Nick Aldis has come a long way since signing with TNA in 2008. He has risen through the ranks to become Worlds Heavyweight Champion and the cornerstone of the NWA. If you haven’t seen Aldis’ work recently on NWA Powerrr, then you need to give it a glance. He has developed into a polished, charismatic schemer worthy of the illustrious NWA lineage.
Aldis wasn’t always the charming lad with power. In a recent Q&A, he credited Samoa Joe as a key mentor in his growth.
That’s an interesting story about Samoa Joe. Joe should have a future as a coach at WWE’s Performance Center if that’s what he wants. I know I would like to see his style get passed on to the next generation.Question: Who, if anyone, was your mentor in ring psychology?
Aldis: In the ring, Samoa Joe probably mentored me more than anyone. Doug Williams as well.
I think Joe was the first one who really understood how to verbalize the advice to me. Because I think he saw, he knew how to coach me rather than just say like, “Oh, you got to do more of this and do more of that, brother.’ Joe had a way to really verbalize his coaching to me on a practical level, and he would say like, ‘Do this right here to create space or do this right here to settle it down for a minute and then get ready for the...,” you know.
And that was, he was the first guy that I really felt myself getting significantly better very quickly based on Joe’s coaching.
Aldis also created Kevin Nash for the way he presents himself.
It’s funny to hear Aldis tell Nash stories using Nash’s speech cadence with an English accent. I can’t say I’m surprised that Big Daddy Cool knows what is cool. And for reference in case you don’t know, here is Kamille with Aldis.Aldis: I think in terms of how I presented myself, I think Kevin Nash would be a guy. So here’s a funny story. I was sitting with Kevin Nash one night and Vince Russo was there and Dixie (Carter), and Kevin starts telling them like how they’re completely missing the boat with me.
And then he’s going, “Look, tag team’s fine but you know you ought to see this guy in the bars, man. Chicks dig him and he dresses nice and he talks nice. You know what this guy should be? He needs to be James Bond. You need to put him in a suit. You need to put a girl with him, not a wrestling girl, but a real girl.”
And it’s just funny that we, fast forward to then you see the presentation of me with Kamille and stuff. And it’s kind of like Kevin saw that. He called it years ago. I took a lot of stuff he said really on board. I just understood with Kevin that he knew what was cool. He knew how to get the cool factor out of someone.
The one thing I find particularly interesting from the Q&A is how toned down Aldis was when compared to the character he plays in front of the camera. I talked a big game in the intro for Aldis, and here he was being unassuming. NWA Champ Aldis is confident and assertive. I’d argue that he is one of the best wrestling characters today. The juxtaposition of the two forms of Aldis should show that performing in front of a camera is a skill that can be worked on and isn’t only natural talent.
The entire Q&A is worth watching if you are a fan of Aldis. He discusses dream opponents of AJ Styles (now that Aldis has matured in the business) and a trilogy bout with Cody Rhodes. Aldis also answers the age-old question of fighting 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck.