Ryan Nemeth on being the younger brother of WWE wrestler Dolph Ziggler, the “Heel” movie dealing with sexual assault in pro wrestling, working for AEW, why his NXT run came to an end

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Insight With Chris Van Vliet and guest Ryan Nemeth
Host: Chris Van Vliet
Transcription by Alex Hunt of Featuresofwrestling.wordpress.com
Interview available at Chris Van Vliet’s YouTube Page

How his AEW debut randomly happened: “Being there is kind of like a huge reunion. I have so many friends from NXT or other parts of wrestling. Walking in the locker room felt like home. I went to AEW to see Amanda Huber (the late Jon Huber/Brodie Lee’s wife) because I knew there was going to be a birthday for Brodie Jr. I thought I would surprise her and say happy birthday. I used to babysit him in Tampa. I wanted to say hi to her, I also secretly had my gear with me. They asked me, ‘Since you’re here do you want to wrestle?’ And I said sure. I think it went well, I blacked out but I think I won (laughs). I was honored to debut on Dynamite. It felt great to be back in the ring. During shutdown, I have been doing a lot of wrestling but not in front of a live crowd. It’s been a lot of stunt work or coordinating for TV shows. AEW are super into promoting creativity, very motivational and positive environment.”

On being the younger brother to WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler: “There are similarities. We are brothers, we are related, we were both trained by the exact same people in wrestling. We grew up wrestling for the same school together. But I will say I’ve spent my entire wrestling career looking and dressing the exact opposite of him. He had blond hair, I dyed mine black. He wore pants, I wore shorts. No matter what I do, for a decade, any time I’m in a match, the Internet says I’m a carbon copy of him. But we’ve had pretty different lives. He was a college wrestler, I focused more on acting and writing. In the past few years, to do so many of these things together is awesome. I never felt like we were competing for anything though.”

On his time in NXT and being released: “It was working great for me there while Dr Tom Prichard was head coach and John Laurinaitis was in charge of talent relations. They had a top ten list of talent and I was number three I think. Almost overnight, someone took over head coach, someone took over talent, and I didn’t seem to exist anymore. This new coach did not like me or my brother. He is not there anymore though. I didn’t believe in him as a coach, I just said it. An executive confirmed the coach didn’t like me, and didn’t know if there was anything I could do. When the executive called to release me, I asked if that was what’s happening here, he said yes. It’s just how wrestling works. The phone call, the executive thought I was going to go to Hollywood. One month later I moved to Los Angeles.”

His new movie “HEEL” which deals with sexual assault in wrestling: “The plot of the film deals with sexual assault in the world of indie wrestling. It comes from a very real place. I was ambushed with stories about assault. That’s why I took a break from wrestling. It was really close to home for me. I can’t speak on behalf of these people. Legally, imagine the trouble I would be in if I did speak on behalf of victims. But I can use art to encourage conversations about these things. I love wrestling and the people in it but there are some bad eggs that do bad things and get away with it. There is not one solution to it, but it’s one that I can try to help with. I would love it to expand to a feature or a series.”


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