[Originally Published in the Kingston Whig Standard on Thursday, August 30th] Original Link: http://www.thewhig.com/2012/08/30/ziggler-is-money-in-the-bank-for-wwe
Nick Nemeth, better known to wrestling fans worldwide as Dolph Ziggler, wasn’t born into wrestling. He doesn’t hail from a long line of wrestlers. None, in fact. One thing is quite evident, however: the World Wrestling Entertainment superstar was born to wrestle.
These days, you can find Ziggler toting around the much-coveted Money In the Bank briefcase, starring in main-event matches and establishing himself as a beloved bad guy, a very difficult feat in the wrestling business. On Sept. 9, Ziggler will be in the Limestone City as WWE presents SmackDown at the K-Rock Centre.
At just five years of age, Nemeth fell in love with wrestling after attending his first live WWE event.
“I was hooked from that day on,” Ziggler said over the phone earlier this week. “I asked my dad if I could start wrestling. I think the season was coming around about two months later, and I started and I’ve never stopped since.”
The season to which he refers is amateur wrestling. Google the name Nick Nemeth and amateur wrestling and you may be surprised by what you find. Nemeth is an accomplished — and decorated — amateur wrestler. In fact, he openly admits that he used amateur wrestling as a launching pad for his professional career.
“I love wrestling,” he said. “I’ve used it my whole life and I actually used it just to get my foot in the door because, years ago, when (former WWE superstar and Olympic gold medallist) Kurt Angle was doing so well, it gave people like me who had wanted to become superstars their whole lives a shot. And it actually got my foot in the door.”
Unlike Angle, who built his whole WWE persona around his amateur background, Ziggler prefers to be known for his “well-roundedness.”
“I kind of pride myself as a Renaissance man superstar where I can be entertaining, have fun on the mic, have fun with kids, but also steal the show, be athletic, be a high flyer, a mixture of everything, and a ring general all combined into one. I like that I’m not painted with one brush. ‘Oh, yeah, yeah, he’s a wrestler.’ No, I’m a superstar who can do anything and I pride myself on that. I think we don’t harp on it as much because I have so many other things I can offer at the same time.”
As he wrestled his way through high school and later university, Nemeth never lost sight of his dream to become a WWE Superstar. When that moment came, it was sweet. Really sweet.
“Honestly, it’s hard to believe,” Ziggler said when asked what it was like to sign that first WWE developmental contract. “When you’re in grade school and high school, (you) go ‘Oh, I want to do this, I want to do that,’ and everyone knew I wanted to be a wrestler. Even if people said ‘Yeah I think you can do it,’ ‘You’re going to do it,’ and I wanted to do, you don’t know that it’s going to happen for sure because (pro wrestling) is a business. It’s about timing, it’s about luck, it’s about so many different factors … To find out that you’re actually hired by the WWE as a superstar — even in a developmental talent stage — you go ‘Wow, OK, that’s the first step.’
But Ziggler has never been one to rest on his laurels.
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