Ex-WWE Star Reveals Why They Didn’t Jump To AEW

WWE logo over blurred Elias Dolph Ziggler

Former WWE Superstar Nic Nemeth has revealed his reasons for not inking a deal with AEW.

Nemeth competed as Dolph Ziggler in WWE for 19 years, capturing 15 championships during a sure-fire Hall Of Fame career that including lifting the World Heavyweight Championship on two occasions.

The 43 year-old was released from the company in September 2023 as WWE looked to reduce outgoings following the completion of the multi-billion dollar merger with UFC by Endeavor under the TKO brand.

Given his in-ring pedigree, most expected to see Nemeth become ‘All Elite’ once he was contractually free to do so, but instead has featured around the globe for the likes of TNA, NJPW and Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide.

During a recent appearance on ‘Keepin’ It 100 with Konnan‘, Nemeth revealed that whilst he had held talks with AEW, he didn’t wish to be tied down to a long contract so quickly after his WWE departure:

“In the past, some [talks] but I had a plan that I’ve been working on for probably the last year and a half. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I appreciate that several companies reached out immediately.

I [said] I have this one plan, I want to do this on my own and even so, Scott D’Amore was so insistent because the locker room was so strong and somebody in the locker room of TNA reached out and I go man you guys are really making this hard. [I said] let’s do some dates. I’m not gonna sign for 3 years but I said I just wanna bounce around and be a hired gun. I’ll go with anybody and do anything.

I just got out of a long-term relationship, 19 years. I don’t want to sign a paper that says you can’t do this. I can still represent companies, I am a great brand ambassador. I just don’t want to be locked in. I did it for too long. I stayed a couple extra years to get the good money. Now I’m rested up, I’m in the best shape of my life mentally and physically.”

Nemeth would go on to reveal that he would continue to appear around the world for a further twelve months before making a decision on a permanent home:

“I think I’m gonna do a year, maybe longer, and then settle down somewhere. So far, Japan has treated me so well. That locker room is awesome.”

Former WWE Champion Nic Nemeth Praises TNA Booking

Nic Nemeth made his debut for TNA on 13th January 2024 at the Hard To Kill pay-per-view, confronting TNA World Champion Moose before making his in-ring debut against Zachary Wentz on the 25th January edition of Impact.

The former 6-time WWE Intercontinental Champion had nothing but praise for TNA Management:

“The business model behind the scenes is so close to WWE like long-term booking, having pieces in place, having people in place to where you don’t just always have to go to bits. You can go to someone and go to someone else and make a move here.

I don’t always want to bother the most important boss with a small thing because I’m new. All the pieces in place in that business model is long term booking and storytelling and I go man, that’s what I can sink my teeth into the most.”

H/T: for the above transcription.