Upon returning to IMPACT Wrestling in April, Nick Aldis made it clear that he had his sights set on the IMPACT World Championship. He was able to work his way up to earning a title shot by winning an 8-4-1 match at Against All Odds. Now, Aldis is set to challenge Alex Shelley in the main event of Slammiversary.
However, the June 15 episode of IMPACT concluded with Aldis turning heel on Shelley. During a recent interview with PWMania, Aldis answered the age-old question: “Why’d you do it?”
“Well, look. Nick Aldis found himself. That’s the reality of the situation,” Aldis simply stated. “I spent a lot of time in my first run there being pulled in a lot of different directions, by who was running the company, the producers, and different influencers. I felt I always tried to compromise and be something that I wasn’t. It was never quite the fully formed idea of who I was. It came close when I had my World title run, but it wasn’t right. I was still young, and making an impression of what a wrestler should be, rather than really feeling it.”
Aldis explained how he set out to study the greats such as Nick Bockwinkel, Harley Race, Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Dory Funk, Jack Briscoe, and even early 2000s Triple H. They were all guys that he studied and tried to emulate.
“You have to have self-awareness in the game,” Aldis continued. “I am not the hero, franchise player, or all-American good guy. I’m British and proud of it, but I’m a citizen of the world. I’m very calculated, I know who I want to be and know what I want to accomplish. I’m strictly business. So, I started to realize it was time to stop trying to fit into whatever the current fashion is, I’m an Anglo-sexton animal, I’m a British wrestler. I blend the British and American styles.
“I spent way more time focusing on who I am and believing in who I am. If you believe it, they believe it. I’m a professional athlete, I take this seriously. This isn’t a joke for me, this isn’t a hobby for me, I’m not a weekend warrior. Pro wrestling has been my full-time occupation since I was a legal adult. This isn’t a game for me, it’s not a hobby, it’s not a pastime, it’s my career. I’ve had good times and bad times. I’ve accomplished things I wanted to, and I’ve missed things I wanted to. What I’ve proven is whenever I get the opportunity, I rise to the top of wherever I am. I make things better for everyone around me.
“The first episode of IMPACT following my return to IMPACT at Rebellion was the highest-viewed episode in over a year. Am I taking credit for that? No, of course not, it’s a team effort, but I had a part in it. Now, I set my sights on the World Championship. I played the game a little bit, I was a nice guy and very respectful, and now I got what I wanted. I have the match at Slammiversary. I’m in the spot, now I can be who I really am and be all business.”
When it comes to why exactly he attacked Shelley on June 15, Aldis said he was disrespected.
“Now the earnest is on Alex Shelley, who is not who I was preparing for, but hey, great champions are ready to adapt. The truth is that people are wondering why I decided to hit him in the head with the belt. It’s because he disrespected me. He had the nerve, after everything I’ve done already to raise the company and raise the world title scene, they had the nerve to disrespect me by saying this is the Machine Guns era? Sorry boys, you had a good night, you were in the right place at the right time.
“I’m the difference-maker here. He’s going to find that out at Slammiversary. This may be a short run for him. This could be a short reign. He made it, he had his moment, good for him, alright well the fun and games are over. It’s time for the right guy to get the strap and pull the company where it needs to go,” Aldis concluded.