Nick Aldis is back in Impact Wrestling, which, back when it was known as TNA, was where he truly made a name for himself in North America (though he was known as Magnus for much of that time).

Then he went on to other things, world championships, controversies, and came into his own confidence-wise.

That confidence comes through in conversation. He knew that after leaving the NWA under less than ideal circumstances, battling with owner Billy Corgan, he wanted to be a main eventer elsewhere.

“I think that my body of work since since my first TNA run speaks for itself and has obviously achieved a fair amount of acclaim,” Aldis recently told “I’m proud of the fact that what I was able to do since leaving TNA was significant enough that when I was approached about coming to work with Impact again, that it was straight into a top spot — that’s always a nice compliment.”

Impact president Scott D’Amore made the deal, and Aldis had always been friendly with D’Amore and the whole Impact crew, especially with his wife, Mickie James, often working there.

“My conversations were with Scott. He and I have always had a good relationship. Obviously, Mickie had been working with him back for a while. There was always a sort of very, very open, friendly communication there. … We always maintained a dialogue and then when the right opportunity came up, it was a very easy conversation,” said Aldis, recalling the gist of the back and forth:

I don’t want to sound pretentious when I say this, but to me, it was sort of like, I think this is probably what it was like, in the territory days, right? You know, someone gives you a call, or in our case, it started off with a couple of texts.

“Are you interested in this and this?”

“Of course, sounds good. What does that look like?”

“Well, we think it will be this and this.”


“Here’s what I’ll need.”

“That works for me.”

“Great, let’s do business!”

With the bad blood with Corgan still there, Aldis saw the exchange as a pleasant one.

“Man, it’s just really refreshing to do business like that, to have no doublespeak, no agendas, no, ‘Hey, this isn’t what we talked about.’ It’s nice to be able to [have] everybody working to one singular goal, singular vision, and that, to me, is to do the maximum amount of business possible at Slammiversary,” said Aldis.

Under instructions not to ask about other promotions, the NWA experience came up organically. Aldis was there from 2017 to 2022, and was the standard-bearer for the company, its World champion, the person put in the spotlight when working with other promotions, from Ring of Honor to the first All In, as well as the compelling series NWA Ten Pounds of Gold on YouTube.

Nick Aldis, Jerry Brisco and Dory Funk Jr. at the 2019 Cauliflower Alley Club at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Photo by Brad McFarlin

“It’s a testament to what I was able to do, by really making something out of nothing. And that’s not a knock on where it was before, but obviously, really just an observation of sort of where things were at as far as the NWA brand, the NWA title and everything like that, and being able to really just roll up my sleeves and sort of get creative and figure out a way to carve out my own sort of place in the industry, and really find my identity. I mean, I really found myself in the last few years,” he explained.

Therefore, it is “exciting” to come back to Impact and be in “a different kind of position.”

“There are a few things that really feel like sort of full circle situations, and then there are other things that feel very new and exciting,” Aldis said. “It’s certainly an interesting dynamic, because there’s a handful of people who are still with the company who were there when I was there before, so they’re sort of saying ‘welcome back!’ But in many ways, it feels so different. It’s such a profoundly different organization, to the TNA wrestling that I left in 2015. So there’s elements of it that are familiar, and elements that are exciting and fresh and new. I’ve had a great time.”

Aldis returned at Impact Rebellion, and immediately got in the face of just-crowned Impact World Champion Steve Maclin. Then, Maclin would drop the belt to Alex Shelley at Against All Odds on June 9, 2023, and Aldis won the 8-4-1 match to become the number one contender at the same show.

A decided veteran, Aldis is pleased with the slow build. “We know that the long term point of this is to make compelling content, whether it be digital content or television, or whatever, with a view to building to a significant event in this case, Slammiversary,” he said, explaining further.

“I work backwards, right? Like, I’m old fashioned in that respect. Everything I’m doing, I’m sort of always thinking about, I will remember that the ultimate objective here is Slammiversary, and Slammiversary is what this is all leading to. That’s where all this comes into play.”

At Slammiversary, it’s Aldis challenging Shelley for the Impact World title.

It’s one of those full-circle moments Aldis mentioned, as he said on TV — Shelley had been one of the early people to help him out in Impact.

“When I first came into TNA, I was definitely out of my depth. Like I said, I’d come from the land of cowboys and Indians, ‘Yay, boo, Come on kids, shall I rip his arm off?’ ‘Yeah’ Tackle, drop down, hip toss, powder, chant ‘chicken’ and get back to it,” said Aldis.

Then he arrived in TNA, which was a TV company first, and he had to face the challenge: “Okay, you’ve got four minutes, including entrances, get yourself over.”

It wasn’t easy, he noted, recalling those early days. “The guy you’re working with is like, ‘Well, I’d like to do this, this and this.’ Then you come back and all the veterans are going, ‘Why did you let this guy get anything on you? That was supposed to be for you.’ And you’re going like, ‘I don’t know.’ I didn’t want to upset anyone, I didn’t want to have heat. Figuring out how to do all this stuff in three minutes with, and hit your timing. You’ve got a referee in your ear all the time.”

In short? “I was way out of my depth and this was completely foreign to me. I was really thrown into at the deep end.”

Rob Terry and The British Invasion (Doug Williams and Nick Aldis) with the TNA tag team titles at Bound For Glory 2009.

Alex Shelley was one of the wrestlers who invited Aldis out to work out in the ring on TV days, rolling around in the ring to get better and create a better product.

“I was invited to that and that helped me a lot. Guys like him and AJ [Styles] and Chris Daniels and other guys who would go, ‘Hey, have you thought about doing this move? Or have you thought about doing that move?’ ‘Or you could do that into this?'” said Aldis.

Samoa Joe and Magnus at Against All Odds in 2012.

Samoa Joe and Magnus at Against All Odds in 2012.

Reflection turned into a warning of sorts to Shelley.

“So he was a genuine help. Having said that, the other stuff I said was true also, which was that it did help me find my footing, but what’s helped me ascend to the level of credibility and cachet I have in the business today is that I do stuff my way,” said Aldis. “I don’t try to be a wrestler that can match someone like him move for move, or on the technical side — although I feel like I’m fairly good technically for guy my size. But what I did was I found my identity in the ring, I found my ring IQ, and I found my voice, so to speak, and that voice has taken me to places that Alex Shelley had previously not been.

“Now we’re in this situation where it’s like, he’s a champion, but I feel like he’s the underdog in this. I think if he beats me, it’s an upset.”

Given the recent past for Aldis, it’s a fair statement.

“I’d go a step further and say, I think that since I’ve arrived at Impact, I think the energy has changed and maybe that’s why you’ve seen [Shelley] ascend to the world championship level,” said Aldis. “Maclin might have been feeling the pressure a little bit of me being there and maybe he had maybe he was too busy thinking about his stuff with Scott D’Amore and maybe he’s too busy thinking about me coming after that title. Next thing you know, he lets his guard down, and he gets upset by Alex Shelley.”

On the June 15 Impact, Aldis attacked Shelley in a decidedly non-nice guy fashion. It was a long time coming, summed up Aldis.

“I might have changed my approach a little bit from kind of giving my actions last week, but I’ve been very forthcoming that my intention has been clear from the time I arrived, is I want the world title. I’m not here to mess about and be everybody’s friend, I’m here to take that belt,” he said.

The more villainous role suits him.

“I mean, how many times could I go on TV and be like, ‘Oh, I’m here to do it the right way and I want to be the champion and I respect everybody blah, blah, blah.’ It’s just so boring.”

It’s on for Slammiversary on July 15, in Windsor, Ontario.

“I was like, fine, enough of this. I got what I came for, I got the number one contender’s spot, I got the match at Slammiversary. Boom, now I’m going to get in his face and make him earn it,” concluded Aldis.

TOP PHOTO: Nick Aldis at the Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto, Ontario, on Sunday, April 16, 2023. Photo by Steve Argintaru, Twitter: @stevetsn Instagram: @stevetsn