Billy Corgan chats all things Nick Aldis.
Over the last several days, Nick Aldis has been removed from the upcoming NWA Hard Times 3 pay-per-view and suspended from the organization.
On Sunday, Aldis posted a video to his Instagram subscriber feed and shared that he gave notice to NWA that he would be leaving when his contract expired and gave reasons as to why he is making that decision. After it came out that Aldis was being removed from Hard Times 3, he took to social media and noted that he intended to fulfill his obligations.
NWA owner Billy Corgan joined Busted Open Radio and dove into he and Nick’s relationship and how things have unfolded this week. Billy’s main talking point is he does not get why Nick took things public.
Well, let’s give a little context real quick. Okay, so, Nick Aldis and I entered into a business relationship five years ago where we bet on one another and that proved to be a good bet. Nick Aldis has been the highest paid talent in the NWA the entire time without question. Nick knows that. Nick’s had a lot of say, not only over the company but also how he was booked. That’s fine, that’s all transparent. That’s stuff we’ve talked about in the past. Why is a man who a week ago, who emailed us and said, ‘Hey, thanks for everything you’ve done. I’ve kind of moved on.’ We’re like, ‘Cool.’ That’s it. He gave his notice privately. We didn’t do anything. Did we retaliate? Did we leak some rumor? Nick’s this or that? No, we didn’t say anything. We got shows booked, Nick’s on the card. Nick’s doing interviews by the way for the pay-per-view. Why is a guy who’s so disgruntled doing interviews for the pay-per-view? We’re in business, right? Couple days ago, he does a video where he says, ‘Okay, I’m opting out of my contract’ or whatever. He says it publicly. I wouldn’t do business that way but it’s his choice. I didn’t like it but, okay, it’s fine. He’s leaving in 55 days or something, right? Just do your business and go on out the door. That’s fine and hopefully we’ll do business down the road. Then he starts blasting the product. Now I wanna remind everybody, everything that he said, I’ve been hearing that stuff for years. It’s not like I heard it and I got all sensitive. Oh my God, what is he saying? But ask yourself, why in a pay-per-view week with a talent who’s leaving the company does he decide to start blasting me and the product 55 days before he’s out and he can just go out and do whatever he has to do? Why does he have to bury the locker room? Why does he have to bury the product? And again, I’ve heard all this stuff privately for years. These are not new criticisms. He and I have battled about the product for years and he’s helped make the product behind the scenes better with those battles. So this is not a sensitive, reactionary thing. But how do I as a leader of this company allow a key talent, the most highly visible talent in the company, up until he opens his mouth and tells people he’s leaving, blast the company? By the way, he’s still under contract and he’s still being paid so we disinvite him. We say, ‘Hey, we don’t want you to show up.’ We didn’t take away his money, he’s still being paid but I can’t have a guy like that show up because what message does that send to the locker room? There’s a lot of people in the locker room, they’re not happy about this. They have to go do their job. Why is the focus not on Matt Cardona, Tyrus and Trevor Murdoch? Or Kamille, KiLynn King and Chelsea [Green]? The focus is on Nick Aldis, who by the way is not on the show anymore… It’s not animosity. It’s sort of why are we doing this?
As Corgan continued, he insisted that Aldis is working an angle. He added that if Nick believes everything he says he is, he would have kept things in-house, fulfilled his obligations, entered the free agent market and then could have aired his grievances how he saw fit. He does not get see where Aldis is trying to get at by taking the route he’s taking.
Nothing [specific Nick Aldis said made me upset]. I said what the point is. Why is he working an angle when he’s leaving? Why is he using the NWA’s good name or my good name to get himself over in a way that’s not necessary? If he’s everything he thinks he is, go into the free market like any free agent and test your metal. He’s working, okay, and I’m using the industry term here, he’s working something. I don’t know what he’s working but he’s willing to sacrifice me and the NWA to prove something or get something going or get out early to go do something ‘till somebody’s giving him an iggy and says, hey, if you can get out early. This is not cool, he’s under contract. He’s a paid talent. He didn’t come to us privately and say, hey, I’d like to get out early for X, Y and Z. I’ve been in those situations. I’ve been in those situations. I can deal with those things. I used to tell Nick in the early days of the NWA, ‘If Vince calls you tomorrow and wants you to go, I’ll release you from your contract.’ So why does a guy like that, me, who’s willing to let a guy go chase bigger opportunities, why does this guy gotta burn down the company 50-something days out when he could just leave in 50 days? It’s not what he said. I’ve heard it all and criticisms of the company are valid. It’s okay. But why is a key talent who’s supposed to be a locker room leader doing this on the way out? Basically setting the pay-per-view into a weird cloud and then after we publicly say, ‘Hey look, he’s not gonna be on the pay-per-view.’ Then he tweets — so we’re behind the Twitter poll. What are we on the schoolyard now? Behind the Twitter poll, ‘Hey, I was prepared fans. Sorry, I won’t be there. I was prepared to perform. Don’t watch the product, it’s terrible but I wanna be there.’ I mean come on. That’s not a clear message. That’s somebody who’s working something that I can’t see. If Nick’s smarter than me, I can’t figure this out. This is some sort of [Vince] Russo stuff. It’s beyond me. Why not just pack your bags, finish your contract out, go and then say what you wanna say? And then it’s not within the bounds of the company… If you wanna talk openly, like he wants to go and blast me somewhere, okay. Then I can go on that same podcast and I can blast him. But we’re not fighting over the company. But he’s in the company. He’s a paid talent. So what am I supposed to do? He’s basically creating a scenario where every time somebody wants out, they’re gonna follow the Nick Aldis plan.
Over the summer, when Aldis was removed the Worlds Heavyweight Title match at NWA 74 and there was back and forth between he and Corgan, Billy said that was an angle. At that point, all signs were pointing to Nick being in NWA in 2023.
When a person goes scorched earth? Where do you go back? [Corgan said in response to if there was anything that could’ve been done so that Nick Aldis finished out his NWA deal the ‘right way’] When I was on here [Busted Open] a few months ago and I went off on Nick, we were working. That was an angle we were working, because all plans were Nick was gonna stay with the company in 2023. So yeah, is it an original angle? Stone Cold and Mr. McMahon, no. But that’s what we were gonna do. We’re gonna pit against each other and we talked about maybe I turn and be heel with him and we talked about all sorts of scenarios for 2023. So when I was on here blasting Nick, with his permission, I was gonna blast, he was gonna blast so we sort of started building up this heat. So part of what feeds into the story that’s happening now is the work story. Everything’s been totally cool and listen, he told me over and over again what he didn’t like about the product and I told him, particularly what I like about the product, what I didn’t like, what my reasons were and basically said, ‘If you don’t like it, you can go’ obviously or, start your own wrestling company. This is the NWA, this is my company. I invest my time and my money and go away from my kids to work on the NWA as something I really, really care about, okay, and that’s it. It’s all transparent. You know I come on here and I tell you the truth. I’m very different that way, I’m very transparent. I would prefer that the last image you have of Nick Aldis in the NWA ring is his hand raised and I don’t want to get into conspiratorial stuff like, he didn’t like the way it was being booked. Who cares? He didn’t want to do business the right way, he went into business for himself, right? That’s where we’re at. Now, we’ve split the whole company in a position where we have to defend what? What are we defending? Nick Aldis doesn’t like the NWA. Okay. Let the people who are here and it’s a great card — let them go out and prove why he’s wrong. That’s it. It’s not complicated.
As far as how Billy thinks Nick will do outside of NWA, he thinks he’ll have a tough time but not as a wrestling talent. He does not believe that other companies view what Nick is doing as good business.
Billy added that Nick believes he’s a top guy so the public is going to see in the coming months, adding that he does think Nick is a top guy and that’s why he invested in him. Corgan said he was warned about ‘this Nick Aldis’ years before signing him and everything was smooth when Aldis was getting what he wanted.
I think he’s gonna have a tough time [Corgan said about Aldis outside of NWA]. Not as a wrestling talent, but I think you see the way he’s dealing with this publicly, I can’t imagine that any company is looking at this and thinking this a good way to do business. But, he was tied with me for five years. We did business for five years. I paid him a lot of money. Take your money, shake your hands and go. Why the big ruckus? I think it belies a deeper insecurity that Nick believes he’s a top guy. Okay, now we’re gonna see it. I wish him well. I invested in him because I believe he’s a top guy. I was warned about this Nick Aldis before I signed Nick Aldis. As long as I gave Nick Aldis what he wanted, Nick Aldis is cheesecake and flowers. Now, I’m meeting the Nick Aldis that I was warned about, that people in other companies warned me about before I signed Nick Aldis. Okay, if that makes me a dummy, I don’t think so. I think it’s been a good play overall. Does this leave a sour taste in my mouth? Of course. Why? Does he really wanna bury the locker room? Does he really wanna bury Trevor Murdoch and Matt Cardona and Tyrus? Does he really wanna bury people that he does respect? Thom Latimer is Nick’s best friend in the world. We have a match, Thom Latimer versus EC3, does he wanna bury that match too? Is that what’s so embarrassing about the NWA? Thom Latimer versus EC3? Am I supposed to come out here and apologize? Hey everybody, I’m so sorry. Latimer versus EC3, I’m sorry to make you watch that. It’s ridiculous. Now he doesn’t like a lot of the mid-card stuff. I grew up in a time where that kind of stuff was important in a different way and I’m not here to defend it, I’m just saying if you look at my vision of wrestling which not everybody agrees with, that’s my bet. Let me tell you, when I’m in meetings with network executives, they like the program. I’ve been having a ton of meetings over the last six months with TV executives, talking about the future of the NWA. They like the program. These are not wrestling fans. My argument for years has been wrestling community, you have to appeal to non-wrestling fans to get the numbers back up. You cannot just appeal to the hardcore fans that know where MJF buys his scarfs.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Busted Open Radio with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.