After WWE cut more than 20 names from its roster last September, many assumed that several of those wrestlers would show up in AEW as soon as they could. Atop the list of likely future Tony Khan employees was Nic “Dolph Ziggler” Nemeth.
Nemeth has appeared for a couple well-known promotions since his non-compete period ended, but neither was AEW or Ring of Honor (interestingly, none of WWE’s post-merger releases have shown up on Dynamite or Collision... as of yet). Even with New Japan Pro-Wrestling and TNA to fill up his calendar however, there is still an assumption that Nemeth and some of the other well-known, respected names who became free agents last month will eventually sign with AEW.
But it doesn’t sound like The Wanted Man will be inking a deal with TK any time soon. Nemeth was asked about rumors he’ll end with AEW during an interview with SportsKeeda WrestleBinge to promote his match for WWC in Puerto Rico tonight (Jan. 20). Here’s how he responded:
“I am very focused on New Japan and TNA right now.
“I have seen a few different people on both of those rosters that I am blown away with. Not doing moves — being awesome at wrestling. Some of them have bigger names, and some of them don’t have a name that’s really well-known all over the world yet. There’s a handful. There’s one or two in New Japan, and there’s five or six at TNA that I have been watching very closely — I famously don’t watch wrestling, but I have been following and going, ‘This person is one big break away from being the next up-and-coming thing. How can I help them, but also make the show awesome?’
“I sit here, almost like an accountant, going over numbers and algorithms and stuff: ‘How can I make this a bigger deal? How can I make TNA one percent even better than it already is? Here’s how. Here’s what I should do. Here’s the way to go, and I’m gonna prove it to everybody.’”
The 43 year old former WWE World Heavyweight champ is so fired up by what he can do with New Japan and TNA that he’s thinking of pulling a Sting and wrestling into his 60s:
“I’m excited because I’ve been sitting around for six months, going, ‘When the hell do I get to start wrestling again?’ I feel fantastic. I’m in the best shape of my life. I’ve done 20 straight years with three TVs that I’ve missed. Nobody — that is unparalleled. I’m gonna continue this. I might wrestle for 20 more.”
If he is still going in the 2040s, I’m willing to bet he’ll have worked for AEW by that point (and probably returned to WWE for at least a Royal Rumble appearance or two, too). For now, it seems wise to focus on what he’ll be doing for NJPW & TNA, though.
It’s what Nemeth himself is doing, after all.