Paul Heyman Expressed Interest In NWA TV Champ In 2020 – Exclusive

In June 2020, Zicky Dice was riding high as the NWA World TV Champion, having defeated now-AEW star Ricky Starks for the title just a few months prior. This was arguably the high point for interest in Billy Corgan’s revived NWA product. Many fans enjoyed the throwback, studio-style presentation, which was less than a year old. At the time, the show featured Dice and Starks and notable names like Eddie Kingston and Nick Aldis.

Unfortunately, it was also in June 2020 that the #SpeakingOut movement took hold. During it, multiple members of the pro wrestling community were outed for issues surrounding sexual abuse and harassment. Shortly after the movement began, one man named was then-NWA Vice President David Lagana. Lagana was accused of sexual assault by independent pro wrestler Liz Savage. Savage claims Lagana groped her while they were sharing a bed as friends while living together as roommates. Lagana denied the allegation but nevertheless resigned from the NWA.

Haus of Wrestling has learned that weeks before the Lagana controversy played out, Dice was contacted “out of the blue” by then WWE Executive Director of Raw Paul Heyman. Heyman expressed his admiration for what the young talent was doing in the ring and online with Twitch, which he had a deal with at the time. At one point, we are told Heyman asked Dice if he wanted to live in “the real world or fantasy land,” with the former NWA TV champ expressing interest in both. By that, we are told that Dice was interested in pursuing a behind-the-scenes role in the business and continuing as an on-screen character. The call ended with Heyman saying something along the lines of, “If the world burns down today, you find a way to call me.”

Haus of Wrestling is told that Dice initiated a call the following day to clarify why Heyman had called him. Heyman then expressed that he felt Dice was bigger than pro wrestling and that he should find a way to walk away from the NWA. Unfortunately, Dice was under contract for the revived promotion. It was an ample opportunity, but Dice was riding high in the NWA and was loyal to Corgan, who had recruited him from Championship Wrestling From Hollywood. We are told that pro wrestling power agent Barry Bloom was also involved in some of the calls between Dice and Heyman.

However, when the Lagana situation played out, Dice reconsidered his loyalty to the NWA. Apparently, Lagana had made comments about women in production meetings that made Dice, who is a victim of childhood sexual assault, uncomfortable. The allegations against Lagana further complicated how Dice felt. It was also relayed to us that Dice had a pair of well-received WWE SmackDown pre-show matches in late 2018 and early 2019. He was given the impression that had Vince McMahon been present, he would have been signed, which also weighed on him.

Following Lagana’s resignation, Haus of Wrestling is told that Corgan held a meeting with the roster. In it, Corgan told them that if they wanted out of their contracts due to what was transpiring, now was the time to speak up. The only person in the room who raised their hand to ask out of their deal was Dice, which surprised Corgan, who had invested heavily in him. Dice was told that if he wanted his release, he would have to sign an NDA, which he did not want to do.

It was agreed that Dice would drop the NWA World TV Championship, and the company would let his contract expire in a few months. He also agreed not to publicly speak poorly of the NWA or for Corgan to keep a positive relationship with the promotion. Dice lost the NWA TV Championship to the “Da Pope” Elijah Burke in October 2020, and his NWA contract expired shortly after.

Unfortunately, when Dice became a free agent, Heyman was no longer Executive Director at WWE, and talks fizzled. Heyman went on to begin his on-screen role as Roman Reigns’ special counsel not long after. In 2021, Dice signed with Impact Wrestling, which he recently finished up with.

Dice returned to the NWA this year for a three-show run. The run climaxed in August in the NWA World Television Championship tournament finals, where he lost to Mims. Haus of Wrestling is told that Dice is not under an NWA contract and is a free agent. He has recently been seen in ROH and AEW, but there is no update on his status with either company.