Nic Nemeth may have made a name for himself in WWE as Dolph Ziggler but was “heartbroken” when he learned of the moniker.
After previously working as Nicky in the Spirit Squad and as Kerwin White’s caddy, Nemeth was repackaged as Dolph Ziggler in 2008 and is a two-time former World Champion.
On a recent edition of the “Wrestling Perspective” podcast, Nemeth spoke about being approached with the moniker and his reaction at the time.
“Heartbroken, absolutely heartbroken [laughs], and I am heartless, but I had to get a heart and then smash it in front of myself. I hope I’m remembering this right. I get a call on a Saturday night after an OVW show. ‘Hey, you’re debuting on Monday. Your name is David Diggler,’ yeah, you thought Dolph Ziggler was bad. ‘Your name’s David Diggler. We’re not exactly sure what you’re doing, but just bring your gear.’ I’m like, ‘What, David Diggler?’ They’re like, ‘What, do you have a problem with that?’ I go, ‘Man, that sucks.’
“I find Vince for the first time in my life, I bump into him and say, ‘Sir, we just went to reality-based. We got John Cena, Randy Orton, this says David Diggler or Dolph Diggler. My name is Nic Nemeth. You can Google my name, I broke these records. I would love to be the best possible reason that you have legitimacy in this new era.’ He goes, ‘Nope, Dolph Ziggler. It stands out. That’s it.’ He walked away, and I went, ‘Okay, here we go.’”
Nemeth was released from WWE in September of last year. He has since appeared for TNA Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Game Changer Wrestling.
Nic Nemeth, better known by his ring name Dolph Ziggler, recently revealed that he was “heartbroken” when he first learned of the moniker. Nemeth, who had previously worked under the names Nicky in the Spirit Squad and as Kerwin White’s caddy, was repackaged as Dolph Ziggler in 2008 and went on to become a two-time former World Champion in WWE.
During a recent episode of the “Wrestling Perspective” podcast, Nemeth discussed how he felt when he was approached with the name Dolph Ziggler and his reaction at the time. He humorously described himself as “heartless” but said that he had to get a heart and then smash it in front of himself upon hearing the name. He recalled receiving a call on a Saturday night after an OVW show, informing him that he would be debuting on Monday with the name David Diggler.
Nemeth expressed his dissatisfaction with the name, stating, “Yeah, you thought Dolph Ziggler was bad. ‘Your name’s David Diggler. We’re not exactly sure what you’re doing, but just bring your gear.’ I’m like, ‘What, David Diggler?’ They’re like, ‘What, do you have a problem with that?’ I go, ‘Man, that sucks.'”
In an attempt to argue his case, Nemeth approached Vince McMahon, the chairman of WWE. He explained to McMahon that they had transitioned to a reality-based approach with wrestlers like John Cena and Randy Orton, and having a name like David Diggler or Dolph Diggler didn’t fit that image. Nemeth suggested using his real name, Nic Nemeth, as it could add legitimacy to the new era of WWE. However, McMahon insisted on the name Dolph Ziggler, stating that it stood out.
Despite his initial disappointment, Nemeth embraced the name and went on to achieve considerable success as Dolph Ziggler in WWE. He became a fan favorite and won multiple championships during his tenure with the company. However, Nemeth was released from WWE in September of last year.
Since his departure from WWE, Nemeth has continued to make a name for himself in the wrestling industry. He has appeared for promotions such as TNA Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Game Changer Wrestling. Despite his success outside of WWE, it is clear that the name Dolph Ziggler will always be associated with his time in the company.
Nemeth’s story serves as a reminder that sometimes, even the most successful wrestlers have reservations about their ring names. It also highlights the importance of branding and how a name can shape a wrestler’s career. While Nemeth may have initially been “heartbroken” by the name Dolph Ziggler, he eventually embraced it and made it his own, leaving a lasting impact on the wrestling world.