THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
When I heard that Brutus Magnus had returned to pay-per-view at TNA’s Lockdown event this past Sunday it reminded me of my history with the man. Long-time readers of my reviews will remember that I refused to review his matches in the past because Nick Aldis, the man behind the gimmick, threatened me with legal action if I said anything negative about him on the internet.
Well, seeing as how certain parts of the British wrestling business have regarded me as “fair game” since I quit at the back end of 2005, seemingly going to great lengths to discredit me and paint me in a negative light I thought what the hell.
I first encountered Aldis way, way back in October 2003, while I was working for Ricky Knight’s World Association of Wrestling. You’ll notice that I didn’t use the words “met” or “meet”.
Aldis was due to make his professional debut as “The Zenith”, teaming with “The Dark Angel” Ashe (this name © Julian Radbourne 2002) and James Tarrant (I think that was his name) against “Big” Dave Waters and the Bulk, known collectively as the U.K. Pitbulls in Hunstanton.
I noticed Aldis as soon as I walked into the hall to help set up the show. It was hard not to notice him, a guy a foot taller than me and built like the proverbial brick wall. I barely said two words to him, only saying “excuse me” as I helped set out the chairs for the paying public.
Aldis did okay, and from what I recall I gave him a favourable review. I remember saying to WAW’s jack of all trades, the sadly now-departed Joe Williams that if handled correctly, and with a little more training from the WAW Academy teachers Aldis could go a long way. He certainly had the look.
The last I saw of Aldis that evening he was rubbing nearly everyone up the wrong way. While the rest of us were clearing the hall Aldis walked by us all, bag over his shoulder, seemingly unwilling to help any of us clear up, even though he was the rookie, the guy at the bottom of the ladder. “There goes Brock Lesnar, the big superstar!” shouted Bret “The Kraft” Meadows as he stood in the middle of a partially dismantled ring.
The next time I saw the name “Nick Aldis” was about 18 months later, on the UK Fan Forum, For reasons unknown to me Aldis didn’t return to the WAW Academy, instead furthering his training at the Dropkixx Training School. I actually had no idea what the guy had been doing until he appeared in the classifieds section of the UK Fan Forum asking if anyone knew where he could get a wrestling ring.
It was about a year later that a new promotion appeared on the British wrestling scene, a company by the name of Summit Promotions. In the summer of 2005 they announced their debut show in King’s Lynn, a town just a few miles away from WAW’s regular Hunstanton venue, and although their management team wasn’t publicly named everyone knew in a hush hush wink wink kind of way that the man behind Summit Wrestling was Nick Aldis.
This didn’t sit too well with WAW’s head honcho Ricky Knight, the man who had given him his start in the business. Apparently there’s a protocol in the business that Aldis failed to follow, where a new promoter is meant to telephone another promoter if he is holding a show in their area.
As the show was in my area I’d arranged with a friend to attend the show, with the intention of reviewing it for the internet. However, when Aldis heard of this he promptly banned me from his show, and made his now infamous threat of legal action if I said anything negative about him.
Over the next few months Aldis made it obvious to me in a series of e-mails and MSN Messenger chats that he didn’t like me. He stated on more than one occasion that he didn’t like the internet and he didn’t like internet writers, more or less branding us (and me in particular) as scum.
Step forward a few more months to the early months of 2005. By then I had quit my position at WAW for various reasons that I won’t go into here. By this time Aldis was taking to Ricky Knight again as WAW and Summit Wrestling were entering into a working agreement which would see their various wrestlers appear on each others shows, with Aldis becoming a regular for WAW, this time under his own name.
At the same time my older brother Paul was still aligned with WAW. Since WAW he’d played the part of Steven Howard-Platt, a character who’d started off as WAW’s legal advisor before becoming the commissioner. (Hmm, I wonder whose idea that was?) Even though I’d quit Paul had considered still playing the role. That was until Aldis posted certain comments on the WAW Fan Forum.
To cut a long story short, Aldis made lewd comments suggesting that Paul and I indulged in a incestuous homosexual relationship. Needless to say that Paul wasn’t very happy about these comments, especially as he’d never met Aldis and had never had any prior contact with him in the first place.
Within days Paul told Ricky that he, too, was quitting WAW, because he was unwilling to work with someone like Aldis.
Around the same time Aldis came out with another of his classics. Aldis claimed that I had “poisoned Ricky Knight’s mind”, which was the reason that he was only returned to WAW after I quit. The fact of the matter is that I never actually spoke to Ricky about Aldis, and I know that Ricky made enquiries about getting Summit’s debut show stopped before it ever happened.
What upset both me and Paul at the time was that as 2006 went on Aldis began to get regular work with WAW. Ricky Knight failed to show either of us any support, despite the vast amounts of time (and in Paul’s case money) we’d put into the company. Most of the time we were actually out of pocket with regards to our WAW duties. It was as if our efforts meant nothing because Aldis was working for WAW and we weren’t.
As Aldis made his debut as Oblivion on the revival of the Gladiators television show word began to reach me that many in WAW thought I was jealous of Aldis’ success. As would often be the case none of these people, some who claimed to be friends during my time there, and some who I had never even met, never had the courage to either e-mail or telephone me with these claims.
When I heard that Aldis was getting his big break in TNA as Brutus Magnus, I thought what the hell, let bygones be bygones and all that. I sent him a message congratulating him on his TNA deal and wishing him all the best for the future.
When I received no reply I thought stuff it. Why should I give an opinion about someone who seemed to hate me with a passion? Why should I give any publicity to someone who’d spent a great deal of time insulting me behind my back and on public forums?
You want to know what the really stupid thing about this whole situation is? I’ve never been formally introduced to Nick Aldis. I’ve never properly met him, as it were. I’ve only ever said two words to him. The majority of our contact has been online. I have absolutely no idea why Nick Aldis hates me.
But apparently I’m not the only one. By all accounts Aldis doesn’t like the internet at all, and he especially doesn’t like people who write about wrestling and review wrestling shows.
Which is extremely ironic, considering that he’s created his own website, his own personal Facebook page, two Facebook groups, a MySpace blog and a Wikipedia page. He also has a regular column in Fighting Spirit Magazine, a publication full of men and women who write about wrestling and review wrestling shows.
I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about Nick Aldis, aka The Zenith, aka Oblivion, aka Brutus Magnus. Everything I’ve said here is the honest truth, plain and simple. This whole situation could have been cleared up five years ago if he’d made a simple apology. But then again Aldis has always had a problem controlling his ego and admitting that he may have made a mistake.
Before I have my final say, I’m going to leave you with some words from the man himself. Last year someone hacked into his e-mail account and sent out spam messages to everyone in his address book. When I e-mailed Aldis asking him not to contact me anymore and to remove me from his address book he sent me the following message:
“My email account was hacked you stupid f***er. I’m embarrassed I even have your email in my address book, you are such a worthless c**t. Don’t ever contact me again you pathetic loser.”
I’m sure Dixie Carter would be proud of the way her employees conduct themselves.