Nic Nemeth Reveals Shinsuke Nakamura Helped Him Get Into Contact With NJPW

Shinsuke Nakamura gave Nic Nemeth a helping hand ahead of NJPW debut

For the first time in his career, Nic Nemeth has entered a professional wrestling world outside of WWE, recently showing up in both NJPW and TNA Wrestling. When it comes to his debut in NJPW, it is something that he has thought about for some time, and the ball began rolling thanks to former NJPW star Shinsuke Nakamura.

Nemeth (formerly Dolph Ziggler) spoke on the Talk Is Jericho podcast initially about his relationship with Nakamura and how that first began in WWE.

"A couple of years ago, I'm not close friends with a lot of people, but a long time ago when Shinsuke came up from NXT, at the time I was doing the thing where everybody who shows up wrestles me. I didn't really know him, I didn't really watch Japanese wrestling, I don't watch our wrestling. I famously don't watch wrestling, I hate everything because I was in a bad place, but I love my job and doing what I do. After WrestleMania, Shinsuke comes up (to the main roster), does whatever he does, and we're overseas. Him and I had to stay and do the dark match after TV and everyone else went on. We're sitting next to each other, we put a couple of matches together, I'm not really outspoken. I had requested a bottle of jackfire whiskey and we had that for the ride. 'You want a sip?' We just started talking, we had a couple of whiskeys, and we were buddies. It was so great because he's the biggest sweetheart in the world. We had a good bond. I liked wrestling with him.”

Nemeth followed this up by explaining how Nakamura was someone who offered him a helping hand when he was thinking about life outside of WWE and wanting to wrestle elsewhere. Given Nakamura’s previous time in NJPW, he told Ziggler he had contacts if he wanted to move to NJPW. 

"A long time ago, every time my contract comes up, I'm like, 'I'm going to get out of here. I have nothing left to do, I'm kind of sitting on the bench.' Break in case of emergency when someone is having a world title match or something. [Shinsuke] goes, 'If you ever get out of here, I have some connections and I would like to help you out.'”

It was later explained by Nemeth that he approached Vince McMahon about wanting out of WWE ahead of his contract expiration, and sure enough he was released two weeks later. He went back to Nakamura to ask about NJPW and whether or not he’d be good enough to have a shot in Japan. 

First thing I wanted to do was, I've never done independents. I've never gone around the country, except with WWE many times. I was like, 'I'm still friends with Shin [Nakamura]. Hey Shin, do you think I'm still good at wrestling? What do you think about Japan?' He's like, 'I got you.' Put a couple of pieces together, get to Rocky Romero, who is the go between, and luckily for me, they were happy and excited. That was one of the first things I did when I got released. First week in."

Nemeth debuted at the Wrestle Kingdom 18 event, targeting IWGP Global Heavyweight Champion David Finlay. 

H/T Fightful

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Written by Andrew Kelly