The increasingly heated rivalry between AEW and WWE has shifted where and how both companies market live events, says Nick Aldis. According to the multi-time World Champion, that presents exciting opportunities for the National Wrestling Alliance.
“It looks like the WWE and AEW’s strategy going forward is to focus less on smaller shows in smaller markets and put all their eggs in one basket for big stadium shows in major markets,” said Aldis during a recent interview exclusive to Wrestling Inc.
“That’s exciting to other organizations,” he continued, “These other markets can be tapped with enthusiastic and grateful fans.”
To his point, WWE’s touring schedule in the pandemic era has largely moved away from most secondary markets. AEW has focused on bigger venues and cities since resuming tours as well. This allows companies like NWA, Aldis says, to capitalize on “hidden gems” — smaller areas that have long loved and supported professional wrestling.
In recent months, NWA has done exactly that. St. Louis hosted the company’s August NWA Empowerrr and NWA 73 pay-per-views. November saw NWA’s By Any Means Necessary PPV broadcast from Oak Grove, KY. This month NWA returned to its Georgia home for Hard Times 2 and most recent television tapings.
“Atlanta has been tremendous for the launch of the show,” he said, offering a “really loud, boisterous and outspoken” studio audience for the first several seasons of NWA Powerrr. However, Aldis implies the company hits the road again soon.
He states the upcoming Crockett Cup is “penciled in” for Nashville. Other markets before and after have not been mentioned but are likely. None of this is to slight NWA’s stronghold in the Peach State, he points out.
“You never want to outstay your welcome,” Aldis says, reminding fans it’s a lesson he learned first-hand during six years with TNA/Impact Wrestling. During that time, the company’s “Impact Zone” was based exclusively at Universal Studios.
“I was there during the peak Universal years,” Aldis reminds fans. “There’s no doubt, from a lifestyle perspective, it’s really nice to be in the same place all the time — but it’s not conducive to a dynamic and exciting fan interaction.”
Fan interaction is an area that makes NWA stand out, he says. According to Aldis, Audiences are treated as “the No. 1 priority” — something he feels “should be obvious” in a competitive business.
“Any wrestling company that isn’t WWE or AEW needs to operate in a way that is very, very fan-oriented,” he says. “You really have to go above and beyond to create messaging that says, ‘Hey, when you buy a ticket to come to this event, you’re going to have a great time, and we’re going to have a great time with you. We appreciate it.’”
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