Nick Aldis has hit a monumental milestone in his career that puts him in rarefied air in the wrestling business with the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion celebrating a 1000-day title reign.
Aldis reclaimed the NWA World Title at the NWA 70th Anniversary Show on October 21st, 2018 when he defeated Cody Rhodes in a Two Out Of Three Falls match. This began Aldis’ second reign as champion having previously lost to Rhodes in a hugely emotional contest at the All In event. Aldis’ first reign lasted for 266 days after he won the title for the first time from Tim Storm in December 2017.
Nick Aldis has become the first man to hold the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Title for 1000 days in over 20 years. Previously former UFC star Dan ‘The Beast’ Severn held the title for over 1000 days with a reign that stretched from February 1995 until March 1999 when he lost the title in Japan to Naoya Ogawa. Aldis has some way to go if he wants to beat Severn’s reign for length with The Beast holding the title for 1479 days.
In achieving the feat, the man who also used to call himself TNA World Champion has become just the fifth man in history to hit the 1000 day milestone with the NWA Worlds Title. Lou Thesz was the first man to achieve the feat with his reign recognised by some as stretching over 2000 days. The next champion to reach 1000 days was Thesz again when his third reign as champion lasted 1079 days, he was then followed by Gene Kiniski who defeated Thesz for the title and then held it for 1131 days. Kiniski’s reign was in turn ended by Dory Funk Jr. who went on to call himself NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion for 1563 days.
For context, there are only four men who have held a version of the WWE Championship for over 1000 days and you have to go back a lot further than 1995 to find them. Bruno Sammartino achieved the feat twice in his first and second reigns with his first reigns as champion lasting over a massive 2800 days. Pedro Morales and Bob Backlund [although Backlund’s reign is disputed] began 1000 + day reigns as champions in the seventies before Hulk Hogan began the last man in the company to achieve the feat with his first reign that stretched from 1984 until his controversial loss to André The Giant in 1988. CM Punk still holds the record for the longest modern-day WWE Championship reign but his 434 days as champion is dwarfed by the four-figure reigns of some of his predecessors.