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By Spencer Love on 2021-05-02 07:18:00

NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis joined Spencer Love for a wide-ranging  conversation detailing the return of the NWA, Mickie James, being a part of All In, “The  Question Mark” Josephus, and more. Highlights from the conversation can be found below in  anticipation of the full conversation’s release on Tuesday, May 4th. 

Trevor Murdoch and the rotating cast of the NWA 

SL: “I completely agree. I think it plays really, really well into what you've said before in that  the NWA is built around a solid few individuals, and then has this rotating cast of characters.  Even now you look at it, and a guy like Trevor Murdoch, who's always been a great wrestler, is  moving up onto the Nick Aldis level, which is a pretty good level to be on. What have you maybe  seen in him over the last little bit that's allowed him to take this step? And, then, is there anybody  else that you've got your eye on, or you see as a potential great addition to the rotating cast of  the NWA?" 

NA: “Well, I'm glad you mentioned Trevor because that's - one of the things that's almost really  become a calling card of the brand is we've taken the guys that didn't get the chance to really  showcase themselves to their fullest potential. Because of the somewhat cold-hearted nature of  wrestling, sometimes, it can be kind of like you’re written off. That's it. If you don't happen to  have the right connections, or you don't happen to appeal to the right type of fans, it's like your  skillset can be greatly underutilized. That was Trevor Murdoch. I've known Trevor since I went  to Harley's camp in 2007, and at the time, he was on the road with WWE at that time. In my  mind, I was like, 'wow, it's so cool that this guy's a WWE star, and he's taking his two days at  home off the road to come and help us. That's so cool.' To get it to come sort of full circle - we  didn't give him anything. He took it. All we did was say, 'I think you might be a good fit. It was  literally just one of the 'hey, what about Trevor Murdoch?' And Billy went, 'oh, yeah, that's a  good shout! Let's try him!' He walked out on that first episode of Powerrr, or I think it was the  first episode, and you could just feel the people in the building go 'oh, yeah,' because now the  shoe fits."  

SL: “He just resonates in that environment."

NA: “Finally, Cinderella found the right slipper. You know what I mean? It's like they go 'oh,  man, we kind of forgot about this guy, but yes! He's great. He's believable. He's a good worker,  and he fits so well in this. It was this sort of double whammy, right, this one-two punch where  people went 'oh, yeah, this guy's legit.' And then, they also went, 'oh, I'm starting to get a feeling  of what this show is going to be about, and what this brand is going to be about.' So it was this  kind of one-two [punch]. As much as I represent the NWA in many different ways - a lot of  people have been very kind and made some very lofty comparisons, and I won't share those. But,  I try to honor the sort of standard set by guys like [Ric] Flair and Nick Bockwinkel and Harley  [Race]. As much as I sort of appeal with that particular taste, Trevor appeals on the type of tastes  of people who like Dick the Bruiser, or Dusty Rhodes. That's really what we're about. We just  want really good pro wrestlers here. Good, solid, believable pro wrestlers, and Trevor, he's upper  echelon now and I'm sure he's going to prove it as we move forward."  

Strictly Business is Recruiting! 

SL: “I'm glad to hear that that much hasn't changed. But, of course, one thing that has changed:  Strictly Business is recruiting! Of course, you don't need to give me too much, people need to  tune into Powerrr as far as that goes. But, what do you look for in a Strictly Business recruit?  And, is there maybe anybody out there that's caught your eye or you're considering as a potential  recruit? I know, you've brought in some people to the NWA before, I know you've got a little bit of  pull on that. Who's Nick Aldis got his eye on?" 

NA: “Well, look, here's the thing: Strictly Business was a group that was kind of born out of my  real-life friendship with Tom Latimer and, obviously, my association with Kamille. Then, they  fell in love and developed their own real-life romance. So, I was like, 'look at this! It's worked  out great!' And so, it's kind of like our whole - I said it makes sense for us to be a group because  we all look out for each other's back. We're all going to be, and we all know, and I think this is  one of the reasons why for the most part I kind of - I think I'd like to say I have the respect of  most of the guys on the roster is that I am Strictly Business. If it's good for the company, if it's  going to help move us along, I'm gonna do it. As long as it doesn't hurt me, and that's the that's  okay, too.”  

NA: “I was having this conversation yesterday with a friend of mine who's in NXT. I said, 'you  know, somewhere along the line, people have sort of manipulated this narrative that it's wrong to  sort of look out for yourself.' And I'm like, 'no, it's absolutely necessary to look out for yourself.  That's why we're independent contractors.' I'm not saying you have to be difficult. I'm just saying  you have to - of course, you're thinking of yourself! You're your business product. I'm in the  retail business. My sports nutrition company, my supplement company,, we're  in the process right now where we're having some conversations with some major retailers. At  some point, the conversation is going to shift to like, positioning on the shelves, and how you  guys gonna put in, it's like, no one's sitting there going, like, 'Oh, he's not a team player! He's not  just happy to be in the store!' I'm gonna go there [and say] 'hey, why is my sh** on the top shelf in  the back corner? Put my sh** in the middle!' You know what I mean? It's the same. It's business!  Everyone should be vying to be like, 'I want to be in the main event. I want to be the world  champion!' I'm sitting there going, 'hey, I want you to try to be in it because it helps make me  better because I don't want you to take over my spot.' There's nothing wrong with that. It's not a popularity contest based on like, 'who's the nicest to the fans on the internet?' You know what I  mean? Or, 'who's the one who deserves it the most?' The guy who deserves it the most is the guy  who's going to help pull the wagon the best."  

SL: “Yeah. Like you've said before, the guy that pulls that wagon eventually does pull everybody  along with them, right? A rising tide raises all boats." 

NA: “Right. And so, in that respect, that's how Strictly Business was formed, because it was like,  you know, Tom Latimer is - we're going back to that dreaded overrated and underrated term. Tom  Latimer is, in my opinion, the most undervalued talent in the entire industry. This guy is - he's  got everything! He is the total package. He works circles around guys making 10 times the  money he makes. For me, it's like I want to take him and if I can help light that fire to him and be  like, 'you're considered a top guy in this business,' then I'm gonna do that. The business needs  him. Whoever I recognize as like the best guy, some people look at it as like, 'oh, that's  competition. Let's eliminate him, let's cut him off.' Or, if you're thinking about - if you're  confident in who you are, and you're comfortable in yourself, you look at that guy and go, 'we  need to get this guy on a rocket ship, boys because it's going to help the rest of us.'"  

NA: “As far as other people? I've mentioned a few times that I think that Joe Hennig would be a  good fit for NWA. I think he's a guy that was presented in a way that was certainly not  representative of what he offers [and] certainly not representative of his incredible lineage. But  again, where we talk about our values [of] legacy, tradition, we more than respect our elders, we  revere them. So, for a guy who's part of one of the greatest wrestling lineages of all time? Hey,  man, he could have a jacket. He could earn a jacket. And like, look, let's talk about Chris Adonis.  I've known Chris for a long time. I first booked him in India 10 years ago."  

SL: “Oh, very cool!” 

NA: “I found him to be insufferable when I first met this guy! I was like, 'who is this guy? He's  like a complete goof! He's so aloof. He's like a loudmouth jock, just not my cup of tea at all. I get  to know the guy, and I just go 'no, that's just his nature.' But, here's another guy - and I can relate  to this - he got a massive opportunity for WWE, got pushed so young, and just was not polished  and was not finished yet. He didn't have enough reps. It just was just, he just wasn't ready. People  had just sort of written him off, you know, like 'oh, he's ex-WWE.' He was in his early 20's when  he was there! Are you kidding me? Look at the median age of the WWE roster now. Most of the  champions are over 40, which is kind of funny when you consider, you know, Mickie's release  and all that. That's another story for another day. But, the point is, the maturity as a performer in  this business comes [in your] late 30s, early 40s. Throughout history, the best - every now and  then there's an exception. There are major anomalies. The Rock, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton.  There are others, Shawn Michaels. But, for the most part, the guys are doing their best work in  their late 30s, early 40s, because they found themselves, they've got respect, they've got a  gravitas to them, they've got a maturity to them, they look like grown men. They're people that  appeal across the board to children and adults alike. It's the sweet spot for wrestling, and for  whatever reason, people have sort of co-opted that and tried to compare it to real sports, like,  'what's the big problem? What's the major problem with the young guys?' They're not getting a  push, because they're not ready. They're not getting a push, because they've got three years'  experience. Do you have any idea how much experience you need to be f**king good at this? It's a lot! I've worked with a who's-who of wrestling, and I didn't even begin to find myself until I hit  30. And, by the time I hit 30, I'd wrestled Sting, AJ Styles Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode. Kurt  Angle!”


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