This morning I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with AEW star and former NXT cruiserweight champion Tony Nese for an in-depth interview, where the Premiere Athlete and I discussed his time in WWE, including his excellent title defense against Buddy Murphy, and working in the 205 Live division. Nese and I also touched on his AEW debut against Sammy Guevara, and how he hopes to keep proving himself for the new promotion. Highlights, including the full video interview, can be found below.
His favorite match he had in WWE:
I’d have to put the second Buddy Murphy match up there. We pulled the best out of each other. And this was again, for anyone who doesn’t know, it’s the two days after Wrestlemania. This was in Barclays. And that’s the thing, like the whole environment, the fact that it was WrestleMania weekend. And then not only that, but like, we were the last possible wrestling that everyone was going to watch after such a long week. And listen, I’ll say it…we were the least over guys because we were just the least presented. Also everyone has seen everyone that they paid their money to see right at this point…now we’re just creating content for television. We thought we need to just kind of figure out a way to try to capture these people for one last hour or last 20 minutes because we thought we were going to be up against a very tough thing. Honestly like…credit to Buddy. He definitely is…he’s he’s got a great aura around him. People are very interested in him when they see him. So that definitely helped a lot. And yeah, like it just it felt so good that by the end of that night when we were just getting a reaction that Even 205 doesn’t normally get. So after all of that, that weekend, and we still got that reaction like that goes down is one of the most special moments for me.
Whether he thought 205 Live should have been taped before SmackDown:
Yep.Listen, you are preaching to the choir, we literally and I would say 99.9999% of everyone backstage felt the same way. It really just came down to one man saying, “It says live in the title. It’s got to be live.” And I mean, you could just guess who the hell I’m talking about.
How he felt about his AEW debut against Sammy Guevara:
I should say I’m very critical of myself. So it’s hard for me to be like, Oh, I killed it. Like, I never really talked like that. But I’m definitely hoping from the response I got. Also from the response I got from Tony. He later that week contacted me to let me know how much he enjoyed it and everything so I definitely think I did a very good job in the debut. That’s always the biggest thing too is like, Man, this is a clean slate here. Don’t mess this up. But you know what, also, Sammy is…He’s excellent. He’s on a roll right now. He can’t have a bad match. That always helps you going into it. Like, “alright, listen, I know what I’m doing. He knows what he’s doing.” I don’t know if you know this, but we’ve done this before. I actually wrestled him in Texas at wrestle circus years before when he was just about to break out. He was becoming like the new local star. And then yeah, we had that magic. I mean, and it was…it was great back then. He was awesome back then. But now you can see the huge differences. You know how much more advanced he’s gotten based off of work and all these different things. As soon as someone builds up that’s kind of how it works. They start to get in the ring with more with guys who can teach them better. It’s always a learning process. You can’t go to a school, learn everything and then you’re going to be the greatest right? You’re gonna learn by getting in the ring with the greatest.
Talks the 205 Life behind the scenes program, and how he created his very own special WrestleMania entrance:
We were doing that show the 205 life. We had our own little YouTube show about 205 live. Social media is getting big, we see how Woods is doing big things with UpUpDownDown, and everything so we’re like, “let’s create something of our own where everyone can kind of see us in our everyday lives.” How the cruiserweights hang out together on the road and all that stuff. Really great concept, but the problem was we got we got shut down by the company so they were like, “Hey, you guys got to stop filming this stuff and put it out.” We did have a lot of like backstage stuff and everything. But anyway, so that’s a side note. So I did say on it. We had to create a WrestleMania entrance, and this was this was before I did Mania, but obviously I wasn’t going to get this entrance. Yeah, the idea was that I don’t remember it word for word, but I do know that the idea is I come out. And as I’m doing the AB count, you know, we have fireworks going off…eight times. First my music plays it starts off with a chorus, because like my song was like, Whoa, right? So we actually have like, you know, some high end New York chorus. And they’re doing that part for a while and then it starts to break out into the, the the guitar part and I’m coming down…ascending from the heavens, I’m coming down on this, this whatever they use crane or whatever. And as I’m coming down, the light shines on just me. And that’s when I start the ab count. And we got fireworks each time I counted or whatever. Yeah, so I believe that was the idea of the entrance. And honestly, I just want to say, you know, AEW might have the budget for this. I would say in WWE, there was 100% chance that would never happen. Right? I’d say in AEW, there might be a 10% chance that that could happen.