and United Wrestling starting on September 15 on FITE, and it stems from that because they basically called me to verify that I was going to be involved. Again, very flattering. They felt like it was important that I was involved for them to sort of to take this on, and then the conversation kind of shifted to my aspirations to work as a broadcaster. And Mike Webber who's the COO of FITE, he and I have known each other for years dating back to when he worked at TNA. So he knew that I had some aspirations to work in broadcasting, and he'd seen some of it.
"And he basically offered me the job and just said we've got a lot more stuff going on, and we want somebody presentable, articulate, camera-ready, who knows industry, knows enough and carries enough gravitas and credibility to talk to people in boxing and MMA and even other sports. And that was what really excited me because if it was just to cover pro wrestling, I probably wouldn't have been that interested because it would have felt strange for me to be covering the genre that I'm sort of so heavily involved in as a talent, but I'm a big boxing fan, a big MMA fan, and I've always had a view to getting into broadcasting, particularly sports.
"So it's a perfect sort of foray into that endeavor for me. I've got a couple under my belt already. I talked to Carlos Molina last week ahead of a boxing event happening in Mexico on Mexican Independence Day weekend, and then I talked to Go Shiozaki ahead of the NOAH N-1 victory. So yeah, it's been it's been fun. It's another string to my bow. I like to stay busy and challenge myself."
Aldis will defend the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship defense against Mike Bennett at UWN's Primetime Live PPV debut tonight, September 15th. The event will air live on FITE.tv. His full interview 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.