Momentum is everything in this business; many a top talent has been deprived of showing the world just who they can be simply from the inability to create or maintain it.
That was me in 2017.
I finished up with TNA/Impact Wrestling after a 6-year run, got involved with the failed Global force Wrestling experiment, and had lost touch with what was hot in the industry. I was looking for the conventional answers; I need to sign somewhere, somewhere needs to pay me to be a wrestler, that’s how it works right?
I realized in that moment that I had never taken the time to build any value in myself, BY myself. I had always relied on a team of producers, editors and writers to tell the world who I was. As a result, I wasn’t even sure who I was. And if I wasn’t sure, why should the audience care?
I went full time in wrestling at 18 years old; I called Brian Dixon on the phone and, sight unseen, showed up to Skegness on a random Tuesday and after my match was told “come back next Tuesday and pack for the week you’re on the team.” I learned on the job, but I knew I needed more seasoning so I scraped together money to go and train with Harley Race, I took acting jobs, I constantly sent my own press releases to my local newspapers, anything I could to further my position. The momentum continued through the biggest break of my life at that time, a spot on a national television show at 21 years old, my face on buses, billboards and in magazines overnight. I used that momentum to land a deal with TNA, and suddenly I was learning on the job again, except this time I was learning how to wrestle on TV (which was totally different to wrestling on the British holiday camps circuit) at 21 years old, with a couple of million people watching. Did I get barbecued by the internet fans? Sure. Did I get blasted by half of the TNA roster who were mad that I was taking TV time away from them? Absolutely. But I kept learning and improving. Always thinking of the elusive momentum. Most of you know the rest of this story; I worked my way up through every position on the card, did every piece of media I was asked to do, every internet show, every local market promo, hell I even did promos in French. Eventually I earned the right to be the World Champion, the first British Wrestler ever to do it.
Then it all went to shit. There are always multiple sides to every story, and frankly it doesn’t matter who was right or wrong. What matters is I got comfortable, and forgot about maintaining momentum.
Your comfort zone will kill you.
Why am I telling you this? Because if you’re reading this, the chances are you are familiar with my body of work over the last three years, since Billy Corgan called me and said he wanted to make wrestling like the wrestling that inspired him as a kid in Chicago. You’ve followed my journey as the traveling World Champion, defending the same title Harley held, that Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes and so many other all-time greats held with pride, in multiple countries across four continents. You’ve seen me find myself, and approach every interview, every match, every moment, with absolute conviction and certainty. You’ve seen symbiotic resurrection.
You’re also probably well aware that we have suffered a major hit to momentum between the pandemic and other unfortunate circumstances. But I’m here to remind you that I’m not the angry young man in his 20s any more, I’m a thick-skinned experienced man who has weathered storms before and knows how to do it. I’m also telling you that the major difference between the pre-NWA Nick and the current version is you, the fans. The fans who took a chance on a bold new strategy of focusing on one match, one champion, one challenger and one prize. The fans who sold out the GPB studios over and over for NWA Powerrr, the most authentic alternative in the business. The fans who stuck their flags in the ground on my island and said “this is where I want to be a wrestling fan the most.”
I want you to know how much I appreciate it. And I have no intention of letting you down.
And together, we can find that momentum again.