Is AEW still an option for Nick Aldis?
There’s a long-standing tradition in professional wrestling of having a top guy feud with the booker. WWE drew money from the angle when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin went to war with Mr. McMahon, Vince Russo got into heated angles with, well, pretty much everyone really, to the point where Impact had to fire him when fans caught wind that he was part of their creative team, and Tony Khan may or may not be pulling off the same storyline with MJF in the not-too-distant future.
And yet, when things get real, and that animosity works itself into a shoot, things can get incredibly heated, especially when a wrestler comes ready with receipts.
That situation, fortunately or not, came into full effect within the ranks of the NWA, as Nick Aldis, the promotion’s longest-running champion, decided to get into it with his booker, The Smashing Pumpkins lead singer/guitarist Billy Corgan, after a longstanding pattern of less-than-ideal behavior, as you can read below via an appearance on Busted Open Radio as dictated by Fightful.
“My first year with the NWA, an entire year, we’re talking the Ten Pounds of Gold Series, traveling all over the world. Tommy is well aware of this because he is a promoter who booked me. The entire time I was doing that, do you know how much money I received from the NWA? Try 0. Try zip. My earnings as a professional wrestler came from the promoters who wanted to book me because the fans wanted to see me defend that belt. I was working without a contract. All In, one of the most significant pro wrestling shows of the last decade, I didn’t sell those tickets, but by the time we got there, I was in the match people wanted to see. I had no contract. If I had been a ‘politicker,’ do you not think I would have said, ‘Hey brother, there are 11,000 people here and I’m in the match you guys came to see. I think I’m going to need a little cheddar or might need something here because this doesn’t work for me, brother.’ If I was a politicker, do you not think I might have been able to call Stamford and say, ‘I don’t have a contract.’ Everything is riding on this and here I am, you need me to facilitate this moment you want. I didn’t do that because I love and respect this business and I’m a man of my word.”
Yikes! Now, if that was the end of the story, that, as they say, would be that, but it wasn’t; no, after eluding to “call(ing) Stamford,” where WWE is headquartered, Aldis delivered another piece of information that is very interested indeed.
“In 2019, I was given the opportunity to jump on the train with Tony Khan. Tony was very gracious to me. He gave me a phone call and we had a good conversation. Out of loyalty and gratitude, I decided to stay. I guess the train doesn’t stop twice. Now that I look back, who knows. That gets thrown back in my face. For what?”
Hmm… you don’t say? While AEW is in a very different spot in 2022 than it was in 2019, is there still a spot in the promotion for Aldis, the man once known as the “Face of NWA?”
There should still be a place in AEW for Nick Aldis.
What is Nick Aldis in a wrestling ring? Is he a heel or a babyface? Well, while he has worked as both in the past, at his core, Aldis is a certified heel, as he highlighted on the A2D Champion podcast. Aldis worked like the cocky final boss of the NWA Universe over his 1,309 combined days with the belt, demolishing the 34 challengers who came for his belt during his second, 1,000-plus day reign, and when he ultimately lost the strap to Trevor Murdoch, he continued on as a heelish force within Billy Corgan’s promotion, turning his attention onto the Cardona Family of Matt, Chelsea Green, and Brian Meyers.
Now, does AEW really need another heel? Eh, not really. Does AEW need another cocky heel who came into the promotion feeling like he’s better than everyone else and then pushing everyone around? If that happens, Christian Cage might just call up Steven P. New or “Smart” Mark Sterling for gimmick infringement. But how about a well-traveled pro with championship pedigree who enters the promotion as a babyface, and becomes more and more of a heel, maybe even with his wife – Impact’s Mickie James – by his side before fully embracing becoming a heel?
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Could Tony Khan book Aldis like his All In opponent, Cody Rhodes, only with an actual heel turn instead of a broken contract negotiation that ultimately resulted in a one-way ticket to Monday Night RAW? Goodness, if TK pulls the trigger on that one, it could be very interesting indeed.
Ultimately, Nick Aldis will probably land in Impact Wrestling, where his wife currently works as a former Knockouts Champion. The pairing is obvious, Scott D’Amore is always looking for new talent (read about that here), and he could provide the company with a fun new face to break up the usual redundancies at the top of the card opposite Josh Alexander. But if AEW wants to Disarm an otherwise contentious situation with the SP frontman, bringing in Aldis to play the Cody role could be like a Bullet with Butterfly Wings to the top of the TNT Title picture; let’s just say it would be Perfect.