Ryan Nemeth Tells His Pro Wrestling Origin Story

Unlike his older brother Nic, Ryan Nemeth's childhood dreams were set outside of the professional wrestling world. Eventually, though, those dreams would be momentarily cast aside as Nemeth earned himself a one-year scholarship to train with Rip Rogers at Ohio Valley Wrestling, and subsequently signed with WWE the following year. During a recent interview with "Developmentally Speaking," Nemeth looked back on the early days of his wrestling career, particularly the series of events that led up to it.


"I've always loved wrestling. I never, growing up, considered it something I wanted to pursue or could pursue. It was always this impossible, weird thing," Nemeth said. "Anything in entertainment, you don't consider that as a future. My older brother [Nic], since he was five, was determined to be a pro wrestler. And we kind of all thought that was an insane, weird thing. But I got really into acting, comedy, theater, stage plays, writing plays, doing live improv comedy and stuff in college. So I moved to Chicago during the summers to train with Second City people and iO Chicago ... So I was learning improv and that kind of thing."

While Ryan Nemeth was building his resume in the improv and theater scene, his brother Nic (known to WWE fans as Dolph Ziggler) was finding his footing in the professional wrestling business under the umbrella of WWE, specifically in their development territory of Ohio Valley Wrestling. In his free time, Nemeth often drove out to simply support Nic's wrestling. However, after becoming increasingly enamored by the action, Nemeth realized that the squared circle may be something worth pursuing himself. As such, a now-graduated Nemeth attempted to get ahold of Chicago's Ace Steel to inquire about training.


Nemeth's calls to Steel ultimately went unanswered, as Steel's wrestling school was defunct by that point. Naturally, Nemeth then pivoted to OVW, where he later won their first ever Breakout competition, and secured his aforementioned training scholarship.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Developmentally Speaking" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.