Chad Dukes Wrestling Show interview with Nick “Magnus” Aldis
Host: Chad Dukes
Interview available at ChadDukeswrestlingshow.com
On Brock Lesnar: “I think one day, people may not realize it right now, but I think that one day, I feel like when I’m old, my grandkids might say to me, ‘Did you know Brock Lesnar?’ He’s a once in a lifetime, what an incredible story. I mean it’s not like he’s a two sport athlete in the sense, like a Bo Jackson, but he’s close to it because he’s an entertainer on one side of it but then like this incredible MMA fighter, and you can’t deny his credentials in that. I remember watching him, a whole bunch of us watched him beat Randy Couture for the UFC title, I was sitting there with Kurt Angle, he himself did a lot for the credibility of our business.”
On TNA: “People can say what they want about TNA but when business was good with TNA, and I was there arguably at it’s peak of their business, they did provide competition to the WWE. Not necessarily in the sense of television ratings, but you could even argue now that TNA’s past numbers on Spike were not that far off what Smackdown is now. They were much more comparable than people like to pretend they were with revisionist history, but that what they did more importantly was they provided a leverage factor for talent and they provided an alternative place to go and make a living because guys could say, ‘Yeah I might make half a million bucks at WWE but what if TNA wants to offer me not as much but for a much lighter schedule and I can go and do other things.’ That was a significant situation to be in for a lot of talent and I think that was one of the reasons why we saw a lot of guys like RVD and people like that in TNA. It’s a shame that they’re perhaps not in a situation anymore to be able to offer that alternative to the talent.“
On the former TNA stars and Independent stars signing with NXT and pay for play contracts: “It all comes down to individual’s preference but ultimately it’s about setting a price, the business has been for a long time on a number of factors one of the most important ones being the independent contractor status of the athletes and we could talk for two weeks about all the implications of that and the good and the bad and indifferent to it. When that is the situation and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon, everybody is responsible for setting their price and when you have a guy who has been making some waves on the independents or creating a little bit of buzz or whatever then they’re happy to take a sort of relaxed contract. Again,I’m only speaking of speculation because none of us know what anyone has, but it’s my understanding that a lot of these guys have deals kind of along the lines of pay and play. If that’s what you’re accepting or ready to take, it’s going to be difficult for you to leverage yourself into a big money position party at some other time. I can only speak of my own experience, my first year with TNA was very much like that I was very much a pay and play situation and I was fortunate to sit under the learning tree of Kevin Nash, and as soon as I was in a position where I was being used a lot and I was what I considered to be a fairly important part of the story lines and understood the impact I was having on the UK television ratings, which is something that perhaps not a lot of people are really considered with me, but I used that to try and renegotiate a contract as soon as I could and the first thing I asked for was that. Let’s get a concrete, let’s get a guarantee here. Obviously I used relocating to Florida and other things too as part of the equation but I just kind of came down to it and said as grateful to them for any opportunity and as much as I love pro wrestling and made the toy belt as a kid and all that sort of stuff, the fact is it is a business and you’re only going to get paid what they agreed to pay you and that’s up to you to name that price and I think if we keep going down the road we’re going the price is going to be low, like it is now.”
On Roman Reigns and the failures of wrestling business today: “I feel horrible for him because I feel like if he’d have come along ten years earlier he’d be in a totally different conversation right now. I think he’s a terrific example where the business in general has failed not just WWE, not just TNA, TNA was guilty of it for a long, long time or [other] promotions now which is we’ve niched down the product. We’ve paid way too much attention to the vocal minority and I know this is not this is this is nothing new what I’m saying here but, we’re taking all this time trying to subconsciously trying to impress people that are gonna be there no matter what. I get very passionate about this argument that I hear very often from those certain type of destructive fans that say, ‘We paid our money and we can do whatever we want, we can say whatever we want, do whatever we want.’ OK, but if you’re if you’re father like I’m a father now and maybe that’s why I have a different perspective on it, but do I have to be a big John Cena fan? No, not particularly.