Tony Nese took part in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic tournament in 2016 and was signed by WWE shortly after.
Nese would become one of the top stars in the cruiserweight division, winning the NXT Cruiserweight Title at WrestleMania 35 and becoming one of the faces of 205 Live. Nese was released by WWE on June 25 and he could see the writing on the wall despite having time on his contract.
"One more year," Nese told Chris Van Vliet on Insight when asked how much time he had left on his contract. "I knew as soon as they moved us to be part of the NXT roster; me and Ariya Daivari were like, 'Alright, now we're on borrow time. It's a matter of time.' We got these new contracts that, to the Raw roster is like a normal contract, but to the NXT roster is like a 'Woah,' contract, without getting into any specifics. When we would share the Raw locker room, we felt like we were good and safe. As soon as we got to NXT it was, 'we're on the least cared about show in all of WWE history,' and they're going to start looking at who is getting what and what their deals are. The whole year they just kept releasing, releasing, and releasing and we're like, 'Okay, it's just a matter of time. When they start reviewing NXT contracts, we know we're going out the door. It's a crappy thing to think about and every day, I just convinced myself that the only thing I could control is me. Just go out there and do the absolute best I can. Go out there, have a great match, and whatever happens, happens."
Nese has rebounded following his WWE release, finding a new home in AEW. Though he's called a "free agent" on AEW television, he confirmed that he has signed with AEW. You can find his comments on signing with AEW by clicking here.
If you missed anything from AEW Dynamite, check out Fightful's full report on the show by clicking here.
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