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Nick Aldis says much of NWA product doesn’t ‘pass the Harley Race test’

The former NWA Champion has given his notice to the company.
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Nick Aldis says he is not sure how he would justify the current NWA product to Harley Race. 

On Sunday, Aldis posted a since-deleted video to his Instagram stating that he was leaving the company. Those who saw the video say Aldis called the NWA product "embarrassing" and said he didn't want to be part of it anymore. 

The two-time former NWA World Heavyweight Champion spoke with Sam Roberts recently and clarified his comments. 

"It certainly wasn't intended to be this burial of the NWA or anything like that," Aldis said. "Why would I do that? I would be burying myself."

Aldis would later discuss the NWA product straying from what he had originally envisioned it to be. 

"What it has become now is not what I envisioned it to be and certainly isn't what I was laying the ground for it to be, didn't have the core values that I had tried to sort of maintain. And again, it wasn't a knock, it was just me saying 'this isn't for me anymore.' I wanted to do an alternative wrestling brand that represented all the things about the NWA that people missed in the current product, whether it be from overproduction or from a different mentality, or a different style, let's give them all those things."

Aldis continued to say that he felt the product went downhill after NWA 73 and he lost the world title. He stated the world title angles after he dropped the belt wasn't something fans were interested in. 

"I was presented with the question, what's different now? Why is it not working now compared to what? And I sort of went, again, you're forcing me to give you an answer that paints me in this awful light but I'm going, 'the difference is you had a world title angle that people were interested in and now you don't.'" 

Aldis continued to say the world title picture improved when Matt Cardona was added to the mix but after Cardona was injured, things fell apart again. He said that he was then accused of lobbying for himself to get the belt back. 

Aldis said that in late September, his wife, Mickie James, told him about a conversation she'd had with Billy Corgan. 

"He and Mickie [James] had a private conversation that he didn't realize that I was privy to and he goes, 'your husband is pressuring me to put the belt back on him,' and you know, for me, that day I went, 'this isn't going to work.'"

Aldis continued to say the NWA product also began to go downhill when Corgan became more hands-on with the product. 

"Look, the sad truth is and I don't want to spend the whole time talking about this, but basically, things got harder when he became more hands-on because at first, he was quite hands-off, quite remote, and was just sort of lending ideas and sort of notes here and there. Suddenly, it turned into something else and I'll try to be as nice as I can about this, he's not very good at it. I wish it wasn't the case but again, it's not really for me to say, it's for the audience to say and my decision to leave has come from the fact that the audience has left in droves. It's just not a good decision to be there anymore, it's not a viable option." 

"Look, I can't get around it. I'm not saying all of it, but there was enough of it that for me, didn't pass the Harley Race test and I know people will hear that and be like, 'Harley, what the hell?' But you have to understand, Harley Race wanted nothing to do with the NWA because of what it had been prior because it had some pretty dark days. Then he agreed to not only be back associated with it, asked me to come to Missouri to defend the title, to appear on camera, talking to me about being NWA champion and that ended up being the last interview he ever gave on camera before he passed away. That means a lot to me and it was because of how we had presented pro wrestling consistently for three years at that point or whatever. It was we had consistently presented pro wrestling in a serious and dignified way." 

"I started looking at stuff like gags, the social distancing match where the two wrestlers can't touch each other, and on and on it went with different wacky, silly comedy, nonsensical stuff. I said how would I have justified this to Harley Race?"

Aldis continued to say he attended a Fan Fest event with Mickie James and Bret Hart in the UK the day before WWE Clash at the Castle. He then attended the event the next day. The experience caused him to consider what might be next in his career. 

"I'd be lying if I didn't sit there and go, 'you don't think that me and Drew McIntyre but with the right promotional build in the UK, like England vs. Scotland, people kind of care about that.'"

Aldis also spoke about recently having won the Stu Hart Heritage Championship for Dungeon Wrestling in Calgary.

"I just wrestled up in Calgary for Dungeon Wrestling, which is kind of the new incarnation of Stampede Wrestling. Bret [Hart] booked me to wrestle the match and I'm wrestling Harry Smith and then Bret says, 'I want you to win the title.' I mean, it's the Stu Hart title."

"I was so flattered and thrilled by that and now I've taken it on as a sort of personal challenge, I want to see if I can help get that thing going up there for them because it's the Victorian Pavillion in Calgary and we had a pretty good house."