On June 25, WWE released Tony Nese from his contract.
Nese was a former NXT Cruiserweight Champion, competed in the Cruiserweight Classic, and had become one of the pillars of 205 Live.
Speaking on the Wrestling Perspective podcast, Nese detailed his release from the company.
"It wasn't a creative thing like, 'we have nothing for you.' It was straight up, like what you hear on the internet, it was budget cuts. The company is obviously trimming some fat and whatever their plan is, unfortunately, business is business and I was on the shit end of that stick," he said. "When it comes to 205 Live and being on the show, the writing was on the wall with that, but my relationship with pretty much everyone and my work ethic and things people would tell me, that's where I was kinda blindsided. I think it was business-related. Business is business and I can't complain. In the long run, it'll be their mistake."
Nese will have his options open on the Independent scene and other major companies now that the world is opening up again, but for now, he is going to focus on getting his Twitch content out there.
"I'm coming out of this way different than when I was going in. Going in, I was the kid trying to make a name for himself and doing everything I can and going to shows I didn't want to or doing jobs I didn't want to do. Now, I have full control to be creative and do what I want to do. It's exciting to have that control and have that fire under my name now," he said. "The first feeling I got was, 'oh my God, what am I supposed to do?' and you think about friends and family. That's the part that hit me at first. Then I thought, 'I get to do so much more.' I have so many friends who have left the company and are doing way better. The world of wrestling is way different now. Not only working Independent shows and making shows on the weekend, but the reach wrestlers have now with streaming services. That's exciting. The one thing I kick myself about is not jumping on that bandwagon earlier because I was getting complacent and feeling like this is what I would do until I retire. It's something I was interested in, but towards the end, the company wasn't allowing it anymore and I wasn't going to get myself in trouble. I can start streaming now and doing Twitch. I have so many ideas and I've been in talks with content creators about what I can do and add to the streaming service. I don't want to do just gaming. I love that but I'm a premier athlete. I'm trying to figure out a way to use a Twitch stream to add a fitness life into it."
Co-host of the show Petey Williams joked often during the interview that he would see Nese at Slammiversary, furthering the joke by saying Nese was one who got out of his non-compete clause early.
Fightful Select reported on June 27, "multiple WWE releases from 2021 have asked to have lenience or to forego their non-compete clauses. We gained confirmation that at least one of them has gained an early out on their WWE no-compete clause, and WWE were willing to let them out of the entirety of it, but that it didn't end up happening. Those that we've spoken to have said that WWE and Johnny Ace have been very easy to deal with in these talks. As far as the most recent releases, some have 30-day non-competes, others have 90."
The length of Nese's non-compete clause, or if it was waived, is unknown
When discussing his options moving forward, Nese said, "I feel like I'd fit in (IMPACT) perfectly. I feel like I'd fit in a lot of places perfectly. My options are out there and I have a lot of discussions to make. I'm not saying anything. Right now, my goal is to wrestle the people I haven't had a chance to wrestle. I have to brush up on my Independent wrestling. I have a lot of friends in AEW like Alex Reynolds and John Silver. Me and Alex have wrestled like 110 or 120 times. I'd love to add a couple more to that. Kenny Omega, I wrestled him on an Independent show. It was a small show and he was on a long tour and just like 'let me get through this without getting hurt.' Matt Sydal, I've never worked with him and would love to mix it up with him. I wouldn't mind smacking MJF around."
Nese also mentioned that he has Indie dates in the works, but he could not comment on them.
Elsewhere during the interview, Nese revealed he was told WWE would never hire him and was given the reasons why during a tryout. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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