Nick Aldis re-set the bar for future NWA Champions when he defeated Tim Storm for the title at CZW Cage of Death 19. With the victory, the perception of the championship has gone from a relic of a bygone era to something fought over by the best wrestlers of the day.
This is not to say Tim Storm wasn’t a worthy champion or his story wasn’t worth exploring. It is only to say Storm represented where the title had been and Aldis represents where it is going.
As we enter 2018, Aldis is ready to begin the task of defending the title across multiple promotions just as previous generations of NWA champions did before him.
Tim Storm vs. Nick Aldis I
Each NWA title match between Aldis and Storm was riddled with controversy. In the first match, Storm used the ropes for leverage in order to perform a cradle and pin Aldis. Granted, his feet weren’t in the ropes when the ref began and ended his count.
Aldis publicly berated Storm for using the ropes and called for a rematch. Storm would grant Aldis a rematch but not before he faced another challenger first.
Aldis’ disappointment with the referee’s decision may have led him to seek the services of a new manager to deal with such matters.
Tim Storm vs. Jocephus I & II
Jocephus has arrived as the 3rd man to be used multiple times by the NWA thus far in their new era. So far, however, he has come up short in his 2 matches against Tim Storm.
Following his 2nd loss to the then-NWA Champion, Jocephus attacked Storm, tying his arms to the ring post and hitting him with a ladder. The resultant injuries were then a factor in Storm’s unsuccessful title defense against Aldis in CZW.
Since the attack, the NWA has suspended Jocephus for a period of 45 days. Jocephus sent in a video in response to the suspension stating he will be using the time as a period of contemplation.
Heading into Cage of Death 19 on December 9th, Storm was an injured 53-year-old journeyman champion with a bullseye on his back.
Enter Austin Idol & Idolmania Management
Former NWA Georgia Heavyweight Champion, Austin Idol, returned to pro-wrestling and interrupted Storm’s appearance at Cage of Death 19. Idol declared he was now the manager for Nick Aldis. He then brought out Aldis who invoked his guaranteed rematch clause for a match later that night.
In the match, Aldis attacked Storm before the bell, ramming a running knee into his opponent’s already injured ribs. What followed was 4 minutes of Aldis demonstrating how an athlete in his prime stacks up to an injured journeyman wrestler. Although Storm would nearly pull-off an upset with an inside cradle, Aldis won the match and the title in just 4 minutes and 10 seconds.
Nick Aldis Raised the NWA Championship Bar
Nick Aldis has now won world championships in 3 different organizations. He is a former Impact Wrestling World Champion, a former Global Force Champion, and the current NWA World Heavyweight Champion.
Tim represented tradition, lineage, and the true blue championship spirit of the old NWA. Aldis, on the other hand, is a top athlete in his prime. A champion who is not only willing to defend the title every night but has the ability to do so.
Billy Corgan’s purchase of the NWA raised the visibility of the belt. For the last couple of years under the previous regime, the title had kept a low-profile but that all changed on October 1st, 2017. That was the day Corgan officially took ownership of the promotion and the day Tim Storm became a marked man. The higher visibility Corgan’s purchase brought to the title meant every top freelancing wrestler available wanted a shot. Storm should be commended for his efforts but it was always a matter of time.
As 2017 closes so too do the first 3 months of the Billy Corgan’s NWA. As for Aldis, his list of potential title-challengers will only grow larger as we enter 2018.