TNA Wrestling comes to arena
HUNTINGTON — Magnus admits he has two passions in life. Body building and wrestling.
Developing a good physique has allowed Magnus, 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, to make quite a mark in professional wrestling.
In 2009, Magnus and partner Doug Williams formed “The British Invasion” and won TNA’s World Tag Team championship at Bound for Glory.
After that, Magnus set his sights on singles and started climbing the ladder. He was selected to become a member of the Main Event Mafia alongside Sting, Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. In December, he beat Jeff Hardy to win the TNA World Heavyweight crown, making him the first British world heavyweight champion since the early 1900s. Since then he’s had successful title defenses against A.J. Styles and Sting. Ironically, his wins over the three signalled their departure from TNA.
Next up for Magnus is a title defense against Samoa Joe in TNA Wrestling’s Road to Lockdown Tour house show Friday, Feb. 20 at Big Sandy Superstore Arena. It’ll be in a steel cage, just like their main event at Lockdown on March 9 in Miami. Ironically, Hardy is scheduled to make a return at that pay per view.
“I was ambitious as a kid,” Magnus said in a telephone interview. “But at 12 or 13, I looked different. I wanted to be a wrestler. I was a skinny kid. I knew I had to get bigger to get a shot. Plus I’ve always admired good physiques anyway.”
Magnus put in time and effort to get into shape to handle the demands of pro wrestling. He doesn’t hide his strategy for achieving the ultimate physique. He writes a monthly column called “Total Nonstop Aldis” in the United Kingdom sports magazine Fighting Spirit Magazine and has been featured in Muscle and Fitness. Magnus, 27, became a cast member of the UK’s revival edition of Gladiators performing against contestants under the name “Oblivion.” A possible book deal is in the works.
“Younger people in the UK would ask me about fitness and diet,” Magnus said. “In my early 20s, I wanted to know. Knowledge is power. I’m so busy. You have to set times, work and be smart.”
Magnus said he was fortunate to start in tag team.
“I was very green when I first came in. I probably wouldn’t have lasted,” Magnus said. “A singles guy, you’re very exposed. You learn on the job. Doug took me under his wing. We complemented each other, benefited from working with one another. The tag win was a big deal. Chances are I’d be around a while.”
Before leaving tag team, Magnus also held the title with Samoa Joe.
When he went to singles, Magnus remembers being told about joining the Main Event Mafia.
“They (TNA officials) said go get some suits,” he said. “That’s not really in me. It meant you’re next and it absolutely turned out to be true. I loved it. It was cool to get to run around with Kurt, (Samoa) Joe. It gives you credibility. You’ve got to do your best to progress. It’s one defining thing ... do or die. Screw up and you go back down.”
In December, Magnus beat Hardy to win the TNA World Heavyweight championship. In the process, he joined Team Dixie led by Dixie Carter, president of TNA. In a two-week stretch in January, Magnus defeated A.J. Styles in a no disqualification title unification match, after Styles had returned to TNA with his own championship. Styles left TNA after the match and so did Sting after Magnus beat him a week later.
“When you get a chance to prove yourself, you have to capitalize,” Magnus said. “I’ve been holding up my end.”
In addition to house shows and PPVs, TNA stars are seen each Thursday night on “Impact Wrestling” on Spike TV.
TNA has its veterans and a roster full of up-and-coming stars, too, led by Ethan Carter III and others.
“We’ve moved to a new era,” Magnus said. “We looked to others to run things before. They wouldn’t pull the trigger on the young talent. You put yourself into a spot. If you don’t do it fast enough, people won’t buy into it. In transition, you have to make it real.
There’s only one left. It’s a definitive moment.”
In late January and early February, TNA Impact Wrestling made a return visit to the United Kingdown for four shows. That trip gave Magnus a chance to wrestle in front of the home fans (he’s from King’s Lynn, England) and get recognized at the UK Parliament along with Dixie Carter.
“I got a lot of coverage,” Magnus said. “To go to the House of Parliament was special. I never thought that would happen to a wrestler.”
Now Magnus has his full attention on Samoa Joe who is billed the “Samoan Submission Machine.” He said fans will be in for a treat at the house show.
They might see his finishing move, The Tormentum.
“For a fan experience, a house show is more personal,” Magnus said. “You’re restricted by time on TV or a PPV. You work for the camera, not for the people. House shows are our bread and butter. We let it go. The people have fun. For 21⁄2 hours, it’s the best entertainement. Action, surprise and comedy.”