NWA star Aron Stevens was a recent guest on The Shining Wizards Wrestling podcast to talk all things pro-wrestling, including what his experience has been like at the NWA. Highlights are below.
Calls working for the NWA an amazing experience:
It’s been really, really an amazing experience, because I was completely out of the wrestling business as of about a year ago, with no plans to return, no desire to return. I got a call from Billy Corgan and he kind of explained to me what NWA Powerrr was going to be. If had been anyone but Billy, I would have said no, but, I said ok, they already got me plane tickets so I hopped on a plane and then when I saw the studio, and I saw the setup, I was like “oh ok, so we’re gonna do this right then.” I’ll tell you what, from soup to nuts everything about NWA Powerrr, and I don’t like the term magical, that’s a little bit excessive, but there was something very romantic about NWA Powerrr. Our fans… I’ve wrestled pretty much everywhere there is to wrestle and they were so loyal and are still so loyal, but for an audience- and we’re doing four tapings a night or whatever it is- for them to still bring that energy all the time in that room, it’s absolutely amazing. And the creative freedom I had… I had no idea, like the first set of tapings, I think we filmed like six or eight shows or something like that. I’m not 100% sure. I started out and I’ll do a promo and say how I was out in Hollywood and blah blah blah and by the end of the tapings, I’m a karate guy. And that was about a year ago. It was just really, really incredible and to have the creative freedom from Billy and everybody, it really is amazing. And to be able to perform in front of the fans is incredible, and I loved, loved, loved working with Question Mark.
Working shows without fans:
I think a lot of wrestlers, from what I’ve seen, and I don’t want this to come off as a scathing critique of wrestling today, but I don’t think a lot of wrestlers paid attention to the crowd when there was a crowd. They’re worried about going out and hitting athletic moves, which is great, I’m not anti-flips at all. However, I believe, at its core, professional wrestling is storytelling, and a good story needs good characters and characters you can invest in. I judge a talent’s worth by when their music hits or they walk into an arena, what does the crowd do? I’ve seen, even from WWE- there’s not a lot of people that the crowd, and this is going from a few years ago, really cares about, and that’s sad. I think that’s really, really sad.
Talks Wade Barrett at the commentary table:
Wade is a huge asset to any company he works at, and that’s in the ring, behind the announce desk, or doing whatever. It was definitely a loss for NWA, but I also think that The NWA has shown very, very, very much the ability to be in tune with what the audience wants. Stu was a very suitable replacement for someone else who had been associated with the NWA for 30 years and, ya know, I do believe that we will find and adequate, and I don’t believe you can replace people, but an adequate person to sit in Stu’s seat.
Talks his run as Damien Sandow in WWE:
I do feel that in terms of the shelf life of that, it was perfectly planned out. And you know, and in my opinion, it was what they did with me afterwards where it was like “ok, I’ve given you this now.” We’ve had two or three incarnations, and you go and get over and then stuff happens, and then you’re going to dress up as someone new every week. Ok, that got over and then it was a whole deal, and then it was “this is great. you’re going to be doing this and doing that,” and then nothing. It’s no different than when you get cast in a movie, except that this is a movie that’s episodic and it changes every week and it can literally change if you sneeze in the hallway and the wrong person’s behind you, and that’s not an exaggeration by the way. Your career can change. That didn’t happen to me, but I know a case where something similar happened. You can’t stress out over it. At the time, I wasn’t the most happy person in the world, and life goes on. I’ve had great opportunities. I’ve almost been able to reinvent myself in life.
On the PrimeTime Live talent:
Levi Shapiro. He’s the sleeper. I hope the world sees how good he actually is. Obviously, Chris Dickinson is a great, great talent. Max Caster, I got to work with just this past weekend. What a talented kid… talented, talented kid. And others too, like the Danny Limelights of the world. He’s doing the best work of his career in my opinion. There’s so many, so many… great talent out there and you’re going to get to see them on Prime Time Live. I would definitely check it out, buy the bundle. If you’re a fan and you want to know what’s next or like “I knew this guy or girl when,” check it out. It will not disappoint, I can guarantee you that.