Dolph Ziggler's Brother Ryan Nemeth Discusses His WWE Release
Posted by Larry Csonka on 04.18.2014
He also discusses how comedy improv helped him in wrestling…
- Dolph Ziggler's brother Ryan Nemeth recently spoke about his WWE release and more. Here are the highlights…
On if his injury ended his WWE Career: "I felt like I was on the way up... main event of every house show. Feeling good, good responses, good rapport... they loved me & Maddox together. Everything was going great. Dusty said they were looking for tag teams in WWE, main roster, & he picked us. Maddox got called up to be a referee & I was home rehabbing. Everyone would call me asking if I was debuting & my leg was in a cast & I can't walk... I'm drooling on myself. I'm sleeping on the floor every night because I'm sad. So then I would tell them I come out at the end & I knock out Brock [Lesnar]. I'm happy for them. There are times I'm like, "everyone in this battle royal or whatever it is on Raw, I wrestled with all of them & I'm the only one not there." That's the kind of thought you have to acknowledge, accept, & let it go. I'm doing cool sh*t that they can't do & I wouldn't be able to do if I was still signed. Road Dogg was producing at NXT & he came over & goes 'You are so good on camera & have so much personality. If your in-ring skills can eventually get to where your brother's is & your brother's microphone skills can get to where yours is, we can have tag champs for the next 100 years. Road Dogg told me that. You know when something makes you feel good? That lasted for weeks & months. Damn, man. That's another one I was like, I see my brother on TV & he's awesome & doing great... & then Road Dogg & Billy Gunn are champs. I'm thinking, 'What the Hell? You guys moved up? You finally moved up from Performance Center, bro?' If I was still there doing that, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now. If I want to wrestle & take a booking, I can. I'm wrestling in Australia. I can't do that signed to WWE. There's a tendency to get negative or bitter or 'Oh, he got signed but I didn't get signed. Screw that guy', you can't live like that. If someone gets an opportunity, be happy for them. Maybe you'll get one... maybe you won't. But being mad at someone else isn't going to change it."
On future wrestling bookings: "Rob Terry from TNA & I are going to Australia next month. Can't say what I will be doing there but I will be in attendance in that building May 23."
On getting released by WWE & how Dolph Ziggler knew before him: "I was eating lunch somewhere before an NXT house show. Mr Sakomoto kept calling & texting me like crazy. I called him back & he told me he got a phone call that he was released. I thought to myself, 'We just started going. We had a long-time program written up. We just had our tag team started on NXT.' All the creative guys were pumped about it. There is nothing funny on that show except for us. I thought this ruined everything... I have to start over again. Great. I have to redo everything again. This is one of my best friends. He has to leave the country. This sucks. & then I'm driving back to my house to pack my stuff for the show but, as I'm driving, I'm stopped at a red light & it hit me. I'm getting fired today. I totally knew it. Why would they axe Sakamoto? He didn't have the best English & I was in the guy in NXT/WWE that all of the Japanese guys gravitated toward me. For one reason or another, they always became my buddies. He wanted me to call Canyon Semen to ask why he was fired. I was starting to put together a lot of clues. Then I had all these calls from Canyon Semen anyway. I thought, if I don't answer, he can't fire me. So I didn't answer. It was originally my Dolph's idea. I told him I think someone really wanted me out of here for the past 6 months & it finally worked. I won't tell you everything he said but he said not to pick up the phone. He gave me the idea not to pick up the phone. I'll tell them my phone broke. I called him back eventually, "So-and-so finally convinced you to fire me, huh?' & he goes 'yup.' He listed the reasons & I said 'y'know that's not true, right? Thanks for firing me, anyways.' He goes, 'Look, Ryan, I know you're going to be a hit in the entertainment business & make millions of dollars.' So I said, 'Yeah I know. I told you that. I wanted it to be with you but I guess it will be with someone else.' I remember thinking in my head, you're releasing me from an entertainment company & the entire time you're laughing. I hope you look back in 10 years & go, 'Whoops!' I said, 'One last thing. Will you still let my brother be world champion?' & he said 'Yup!' & then I hung up on him. I'm told I'm the blue chip, most hardworking, most entertaining NXT talent... my brother is World Champ for a second time... you're telling me I'm done for? Let him think about that for a while. I handled it professionally & my own flavor & taste. My brother texted me, 'Hey. So-and-so called me to tell me they're releasing you. A very respectful company called someone who's not me to tell me I was being released before they actually spoke to me. I will say I had some good times there, entertain some people, make a little name for myself, get some publicity for my book... did some charity. Had some good times. I was someone's younger brother. I haven't been wrestling for 10 years. I wrestled for a year before they picked me up for OVW. I remember Camacho telling me people got hired who didn't even know about wrestling-- football players & model girls. There is no one right way to do it. I have a chip on my shoulder about the people who say 'Oh, you haven't been working the indies for five, ten years, I shouldn't have a job.'"
On how his comedy improv helped him in wrestling: "It did help me alot. I had been spending summers in college in Chicago, working in improv, training at the place where people like Amy Poehler & Chris Farley got their start. I was always viewing that, theater, & OVW as similiar things in my mind. They were both kind of like... the guy who's teaching you either way... this old, crotchety crazy person... like I'm thinking of Rip Rogers in OVW. He was the head trainer for WWE for a while & was still at OVW. There is always a legendary, cranky old man figures. Insane people who cannot function in a normal society but have the tools to teach you how to be good in whatever craft you're in. There's always someone like that. Comedy... wrestling...In wrestling, it was Rip Rogers. & I'm sure if you interview who passed through OVW, they'll tell you about him. Whether it's guys on the indies now... or people like CM Punk or John Cena, for sure. It was cool to talk to the guys like Cena, Orton, & all of them & we had that connection of OVW & Rip Rogers & we would exchange funny stories about him."
On how fellow wrestlers supported his book, "I Can Make Out With Any Girl Here": "There was a time when someone bought my book... I think it was the athletic trainer at FCW/NXT... a lot of people bought my book & I was excited. Brad Maddox took the book, read it, & started giving it to everyone else in the locker room. I was on a roll where a lot of people were buying it & I was getting royalties... & then Brad Maddox was lending it out. No one is going to buy it if you're giving it to them for free. Camacho, Rusev, Cena, a lot of people read that book. Sara Del Ray has it but won't read it because it's very vulgar."
On what inspired him to start writing: "It is something I have been doing my whole life. Throughout grade school, high school... I was always excited when homework involved creative writing. That was my favorite thing to school. If there was ever a newspaper in school, I always wanted to contribute to it. I didn't want to submit interviews or articles, I would want to submit drawings I did. I would make up fake text messages & submit it to the comic section."
On dealing with social media & recent death threats: "I would rather you un-follow me than threaten to kill me & my family... I've been getting a lot of those recently. I am honored that anyone would even take the time to type something & send it over the Internet to get to me so, whether it's graphic or polite, y'know, I appreciate it. The attention is nice. But, I have been getting... the last few days or weeks, a few people I don't know on Twitter telling me that they're going to kill me or they can't wait 'til I die. So, y'know, I do get extremes. I get that. I think it's the same for anyone. There's people who hate you & people who love you so... take the good with the bad."