Former WWE Star Admits He Was Ready When Company Released Him

WWE logo over blurred Ilja Dragunov Gunther

A former WWE superstar admits that he was ready to move on when the company decided to release him.

When WWE chose to release several superstars in September 2023, perhaps the most shocking name on the list was Dolph Ziggler. In his nearly 20-year career in WWE, Ziggler was a former two-time World Heavyweight Champion who won several other championships in the company including the Intercontinental, United States and Tag Team Titles.

While Ziggler accomplished a lot in his career, WWE didn’t use him much in 2023, so perhaps it wasn’t a big surprise when he was let go.

During an appearance on Busted Open Radio, former WWE superstar Dolph Ziggler (using his real name Nic Nemeth now) explained how he was ready when WWE chose to release him.

“I was prepared. For the last six, eight, ten months going, ‘At some point, I have to make a change here.’ As you get ready to go and see you don’t have a chance to be in a PPV match and steal the show. You don’t have a chance to have a six-minute match to steal the show. You have a match and it’s three minutes and you don’t get an entrance and everyone knows who is winning. Can I find a way to have that work?”

“Once that started happening, even a couple of years ago when Roode [Bobby Roode] and I were tagging, I was thinking, ‘At some point, I have to be ready to go. Will my shape and stamina still be there?’ I have been preparing so long and getting things ready to go, it wasn’t ‘What? What do I do now? I’m free.'”

“I was planning for half of this entire last contract going, ‘I know at some point, I’m being paid way too much to sit at home so I’m gonna have to get out of here.’ I always wanted to be ready to go, just in case they said, ‘I know you’ve been doing 90-second matches, can you do 30 minutes with The Undertaker?’ You’re damn right I can.”

“I was ready to go anyway, I just wanted to have every option available. It wasn’t out of the blue. I had sent emails to the boss over the last few months saying, ‘I have to move on to somewhere else, can you let me do this?’ Eventually, without exact back and forth, that’s how it worked out. It wasn’t weird because it was so six, eight, ten months in place going, ‘Here it comes.’ Now, I have 90 days sitting around, which broke my heart, but I just got extra workouts.”

Where Will Dolph Ziggler Have His First Match Post-WWE?

It has been announced that Nic Nemeth’s first match outside of WWE will be at World Wrestling Council’s Euphoria event on the 20th of January in Puerto Rico. Ziggler will face Puerto Rican legend Ray González at the show.

Nemeth will also likely be wrestling for NJPW at some point in the future since he started an angle with David Finlay at Wrestle Kingdom 18.