17:08 Monday 23 December 2013

History making Brit returns to home turf as heavyweight champ

Written byROB SMYTH

HE has made wrestling history but TNA Heavyweight champion Magnus revealed that the ‘hard work has just begun’.

Nick Aldis, who made hundreds of thousands of UK fans jump with delight on Sunday when he bested Jeff Hardy to be crowned the first Brit to win a world heavyweight championship in 108 years on Challenge TV, was full of confidence as he spoke to the Mail ahead of TNA Impact Wrestling’s return to the UK in the new year for its live tour.

The new top man in the company, who vowed to win the top title in TNA in this very paper last year, talked about being a history maker, his new role as the face of the company and his anticipation of returning ‘home’.

“I am so glad that my title win has been so well received, especially with all the fans in the UK,” he told the Mail.

“It really is an honour to be world champion and to represent the UK in TNA, and even more so now that I have climbed to the top of the ladder.

“I have been working for this for a long time and I think everyone at TNA, the fans, family and friends know that.

“I was determined to deliver on my claims, like the one I made in the Mail last year, that I would, one day, become a heavyweight champion.”

Now that he has claimed the top championship in the company, Nick is starting to realise what it takes to be the number one performer.

He said: “I think everybody would admit that when you reach the top, the hard work begins.

“You put so much into reaching the top but then you have to move past then and go again, all at the same time as being the top guy in the company and the man everyone looks up too.

“But, I can say that I am ready and have been getting ready for some time.

“I think it is a testament to all the work I have put in, but I am not going to just stop - this is where it begins and I am relishing the challenge.”

Only days after viewers tuned in to see him defeat Jeff Hardy for the belt, Magnus talks with immense pride at being the first Brit in 108 years to hold a top title in the American dominated world of wrestling.

“It means so much to that I have been the person to win this title, the first one for more than 100 years.

“No matter what happens, my name will always be in the history books and they can never take that away from me.

“I am now looking forward to proving myself as the champion, representing the company the best way I can and wowing the fans across the world.”

His title win could not have been timely with TNA set to return to these shores in 2014 with the Maximum Impact Tour.

With one of their own as the top guy, UK fans will no doubt be ready and waiting to celebrate with the new champ, something which Nick cannot wait for.

“You really cannot replicate the reaction that we get when we come over to the UK,” he said.

“It is a testament to how good the fans are over here that the management keep deciding to reward them by taping shows and even pay per views.

“The atmosphere is like nothing else and, if other places in the world want to see us as much, they need to look at the UK crowds and get copying as they are the blueprint.

“The boys who are not from Britain love coming here, they get such a good reaction.

“We all love it and it just keeps us wanting to keep coming back for more and more.”

Away from the ring, Nick is not letting his new found title success mean that he puts other aspects of his career on the back burner.

With a successful column in Fighting Spirit Magazine under his belt and rave reviews for his presenting Britain’s Strongest Man, the heavyweight champion is by no way short of career options .

He added: “I take my role as the top man in TNA very seriously and I will always put my all into that but this does not mean that I will continue to work on other things.

“I have an agent in Los Angeles and he is on the lookout for acting work for me.

“If something comes of it, great but if not, it is not the end of the world.

“I also had great feedback for my presenting work for Britain’s Strongest Man, so I hope that could be something I revisit again in the future.

“I also enjoy writing my columns and I am exploring the possibility of writing a fitness book in the future.”

Many people may also recognise Nick from his time as Oblivion on the most recent version of Gladiators.

When asked about his future when talking to the Mail on a previous question, Nick said he would one day would be heavyweight champion.

Now, after achieving his goal in less than 12 months, the wrestling Nostradamus handed out another prediction for his future.

“I want to keep hold of my new title, put in some top performances and keep entertaining all of the TNA fans.

“It is a privilege to hold this championship and I am determined to make Britain proud of their first major title holder in 108 years.”

Before he got ready for a deserved break, Magnus took time to explain to fans while they should part with their hard earned cash to go and see TNA live in 2014.

He said: “If people want to see two to three hours of pure action and entertainment, TNA is the place to be.

“We are going to be putting on a top show that is full of excitement and makes everyone in the crowd feel apart of it.

“I would say to all fans, buy a ticket as you will not regret it.”

Now that Magnus is the top dog in TNA, the sky really is the limit for him.

I am sure that all Brits cannot wait to see how the ‘Age of Magnus’ takes hold and continues to grow into greatness.

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