Nick Aldis | The Evolution of NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion

At the top of the NWA mountain is Nick Aldis, whose present and future has never looked brighter.

Nick Aldis | The Evolution of NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion
The Evolution of NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, Nick Aldis. Photo design: JP Zarka of

Nick Aldis – “WWE was never an option for me.”

Many elite performers have used this above sentence in the professional wrestling business over the years. However, there are very few left who can say that they’ve never stepped inside a WWE ring before, with one of those names being Nick Aldis.

Aldis, the current NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, has seen many of his friends from the independent scene make their way onto Vince McMahon’s grand stage. However, he is currently enjoying being one of the top heels on the independent wrestling market today.

In an interview with myself and Barkley Truax on “The O’SHOW,” Aldis explained his early days as a swimmer and tennis player before becoming a bodybuilder and pursuing professional wrestling, a sport that he considered from a young age.

“I was playing tennis casually before they suddenly asked me to compete in national tournaments,” Aldis said.

Not far after his pursuit in sports, Aldis made a turn that he’d been considering his entire life, saying that the likes of Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker were big inspirations behind getting a start in professional wrestling,

“During that match with Shawn and Taker inside the Hell in a Cell is when I went, ‘Woah, this stuff is real!’

“By the time ’99 rolled around for WrestleMania 15, Rock and Stone Cold, I was pretty much hooked.”

Despite being inspired by these four WWE icons, Aldis never got the opportunity to share the squared circle with any of these men. Nor would he even have the opportunity to sign with the company that he grew up watching on television due to the independent wrestling scene not gaining much respect from the higher-ups in World Wrestling Entertainment in the early 2000s.

“I once had dinner with a WWE executive and told him that AJ Styles was the best performer in the business,” Aldis said. “He looked at me as if I had just said that Gilberg was the best performer in the business!”

In January of 2016, AJ Styles would get the chance to prove that he is, indeed, one of the best performers in the ring when the former IWGP World Champion made his WWE debut in the 2016 WWE Royal Rumble match.

After three years of dominating Vince McMahon’s main event scene, Aldis is happy to see that Styles made it on the big stage. “He’s proving now what we’ve known all along,” Aldis said.

Aldis has often stated “never say never,” but he also said to expect him to stay away from the company for the foreseeable future. The current NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion has made quite a career for himself with the National Wrestling Alliance and other promotions such as Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling.

In September of 2018, Aldis got the chance to main event an independent wrestling pay-per-view event against the “American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes. The latter was helped by Nick and Matt Jackson of The Young Bucks in putting the event together. An event, of course, that became known as “ALL IN.”

“Getting that opportunity was amazing. Having Jeff [Jarrett] in my entourage was important. He really helped me a lot in this business.”

Earlier this year, the NWA hosted the first Crockett Cup Tournament pay-per-view event in over 30 years, with the last event being held in 1988 by Jim Crockett Promotions.

The event held a main event title match that was nearly 15 years in the making, as Nick Aldis defended his NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship against Marty Scurll. Aldis and Scurll first met one another at Dropkixx Academy in Purfleet, England, as Aldis was asked to drive Scurll every week to the academy.

“Marty wasn’t old enough to drive, so the owner, Frank Rimer, asked if I could give Marty a lift every week,” said Aldis. “We just became instant friends, and I always knew Marty would make it in this business.”

The current NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion had plenty of nice things to say about his dear friend before the contest back in April, including why the match itself was so important to both men.

“This was a huge time for both of our careers. This was literally 15 years in the making, from the time we were kids, to now. It came full circle.”

At this event, Aldis would pick up the win over his long-time friend as he continues his reign as NWA World Heavyweight Champion for the second time.

You can listen to my interview with Nick Aldis on the “O-SHOW” in full here.

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Jack O'Hara is a contributor for Pro Wrestling Stories as well as a host of Belly Up Sports' 50/50 Booking Podcast and The O'SHOW Podcast, both available on Spotify and Podbean. He can be reached on Twitter @IAmJackOHara.