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  1. #1
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    Nick Aldis (The Rivalry Series): To Be the Bastard

    Nick Aldis (The Rivalry Series): To Be the Bastard


    The CF ain’t what it used to be. I mean, just check the numbers. No, check the lack of historians talking about what today’s moments mean in the totality of the legacy of the CF. No, no, just check the quality: no way today’s writers could stand next to [insert your favorite era of the CF.]

    Does that paragraph make you feel some type of way? If you made your name in the CF in the last few years, are you ready to meet the “kids these days” trope with an “old man yelling at the sky” trope? Are you ready to defend? Explain? Defy?

    Well, do me a favor, move those thoughts aside. Because I wasn’t really talking about the CF. In fact, go back to that first paragraph and read it again. Each time you come across “CF” or some form of it, replace it with NWA. Oh yeah, and when you get to “writers,” replace it with “wrestlers.”

    If that paragraph made you feel some type of way because it disrespected writers, how much more the athletes who put their bodies on the line to define themselves and the era in which they live?

    This disrespect reaches, and it lands. And even though every wrestler doesn’t go out and defend against it daily (in an era of social media, who could?), please don’t think it isn’t heard.

    The disrespect reaches north, to WWE. It reaches south, to southern-based promotions. It reaches to Ring of Honor, IMPACT, and AEW. And, yes, some of this disrespect is inherent. Fans are fanatics and we are part of fandoms and the very booking that booked wrestling to be the global success it is today is predicated on bigging up one performer while tearing down another. Part of this is inherent, and healthy, and demonstrates less a disrespect for a human being, for their contributions, and, instead, colors the wrestling world with a variety of tastes, of choices, of preferences.

    But sometimes the disrespect goes too far. Sometimes the disrespect is without acknowledgement of actual accomplishment. Sometimes the disrespect is a simple piling on made easy by greater group think. Sometimes the disrespect is absent even watching the performer being disrespected.

    And, sometimes, the disrespected speaks back.

    Sometimes the disrespected speaks back through their wrestling, through their rivalries, through promos so scathing they damn near peel back the wallpaper from the wall in the room in which you’re listening.

    What follows is a column series about the disrespected speaking back.

    What follows is a series about one of the most underrated builders of a brand in pro wrestling right now.

    What follows is a series about a man I myself have disrespected.

    This is, then, a series about a man who will likely never be my favorite wrestler, but my own attempt at integrity now pushes me to say the things that nobody outside of a Ten Lbs. of Gold comment section seems willing to say.

    This is a series about a man who isn’t standing on the grandest stage of them all. This is a man who has his hands in the dirt of a soil that was termed “unable to grow new crops” decades ago. It might blow your mind, but it needs to be considered: the last decade was maybe one where it was easier to stand on the WrestleMania stage (due to a WWE dominance that made the stage primed for inheritance) than to be a man rejected by the company you were part of (IMPACT), not wanted by *the* company (WWE), yet willing to go and recreate yourself with a brand that, like you, was damn near irrelevant (NWA).

    This is a series about a man who thrives on being othered, on being unwanted, on being the bastard that everyone wants knocked off. This is a series where this man will speak back, through his rivalries, through his matches, and, yes, through his promos.

    In fact, before this series is over, I will assert that this man, whose possession of “presence” or “charisma” I’ve previously questioned, may have already cut the promo of the year in 2019.

    This is a series about the dealer, the national treasure, the NWA champion, Nick Aldis.


    *



    This series could begin in Docking, Norfolk, England, where Aldis was born. It could begin in IMPACT, where Aldis, as Magnus, seemed first anointed, then vilified.

    But it will begin where, for many fans looking for a big-stage alternative to WWE, so much began.

    It begins when Nick Aldis took the NWA title to Chicago, Illinois, to defend it against the son of Dusty Rhodes at All In.

    I won’t bore you with the build to All In.

    If you don’t know that story by now, you simply don’t want to know it. If you don’t know the story of the bet that Cody and the Young Bucks made on themselves, if you don’t know the 10,000 asses heading up a history-making moment, if you don’t know the son of Dusty Rhodes challenging for the rebranded ten pounds of gold, then you simply never wanted to know.

    I know the story.

    I covered it in the CF with Benjamin Button, and I covered it on LOP Radio with mizfan.

    I don’t say that to brag.

    In fact, I say it to my own shame.

    Because, while I am proud of my coverage of All In, as well as my coverage of AEW, I continually talked Dusty, talked Cody, talked All In and AEW, but what I rarely talked enough about (and likely talked mostly down about when mention came) was the man who was playing one of the biggest road games in wrestling history at All In, Nick Aldis.

    Can you imagine being Nick Aldis?

    You are the champion of the organization formerly championed by Lou Thesz, Dory Funk Jr., Harley Race, Ric Flair, and Ricky Steamboat.

    And, so ignorant is the next thought if the next thought is: Well, that is when the belt meant something!

    Yes, indeed. The belt meant something back then. Which is a credit to that era, to those guys. Sure. But do you know what that also means for many of those men? Like those standing on the WrestleMania stage in the last decade or more, those men inherited the good that came before them.

    What did Nick Aldis inherit?

    He inherited Shane Douglas throwing that belt down; he inherited a post-NWA world where everything ECW did, while aimed at WCW and WWF, took its actual action on top of the shame of that dropped title; he inherited an NWA where he had to be born on YouTube, wrestling the belt away from honorable but hardly mentioned men like Tim Storm.

    And what has Nick Aldis done with that inheritance?

    Nick Aldis is damn near the singular force that has created a YouTube channel for NWA with videos that range from 5 thousand to 115 thousand views; he has carried the belt wherever he could, from All In, to Ring of Honor, to NWA’s 70th Anniversary, to the Crockett Cup; he has shown up, when other men didn’t, and he has stayed put, when other men wouldn’t.

    And yet, everywhere Nick Aldis goes is a road game.

    Each time he helps make the spotlight bigger for the NWA, those who come aboard come aboard to watch this man lose his belt. Perhaps part of that is on Nick Aldis. Perhaps he lacks something that would otherwise make the world fall in love with him.

    Fair enough.

    But a few points in rebuttal.

    Do you know why Ric Flair is one of the greatest of all-time (and I mean on a one-hand count to many a wrestling fan)? Because he was able to both be hated (to have you come to the shows in hopes he would lose the title) but, deep down, remain so beloved that if it wasn’t Ric Flair losing the belt, or even if your favorite wrestler won the belt, it just wasn’t the same without Ric Flair.

    Very few can do that. Nick Aldis so far included.

    But do you know what Nick Aldis has done? He has created a split in the wrestling world that, while yet to come together as one, mirrors the responses above.

    Those who bandwagon jumped the NWA in 2018 to watch Cody challenge Nick (myself included) watched in hopes of seeing Cody Rhodes become the NWA champion. Those who did the same in 2019 when Marty Scurll challenged Nick (myself included again…) did so to see Marty become champion.

    But, if you read the comments from NWA videos, so many acknowledge Marty’s talents, his charisma, his abilities, but those most faithful to the NWA are most faithful to Nick Aldis. So many add:

    “But I hope Nick retains.”

    The NWA faithful are faithful to Nick because Nick is faithful to them. They know that Nick is more than just a body. Hell, he’s more than just a consistent body. He is, for them, the only reason they have an NWA, a Ten Lbs. of Gold series, a space at All In, at Madison Square Garden, and a Crocket Cup to boot.

    They are fans who are dogged, who have felt dismissed for decades now, and they see in their champion what I’ve only now come to see: a man as dogged as the movement he represents, a man who thrives on being othered, on being challenged, who is spoiling to pick a fight, to rage against IMPACT, WWE, the Elite, and all the glitter that he feels isn’t the 10 lbs of gold.

    If this man’s entire life is a road game, from U.K. to U.S., from IMPACT to restart, from being not-Cody, to not-Marty, to not enough, then how much more when this man walked onto the sacred, glittery Elite, once-in-a-lifetime stage at All In?

    You don’t have to believe me.

    Believe the man who maybe cut the promo of the year in 2019:

    “I’m constructively envious of the things that [others, like Elite member, Marty] [are] good at, the things he’s had success with. But let me tell you where I think [others, like Elite member, Marty] [are] envious of me. There’s a little show called All In last year, where, this was supposed to be a celebration of a certain type of wrestler. This was supposed to be the big crowning moment for the Indy guys—the guys who don’t fit a certain mold and blah, blah, blah. Pentagon was on that show. Kenny Omega was on that show. Chris Jericho was on that show. Rey Mysterio was on that show. Okada and Marty Scurll were on that show. What’s the first match that everybody talks about when they talk about All In? [Podcast host: I know the first match I talk about: Cody and Nick Aldis.] Right. And who was I? The guy everyone called a cookie-cutter; he’s got a good body and he makes us feel bad about ourselves when we look in the mirror, so we have to pretend we don’t like him as much. The point is: that’s what eats [others, like Elite member, Marty] up. When I was given that opportunity, that spotlight, I smashed it, knocked it out of the park. And now it’s a defining moment of that show and it’s a defining moment of the business in 2018 and it’s a defining moment of the business in this modern era.”

    Try to deny that.

    I was in the building at All In. Tell me folks didn’t leave talking Cody-Nick. Tell me that night was not defining of 2018, of the modern era.

    So, yes. Nick Aldis was the road team going up the against the legacy of the Rhodes team, not just Cody, but father, Dusty, too.

    And, yes. Nick Aldis was the unlikable, the “cookie cutter,” the “body,” going up against a man so shined up, so privileged in this moment, that even his own brother, Dustin, calls him spoiled.

    But when the rugged road team took on the shiny, stadium guy, they really did leave that evening as the most talked about match of the night.

    And let me clarify to myself and the world what it embarrasses me that it’s taken so long to acknowledge: Cody Rhodes damn sure didn’t do it on his own.

    Not only was Nick a part of the match, which we will soon get to, but there wouldn’t have been an NWA title valued high enough for Cody to tell his Dusty Rhodes story with had Nick Aldis not dragged that championship out of obscurity, shined it up just right, and marched into All In as if he owned the whole damn place.

    Let’s look at what happened when that rivalry came face-to-face.

    Let’s look at what happened when Nick Aldis faced Cody Rhodes at All In.




    We finish this article doing what maybe nobody in the world has ever done. We watch that fateful, game-changing match at All In, not from the POV of Cody Rhodes, but from the POV of the road team, the POV of Nick Aldis.

    I’ve watched Cody vs. Nick a few times since seeing it live, in the building. Take it from a fan of pro wrestling who has attended PPV events put on by both WCW and WWE, a Nitro, TV tapings for IMPACT, and TNA and WWE house shows: I’ve never heard a bigger ovation at any live show than what Cody Rhodes received at All In.

    It may change one day for AEW, but, at All In, the biggest force of energy that was synonymous with All In, with changing the universe, was not some mix of Kenny Omega, Matt and Nick Jackson, and Cody Rhodes. It was, at its core, all Cody Rhodes. It was the son of Dusty Rhodes challenging for the NWA title that became the symbolizing force that drew old and new fans, the pissed and the hopeful, into one building.

    It might be too much to say that every ovation from that evening was about Cody Rhodes, but I will say that every ovation received by Cody Rhodes somehow magically included everything All In, as if the pulse of the evening and the hopeful turn in pro wrestling all hinged on this fairytale story that, if not capable of bringing Dusty back to life, could damn well demonstrate the closest thing to it.

    Said succinctly: I’ve never been in any space in my life where there was so much good will for one human being.

    Says the announcers: “[Cody Rhodes is] the reason they are here.”

    Yes, that comes with pressure: being the son who followed the Dream.

    But can you imagine being the NWA Champion who followed the son who followed the Dream? Can you imagine being Nick Aldis as he walks into the biggest away game since Vader tried to retire Ric Flair in Charlotte, North Carolina?

    Do we understand that, in this moment, there were two versions of Cody Rhodes and Nick Aldis? There were the professionals, going out to work a job, but there were also the human beings behind that job, two men not guaranteed to hold the weight of this world upon their shoulders or two men who might have melted under lights so bright they threatened to burn new directional lines into the professional wrestling world.

    Before the match began, I saw Cody smirk. It was something almost smug. I couldn’t tell if it belonged to the professional or the human being.

    Nick Aldis, on the other hand, wasn’t shook for a single second. He chewed gum and took in the moment. The fans assaulted him before the bell. He stood there like he had been there already. He stood there looking like the goddamned champion of the National Wrestling Alliance.

    In Cody’s corner?

    Men like Diamond Dallas Page.

    In Nick’s corner?

    Men like Jeff Jarrett.

    And, yes, I’ve joked about the quality of talent Nick had in his corner, and, yes, I’ve made the comparisons before. But do you want to know the difference between Nick Aldis and Jeff Jarrett so far as I can see it? Nick might not be gimmicky enough to be the man to some, but Jeff Jarrett has never been man enough to be anything but a gimmick.

    Now, I’m not sure about you, but I’d take the former over the latter anytime.

    How quickly the “Fuck Nick Aldis” chants become “All In” chants. And let’s be honest, whether you are chanting the first or the second, you are chanting for the men in front of you, for the moment in front of you, one that, again, would not matter without the heavy lifting Nick Aldis did with the NWA brand long before even Cody Rhodes could imagine an All In show.

    The men begin with wrestling.

    Nick is methodical. He walks his way to the ropes for a rope break.

    Good wrestling to start the match. Both men can do that.

    I appreciate the shifts of momentum and the failed attempts. Cody tries to lift his way out of a headlock and fails, because this is wrestling “against” not ballerina-ing together.

    Authenticity of struggle. Both men can do that as well.

    Says the men in the booth: “Too much adrenaline too soon. Nick Aldis has been calm, cool, and collected. [Nick Aldis has been] a straight up assassin."

    I agree but I also admit: The match was a little awkward at times in the first half, but these two men would come together smoothly in the second half.

    But first, the match splits out of competition and into a story about Cody. Nick Aldis will bust Cody wide, and we will get a sequence surrounding a potential calling of the match.

    Now. I’m not always a fan for such a gimmicky middle, and I damn sure wouldn’t be of a pattern of such matches. But each match is its own context, and I will argue this worked damn well in the building at All In, in the story of Cody winning the championship, and in the moment where fans came to see NOTHING but a Cody win but WANTED to see it challenged as much as possible first.

    It also illustrates the privilege of being Cody Rhodes.

    If everything I established wasn’t enough momentum, Cody gets to lay out while Diamond Dallas catches one of the biggest pops of the night, laying a diamond cutter on Daivari.

    Don’t get me wrong. Cody earned this night.

    But this time, as a viewer, I’m watching Nick Aldis sit on the apron of a ring that isn’t his, in front of a crowd that isn’t his, with corner men that aren’t worthy of being his, with Cody buying sympathy points as DDP buys momentum points, all while the only thing that is Nick’s, the NWA title, is also the only thing that makes all these other points matter.

    When the men come back together, the action is more pointed, more purposeful, more smooth.

    Watch how specifically Nick Aldis lays his punches to the bloody cut of Cody Rhodes.

    Watch how Nick Aldis catches Cody in the British Bulldog running slam on the floor. With ease, easy, maybe too easy. Maybe the man just doesn’t suffer enough for the cruel audience we make up.

    And the beating he gives Cody?

    Says the announce team: “I think you can see the moment where Cody’s soul tries to leave his body.”

    How perfect the plotting when Aldis locks his finisher on Cody and, when the bloody challenger raises up to try to power out, he is positioned to come eye-to-eye with his wife, Brandi.

    She will enter the ring.

    She will cover him.

    She will take the elbow meant for Cody.

    One of the announcers get gross: “What is your wife thinking at home, Aldis.”

    The fans seem to agree: “Asshole.”

    And while one announcer will be the voice of reason (telling us he doesn’t think Aldis knew), this moment is kind of the picture of the career of Nick Aldis.

    He’s playing on someone else’s stage. He is bringing the credibility [the NWA title] in order for the fans to use that credibility to party with the party that didn’t bring the title to the table. Someone who is not part of the match climbs into the ring and lays over the opponent and under Nick, and all we leave with is “That terrible human being, Nick Aldis, must be the problem.”

    And let me tell you: Nick Aldis was the problem, in every way you need him to be for a match to matter like the one at All In mattered.

    Yes, Cody Rhodes will roll legs like Sting rolled the head of Ric Flair at GAB 1990 and squeak into history as the heavyweight champion.

    But,

    know this: not only did it take both men to make All In, but there are truths that I didn’t understand eight months ago that I know too truly now.

    While 2018 me will hinge his NWA fandom on the Cody Rhodes reign, what will that get me?

    It won’t be long before Cody Rhodes is spitting that belt back out and talking about a potential return to WWE.

    Meanwhile Nick Aldis is where?

    In the middle of the ring, in the middle of the NWA story, in the middle of an attempt to make your former favorite title matter still.

    Nick will meet Cody again, and I’m not sure 2019 me can see it the same way 2018 me did.

    And while that is a story for next time, I can say this: what you are reading is a three-part series because it’s about Nick Aldis.

    If it were about Cody Rhodes, this series would be dead by the second offering.

  2. #2
    I did begin to admire Nick during the build for all in..I thought he was the perfect party pooper. Definitely playing the away game as you said. I think I compared him to a boring husband who supports his wife coming home to ruin her fun affair. He's that guy in the "friends in low places" song. To me he does a great job as the NWA champion.

    If you look at what the title was..It was always about going in and fighting the hometown hero, and Nick's one that's all wrestling and no romance. Makes me think of the man who ruined the fans black-tied affair with Dusty and Ric Flair, Harly Race..All business, all wrestling. He's a good champion because the fans don't cheer for him. He puts the challenger over.

    Perfect comparison between him and Jarratt. I don't like Nick but sure do respect him more that JJ cause he's not always trying to be something.


    Great read..Great coverage of the match with he and Cody...It's easy to underrate that match, now that Cody has moved on, but that night it was something rarely seen, anymore, a true world title match story.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 2 Weeks Ago at 05:31 AM.

  3. #3
    I've been looking forward to reading this since I heard you mention the project on the podcast. I think there are so many depths of character and context that can be revealed when we shift our gaze from those we are supposed to identify with to those who are presented as "other." I took a similar approach with some character studies from a 1987 episode of Saturday Night's Main Event earlier in the year. It's captured perfectly in the simple sentence, "And yet, everywhere Nick Aldis goes is a road game." So much of wrestling is binary combinations of opposing character traits, and stepping into the perspective of those playing the road game can expose layers of motivation and narrative in the fight for one's self respect. Love getting absorbed in this, looking forward to the next two parts.

  4. #4
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    The column already started with a great point. I wrote something a while back where I explored the fact that the stars of today should not be measured against the stars of the past because that will invite apathy, disinterest and disappointment. And like you said, it's super disrespectful for wrestlers who are trying to be great in a time where the boom periods are long since gone and most everything has already been done before.

    Anyway, I didn't really know Nick Aldis is the former Magnus. Surprised to hear he was NWA Championship, which is very disrespectful in the context of this column. The picture u painted here was beautiful and you really brought into play the historical significance of the NEW Championship. As far as I'm aware Nick Aldis doesn't really get mentioned much so putting a spotlight on him from a different perspective was refreshing.

    Fantastic column and I can't wait for part 2.

  5. #5
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    Button - You partially inspired this, as I've been inching forward on this new approach for a while. Somewhere you spoke some things on Aldis that echoed what I've been feeling, and that is when I was like, "Man. Somebody needs to do this." You compared him to ruining the fun; I once compared him to the man who raises the children who aren't his and knows he's not preferred. Neither are ideal, but I wonder what you will think about his own words once we reach the final. I'm not asking anyone to change their minds, but I'm going to paint a broader picture than we often use and see what people have to say about it. Thanks for the compliment on the JJ comparison. That thought came to my mind WAY before I started writing, and it was another reminder that if he's not *that*, he's something else, and if he's something else, what is it that he is? Agree with you that Cody moved on and many of us do, but Nick didn't. And again, he will speak to that in his own words before this series closes.

    R-Prof - Thanks for keeping an eye out for this series. It's unlike anything I've done, in that I had to get over myself a bit (see: letting my lived experience of recent viewing disrupt the narrative I had on Aldis), but I'm glad to be putting the world out. He deserves it. I remember your work and that is a nice callback. You are spot on in the binary. It's often trouble, but it can also, on another level, be what it's all about. I think it's awesome when we have enough diverse thinking/feeling that all those character traits have backing, but it's not as awesome when (people including myself) are so into some approaches that we don't give other traits the credit deserved. [Come the 3rd column, Nick Aldis will speak for himself, from a promo, and set us all straight on this.] Lastly, this is a great line: "stepping into the perspective of those playing the road game can expose layers of motivation and narrative in the fight for one's self respect."

    Franc - Love your first paragraph. I will return to that topic again in the third edition, because it's that relevant. It's playing out in other genres; it plays out in wrestling; it's playing out in the Cody/Dustin feud right now. It's definitely worth some conversation. That you didn't know the Aldis/Magnus connection makes me even happier to be doing this. I'm diggin' this comment from you: "the historical significance of the NEW Championship." I think we will dig deeper here as this goes on. Nick Aldis RARELY gets the spotlight, and I've blamed him for that myself. I don't think that's too accurate. He just put up a poll on who folks wanted him to wrestle. Most votes went to Okada. Hope that happens sometime. He's taking the spotlight slowly, but he's got to be referenced in there with many of those out there doing it in 2019.

  6. #6
    The Brain
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    Been thinking about Nick Aldis a lot lately, and how the narrative around him is changing. Particularly changing for us. What resonates most deeply with me is the power of telling stories and establishing characters that are actually compelling. Part of the reason everyone was talking Cody/Aldis after All In is it was one of the only matches that actually had that story, that mythology built up around it. What did it matter if Omega beat Pentagon, or vice versa? Scratch the vice versa, because it was pre-ordained not to happen anyway. But Cody and Aldis, so much was wrapped up in that match. You had to hang on the outcome if you were even slightly invested in the story they were telling.

    Great storytelling (AKA context) is king. I credit Aldis with bringing that to the fore, and also whomever is the driving force behind the 10 Lbs series (I want to save Dave Lagana but don't want to shortchange Corgan or others unknowingly). I don't know how I will think of Aldis in the future compared to the past and present, but I do know that he's elevated beyond what I would have guessed possible by the strength of the stories he partakes in, and that's a great thing.

  7. #7
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    I do want to comment here. I will speculate in the third column on how I think Aldis could better excel as NWA champion, but I don't want to make this about "how will he be in the future" because that dismisses how he has been in 2018 and 2019, which is, at times, stellar.

    I take the storytelling point, but I don't know who that is on. It's definitely a CREDIT to the NWA and Nick that their match came packaged with story. I'm not sure what agency or lack there was for others (though I would say Marty's match had quite a bit of story and, though I found it idiotic, so did Page/Ryan). I only remembered that as typing, but there were some matches with story, but they still didn't win the night.

    I don't know how much credit Corgan should get for the videos. Perhaps part of it was the vision he had back in TNA (that he didn't get to execute). I do know that when I hear people in the business talk about those videos, I usually hear them credit David Lagana specifically.
    Last edited by Mystic; 1 Week Ago at 08:25 PM.

  8. #8
    I don't know much about Nick Aldis but I understood the story you told in the column. Good read. I can't believe there's still a big fan base for the N.W.A.

  9. #9
    You know who I am, but you don't know why I'm here
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    One of the things that I think is interesting about Aldis is that I can't really draw an adequate parallel to anyone else in wrestling history. It's become so easy for me to define someone in my mind based on someone else that I've studied throughout the WrestleMania Era. He's a product of his time, for sure; who do we know historically who has been positioned as the figurehead of a company with no defined home location per say, no specific promotion to call home either, who to help build the company that has made him the figurehead forms these symbiotic relationships that could be construed as parasitic relationships with more established outfits? It's the reverse of the old NWA - rather than him travel around to help smaller outfits grow, he's the small outfit traveling around to help himself grow - what would the old NWA territories have been without World Champions like Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes? And what would Nick Aldis be without All In and Ring of Honor? Who have we seen that fits that kind of profile?

    It's such a fascinating time, isn't it? Four decades ago, a single entity began its journey to monopolize the business, and now the business that was monopolized is breaking apart again.
    Author of The WrestleMania Era book series, author of The Doctor's Orders columns on LOP since 2010, LOP Columns Hall of Famer, former host of The Doc Says podcast on LOP Radio (2013-2018), former LOP Raw and WWE PPV Reviewer (2006-2007), and former LOP Smackdown Reviewer (2004-2006)

  10. #10
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    Bossman - Thank for reading. Always appreciate when someone reads even when they don't follow the product. I have done it also, and it's a nice luxury we have in the CF.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Doc View Post
    who do we know historically who has been positioned as the figurehead of a company with no defined home location per say, no specific promotion to call home either, who to help build the company that has made him the figurehead forms these symbiotic relationships that could be construed as parasitic relationships with more established outfits?
    .
    Damn, that's strong but well written. I've done that construing before, but I do think I've been wrong at times. You know who else thinks I'm wrong? Nick Aldis. Column 2 is next, of course, but I look forward to your thoughts on column 3, as I will be using the words of Aldis, in a moment where he's not kissing the ring of NWA legends or building up his friends and rivals. It's what I'm calling a potential promo of the year, and it tells me that the biggest reason we might not know Aldis, might not be able to compare him properly, is, in part, because he doesn't do enough letting go and defining of his own self. It's going to be an interesting conversation.

    The damndest thing is, Doc, that I agree with you about All In, about Ring of Honor, about Cody and Marty, etc. But the flip of that is they aren't having Nick there for charity, and they kind of are and kind of aren't doing it because of the NWA. (If Nick walked today, who would step in?) There is an element of this, if you stand just right, where you can see Nick's contribution. Lord, I can't wait til column 3!

    You are right, though. We are in a fascinating time. We are in a step up or step off moment and the fact that Nick is still here, with little more than a YouTube channel to guide him, says something all by itself.

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