In 2011, Ryan Nemeth headed to Florida to join Florida Championship Wrestling. How he got there was a mysterious process.
Nemeth worked for Ohio Valley Wrestling at the time and took part in a tryout that featured scouts from the top companies. Nemeth, the brother of Dolph Ziggler, thought he impressed enough to earn a job with WWE. Instead, he impressed so much at his tryout that he earned another tryout.
Speaking to Chris Van Vliet, Nemeth recalled the complicated process of finding out he worked for WWE.
"[FCW] were coming to scout some talent. There was a weekend where we knew WWE, IMPACT, and Ring of Honor were all coming in the same two days to check out what OVW had. Ring of Honor was doing tapings at our buildings so I was working with ROH talent. The tryout was wrestling in front of ROH, IMPACT, and on the last day John Lauranitus came to watch us. We wrestled matches and cut promos if they wanted us to. Danny Davis said he wanted me to do one and John liked that. After, he comes up to me and said, 'Hey, what are you doing for a living here, to make money?' I said, 'I'm a personal trainer.' 'How much do you make doing that?' I told him a very low figure, but it was a job. He said, 'You ever been to Florida? You ever consider living in Tampa? How about you come work for us.' He wanted to know how I compared to my brother and those kinds of things. Then he disappeared. I felt cool as hell. Then, I just didn't hear anything for weeks. I asked my brother, 'Do I work there now?' He's like, 'I don't know, man.' That company is such a mystery. Wrestling, in general, is a mystery. Weeks went by and finally, someone in Connecticut called me and was like, 'We'd like you to come to Tampa for a two week tryout.' I thought, 'That's pretty cool....I thought I already worked there.' [John] literally said, 'Why don't you come work for us in Florida,' which I guess translated to 'Someday you'll have a tryout in Florida.' I flew there for a week, wrestled with them and trained with everyone, had great experiences with Norman Smiley, Tom Prichard, and I think Dusty Rhodes thought I was cool. A few weeks after, I'm thinking, 'Now am I signed?' There's no way to find out. I have a brother who works there, was a champion probably at the time, and he doesn't know. At some point, somebody called me and a few weeks later I moved to Florida. I'm sure their process now is much more streamlined than normal, but back then it was like 'Uhhhh, I dunno," he said.
Nemeth made his FCW debut in June 2011. He spent two years in FCW/NXT before he was released in May 2013.
Nemeth would make sporadic appearances on the Independent scene following his release, but most focused on his career in Hollywood. He currently competes for AEW.
Elsewhere during the interview, Nemeth revealed how he began wrestling for AEW. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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