Nick Walker Doing the 2025 Arnold?


by Christian Duque

That’s eleven months away. Who cares?

It seems all the bodybuilding outlets are tripping over themselves to report that The Mutant has confirmed his appearance at the second biggest show in bodybuilding. Namesame and promoter Arnold Schwarzenegger has pledged to pay a whopping $500,000 top prize and coupled with a free, state of the art livestream this contest stands to draw a viewership significantly greater than that of the Mr. Olympia which is said to charge close to $80 for the same format. Walker, who is a previous ASC champion, has been sidelined as of a hamstring injury and rehab. Walker made a surprise appearance handling out an award at the 2024 Arnold looking absolutely phenomenal. That said let’s qualify this a little before making it seem as if he’s fully recovered and can hit the ground running upon a return to the stage. As we all know, there’s such a thing as wishful thinking and then there’s good ‘ole reality. The two are oftentimes miles apart.

What the world saw was a Nick Walker in high spirits. As a former Arnold champion handing out awards he was doing what Bob Cicherillo would call “doing the business of bodybuilding.” He wore a form fitting long sleeve shirt that reminded us all why he has the nickname that he has. Pretty much any guy who stands next to him ends up getting dwarfed. And of course everyone was everyone was talking about the fact that he should have done the show. How he could’ve received an invitation had he wanted it, how he had won the title before, and how he could’ve easily won it again. But therein lies yet another question that we should address before proceeding with this riveting article based on a contest announcement some 11 months into the distant future.

This wasn’t just any Arnold Classic. Even the one that Nick won was not as intense as this one. He was up against a defending Arnold Classic champion, who had beat him before, and who had made tremendous improvements since the last time they crossed paths on stage. Samson Dauda by many accounts could have been as high as second at the Olympia, and according to some people may have won the whole show. When Samson went to Columbus Ohio, he was going there fully committed to winning his second title. There was no point in time during his preparations that he took it lightly. The whole while he was cast against The Persian Wolf, and many, including some of his most loyal fans, doubted whether or not he could pull it off. From the very beginning of his prep all the way until hitting the stage, this is a man who was consumed by a healthy competitive rivalry that made sure no stone was left unturned.

A lot of times guys will take it easy at the beginning, or the middle, or maybe they’ll just coast into a show. That was not the case with this competition and had Nick crossed paths with this version of the athlete who beat him last time it would have been an all out slaughter in my opinion. It’s one thing to make a comeback. It’s quite another to make a comeback and win the second most prestigious title in bodybuilding.

Also, we can’t forget the fact that this was Hadi Choopan’s first-ever Arnold Classic. In fact, this was the first time the international sensation had ever competed on a stage in the United States outside of the Mr. Olympia. That fact alone made this competition one for the record books. For the first time ever fans all around the world were going to get to see this seasoned veteran stand up against competitors that he may not have seen in the past, but who were most definitely going to bring their best to the stage. And not only that but Hadi narrowly lost the Olympia just months prior to Derek Lunsford. To say The Persian Wolf had a score to settle would’ve been the understatement of the century. It was more like he was out for blood. And you can bet your bottom dollar that if Hadi could beat Sampson at 100% he would have wiped the floor with Nick. I mean if Nick couldn’t beat him pre-injury, why would he be able to beat him post rehab on his first show back? That doesn’t make any sense. But then again that’s where wishful thinking breaks with reality.

Listen, I don’t want to be misconstrued here. Nick Walker is a phenomenal bodybuilder and a world-class athlete. He has amassed very very important wins in a very short pro career. And also, he turned pro in a very commanding way. That being said, I think his appearance this year in Columbus was really just to not be forgotten. And he succeeded in that. Articles are being written about him, videos are being made, but I just cannot get crazy-excited about an announcement to do a bodybuilding show more than 11 months into the future. So much can change fromhere to then. And let’s be honest, would we be talking about this weeks before the Olympia? Probably not.

The reality of the matter is right now we are sort of in a dry spot where it comes to bodybuilding news. From a marketing perspective, I totally understand that you have to strike the iron while it’s hot. And that’s exactly what Nick’s doing. He did it with his appearance on the Arnold stage and he’s done it now with his announcement to compete at the 2025 Arnold classic. Plenty of little fishies are biting on the hook, but sadly not this one.

I want to see what happens in 2024.