In June of 2021, WWE released numerous talent from NXT and 205 Live, justifying it as a necessary budget cut. Fans didn't take it well, especially for the farewell of some audience favorites who were seen without a contract overnight.
Among these there was also Tony Nese who, after being released, settled at AEW within a few months.
What's next for Tony Nese?
During an interview with AEW Unrestricted, Tony Nese told some details about his debut in AEW and backstage in general.
Also, his contract signing happened 30 minutes before he stepped into the AEW ring: “It was a crazy day. I was showing up to meet Tony Khan, to say hello, we were quite a crowd at this place in Orlando. I was there to meet everyone, see if I could talk to Tony and stuff like that.
I was standing outside his office, talking to a bunch of people, Adam Cole and a couple of others. He comes out, 'Hey Tony, how are you? I'm a big fan. Literally five minutes later, he was like, 'Do you want to sit in the crowd?' I took a step back and said, 'Do you want me to be a fan? What's going on? Do you want me to fill the seats?' I was super confused.
'No, we're going to put you out there, we're going to make a big deal out of it, what's Tony Nese doing here?' Ok, great, I thought I was just here to hang out and talk to everyone." Tony Nese then continued: “A few minutes later, they pulled me aside and talked to me, we talked about a deal and it was literally like 30 minutes ago.
"We'll put you out there and you'll be sitting out there for the whole show." I sat out there. Fortunately, nothing bad came of it, but Lance Archer had an accident and for some reason, the first intention was to shoot me, Tony Nese.
I see the red light and the camera and I'm like, 'Oh no.' I had so many options, I could make a face, maybe it became a meme and everyone was laughing, but in my head, I don't know the gravity of the situation, so the last thing I want to do is do something about myself and suddenly we find out that someone is seriously injured.
Literally, I was like, 'I have no idea what to do.' I'm staring off into the distance, 'Someone, please make that red light go away', so it was clear I was out of focus”. During the interview, Nese recalled how supportive his wife was during the whole ordeal.
"Nothing was happening with WWE, so I started getting frustrated. I started talking with my wife and said this will be my last 2 to 3 years. It looked like I was going to be a personal trainer for the rest of my life, but my wife said 'I would rather live in a cardboard box than have you give up on your dream.'
That was when I decided I would be with this girl for the rest of my life, but also it sparked me."