Nick Aldis Takes Jacob Fatu to the Limit at HOG Revelations

Nick Aldis promo picture for House of Glory Revelations 2022

NWA Alumni, ‘The National Treasure’ Nick Aldis, has been a busy guy since parting ways with the NWA. He won a battle royal at WrestleCade, had the honour of appearing in Ricky Steamboat’s last match, wrestled in Mexico for AAA, and beat Shawn Donavan for the SAW Heavyweight Championship. Last night, December 17th at La Boom in New York City, ‘The National Treasure’ took part in a little bit of a dream match when he faced Jacob Fatu for the House of Glory Heavyweight title at the HOG Revelations PPV.

The pairing of Aldis and Fatu caused quite a bit of excitement on the independent scene, certainly for me, and I had to make a point of checking out the show to catch what would surely be a clash of the titans. I was not disappointed.

While it’s not certain what Aldis’ long-term plans are, it is good as an Aldis fan to see him travel around and take on some big names (Rush! FTR & Ricky Steamboat!) in some unexpected places, as a good part of the enjoyment of Aldis’ NWA title reign was the Aldis Crusade, seeing the Champ defend the honour and spread the name of the NWA far and wide, with surprisingly good matches cropping up against unexpected talent in some surprising places. If Nick wants to travel around for a while and put himself up against some quality names for some prize fights, I’m down with that.

That Aldis-Fatu was a match people wanted to see was something even ‘The National Treasure’ was aware of, addressing it directly with the fans in the audience as he grabbed a mic before the match: “this match up tonight is a match-up that I’ve wanted for years. A match-up between myself and someone who, yeah, I’ll give him his due, I believe to be one of the very best in the industry today…

Dramatic pause.

…which is why I’m so disappointed, no, disgusted, that it has to happen in Queens!” Cue offended booing from the crowd. “Not Brooklyn. Not Long Island. Not Manhatten. Queens. Most of you have never even left New York. I’ve wrestled all over the world. I was the greatest NWA Champion of the modern era, and the fact that I have to have this match-up in front of these spoiled, entitled, loud-mouthed, know-it-all New York fans makes me sick to my stomach. Which is why I pulled the Hogan card with the office, brother, and I said, ‘I’m going on before intermission’. I’m pulling the room service gimmick, I want to get back to my hotel so I can get on the first flight outta here tomorrow morning, because tomorrow night, I get to wrestle in the main event in a real wrestling town, St. Louis, Missouri!

And with one swift promo, the crowd had gone from respectful cheering to complete disdain. Everyone wanted to see Fatu beat Aldis now. Sometimes, the old moves are the best, and in this instance, Aldis had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand, basking in the glow of his heel heat. It worked so much that the fans actually booed when the announcer said “Kings Lynn, England.” The bemused look on Aldis’ face was priceless.

Nick Aldis vs. Jacob Fatu title card for their match at HOG Revelations.

Onto the match. One would expect Fatu to have the advantage, certainly power-wise, so it was smart thinking on Aldis’ part to jump onto a Fatu mistake and capitalize on it. The early going saw the pair feel each other out until Fatu unleashed some big fists and a dropkick. But it was a handspring moonsault that gave Aldis an opening, as Fatu landed awkwardly on his knee, allowing ‘The National Treasure’ to take advantage with a chop block and by wrapping Fatu’s knee around the ring post.

After a brief excursion outside, where Fatu found himself throttled against the guard rail, Aldis began wearing the champ down. A suplex from Fatu saw him hurt his knee more. Aldis, smelling blood, went for the figure four, Fatu writhing in pain but ultimately being able to reverse the move. This seemed to give a new lease of life to ‘The Samoan Werewolf’ and the knee held up to a Samoan drop and a Uranagi, but a leap from the top saw Aldis grab Fatu’s legs and lock in the Kings Lynn Cloverleaf. The champ reached the ropes to break the hold but was the damage done?

A double clothesline took both men out, and on their return to their feet, a second Samoan Drop attempt saw Fatu fall to the mat, clutching his knee in agony. I love a good story told over an injury or a body part, and Fatu’s vulnerability really helped to put Aldis over to any doubters who might have felt he had no chance of hanging with Fatu. An Aldis piledriver and top rope elbow drop followed, but Fatu was able to counter a Figure Four attempt into a roll-up for a near-fall. Not to worry, though. Fatu made the most of his newly-found energy to hit a big thrust kick, and the knee held out long enough for the springboard moonsault to earn the champ the 1-2-3. The champ retains! But in a rare display of vulnerability, Fatu was helped to the back by referees, which was a nice touch. I like that he committed to the story around the knee, even after the bell. You don’t see that level of commitment that often anymore.

Did the match live up to my expectations? No, but I think that says more about my expectations than the match itself. It was a good, solid match wrestled at a brisk pace between two quality names who went out and told a compelling story. At 11 minutes, it was shorter than I was expecting and I think an extra five minutes could have raised the level of the bout even higher, but for those NWA fans that are missing ‘The National Treasure’, this is definitely a match worth taking time out to see.

HOG Glory Revelations is available for purchase from FITE. Nick Aldis will be wrestling Davey Richards for Glory Pro Wrestling at the South Broadway Athletic Club, St. Louis, Missouri, on December 18th.

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