Aldis has been working with the NWA since 2017, and as a two-time NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, he was the face of the company. On November 6, Aldis shared the news that he gave his notice to the company, so he would be a free agent once his contract was up on January 1, 2023. Following this announcement, NWA suspended Aldis, who had been set to face Odinson at NWA Hard Times 3 on November 12.
Speaking with Sam Roberts on Notsam Wrestling, Aldis discussed his decision to leave NWA. First, he stated that his announcement that he had given his notice was simply meant to inform the fans, and he tried to use the exclusive Subscriber feature for the news, but something went wrong, so the information got out to everyone. He went on to describe how his announcement was not meant to knock NWA whatsoever, as insulting the company he has been associated with for the past several years wouldn’t make him look good.
“I was planning to let my fans know that I had given my notice, but not in a nefarious way and certainly not in a negative way,” Aldis said. “I was just gonna let people know, ‘Hey, I’ve decided to move on. I’ve given my notice so that my final shows with the NWA, people would know that this is it. I thought, ‘hey, this is a good opportunity to give something exclusive to my subscribers, and then a couple days from now, I’ll then let everyone else know.’ Then those people will go, hey, this was worth it, hopefully. The whole thing about paywall content, it’s gotta be stuff that people feel is worth the money. It was my first time. I thought I had done everything right. I had clicked the little button that said ‘Subscribers only,’ but I guess, maybe because it’s real… I don’t know. I still don’t know. This is exactly how it happened. I was on the terrace on the condo. I decide screw it, let’s do that. Just very candid. That’s how I built my fanbase is authenticity.
“I gave my notice. I said I gave my notice, and I sort of alluded to why. It certainly wasn’t intended to be this sort of burial of the NWA or anything like that. Why would I do that? That would bury myself. The thing that I’ve been most heavily associated with for the last five years, and then I would turn around and go, ‘No, it sucks.’ No.”
“The National Treasure” went on to describe how the NWA product has changed from the vision he had for it, and some of it doesn’t pass the “Harley Race test.” Aldis emphasized that having Race come back to the NWA meant a lot to him, as it showed that he was okay with the version of wrestling the company had been presenting at that point. But with the way it has changed over the past year, he noted that he’d feel embarrassed if he had to stand next to legends like Race as they watched the product.
“I’m not saying all of it, but there was enough of it that, for me, didn’t pass the Harley Race test,” Aldis said. “I know that people will hear that and be like, ‘Harley Race? What the hell?’… I’m just saying this is what factored into my decision to give my notice. I started looking at stuff like Gaagz the Gymp, a social distancing match where the two wrestlers can’t touch each other. [fake laugh] On and on it went with different wacky, silly comedy nonsensical stuff, and I said, ‘How would I have justified this to Harley Race, if Harley Race had been here today?’
‘Imagine if I’d have been stood there with Harley Race, and what would Harley Race say watching this, or Dory Funk? Or Ric Flair? I thought, if I was stood here with those guys right now, I’d be kind of embarrassed. Because they would look at me and go, ‘This is you? This is your company?’ I’d have to go, ‘No.’ I didn’t want to be in a position where I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s not me.’ Because if I’m in, I’m in.”
Aldis went on to describe how his exit shouldn’t be “alarming”, as people who have been keeping up with the company shouldn’t necessarily be surprised. He compared his stance on the new NWA to the way Triple H noted that he felt when NXT shifted into a different product when he stepped away in 2021; in both cases, the two men had to accept that it wasn’t their vision anymore, and they couldn’t do anything about it.
“I guess it shouldn’t really be alarming. It probably wouldn’t be alarming for people who had been following the product for the last [few years],” Aldis said. “I’m sure for them, it couldn’t have come as much of a surprise. I understand what you’re saying and appreciate it. I tried to avoid saying anything like this because there’s no way to say it without sounding like you’re sort of self-promoting and being egotistical. Yes, I was the sort of the perennial face of the brand. I heard an interview, the interview that Triple H did with Ariel Helwani, and Ariel asked him about NXT and how it had changed. To me, his answers sort of mirror how I feel in a lot of ways about the NWA.
“It moved away from what I had wanted it to be. Again, much in the same way I suppose, not now, obviously because he’s running the place now, but at that time, he kind of had this, it seemed to me, he had this mentality of well hey, there’s nothing I can do about it. That’s sort of where I got to, with the NWA. I sort of went, what it’s become now is not what I envisioned it to be and it certainly isn’t what I was laying the groundwork for it to be. It didn’t have the core values that I had tried to sort of maintain. Again, this was not a knock. It was just me going, ‘This isn’t for me anymore.’” (H/t Fightful for the transcription.)
The former world champion went on to describe how he had wanted to present an alternative style that honored old-school “‘Rasslin” that could fill a gap in the business’ current landscape. However, Corgan took it in a different direction. In the interview, Aldis also described some of his issues working with Corgan and the way the NWA president has handled the announcement of his exit, among other topics.