Former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Tony Nese has responded to his recent release by the company.
Appearing on the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, Nese said that he believes the decision to release him will prove to be a mistake on WWE’s part in the long run.
After spending time in IMPACT Wrestling and on the independent circuit, Nese signed with WWE in June 2016 competing in the Cruiserweight Classic tournament. The high-flyer later became a mainstay of 205 Live! winning the Cruiserweight Title on the WrestleMania 35 pre-show.
However, Nese was released along with numerous other 205 Live! Superstars on June 25th.
Speaking during the recent interview, Nese revealed how his release went down.
“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.”
Expanding further, the New Yorker detailed how he’s relishing having more creative control going forward.
“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,”
Nese explained that after getting over the initial shock of being let go, he’s ready to embrace the new opportunities that are on the way.
“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.”
Nese later looked ahead to getting back in the ring, and where he may end up next. The former WWE Superstar revealed that while he has plenty of friends in AEW, he feels he’d be a great fit in IMPACT.
“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.”
Speaking in a recent interview, Triple H reflected on WWE’s recent talent cuts. WWE’s Executive Vice President of Global Talent Strategy Development said that all companies are making difficult decisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.