Dolph Ziggler’s Brother Ryan Nemeth Discusses Crowd Reactions, WWE NXT & More


In a blog he wrote for the pro wrestling mania podcast, Ryan Nemeth (Dolph Ziggler’s younger brother, “Briley Pierce” in NXT) spoke about performing in front of a crowd and said the entire idea is a little “selfish”. Here are highlights:

On performing for others: “There is nothing like performing in front of a crowd. The fun moments and the thrills I experienced in wrestling, even at the independent or NXT scale, are unforgettable. There really is nothing like having the full attention of an entire arena teeming with enthusiastic people. That time in the spotlight- even if lasts just a moment, even if it’s just a taste- is unlike anything else in the known universe. And that’s really what it’s all about: being the center of attention. The whole thing is a bit selfish. (I know, accusing professional wrestlers of being “selfish” is a stretch…) But it IS selfish. It is selfish and self-centered. As a performer, of course, yes, you want to give the fans the emotional response they paid for and make them happy and give them something to talk about at work or school the next day… but, there is also an undeniable feeling of, ‘Hey. This is all about me. I’m cool. Wow, that kid is wearing my t-shirt. I’m the best guy ever!’”

On his time in Los Angeles: “The year or so I’ve lived in LA has been filled with opportunities to satisfy my undeniable and unquenchable urge to perform. I am lucky enough to join the comedy team “Flying Chuck” on stage regularly. Flying Chuck is a wildly talented crew of comedians and actors, all of whom are also rabid wrestling fans. The Flying Chuck crew (Brett Guenell, Andy St. Clair, Sam Richardson, Brian Hunt, Marc Warzecha, Josh Callahan, Morrison and I) performs regularly at Second City Hollywood, and welcomes a different guest host each show. The hosts, as you might imagine, are notable figures from the professional wrestling world. Recent past hosts include Gangrel, Cryme Tyme, Brad Maddox, Rocky Romero, NXT’s Judas Devlin and Bronson, and most recently (and most frequently), a guy I know really well, WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler. ”

On the feeling before going on stage: “Imagine this: Your nerves are going insane. You’re shaking. The excited, sweaty, mind-emptying thrill of knowing you’re “up next” has completely taken over your entire being. You walk out there. The lights are blinding, but you can tell the place is sold-out. Nice. You stand there, smiling and soaking in the applause. Then it hits you: this is not a wrestling ring, and this is not an arena. This is a stage, and it’s in a comedy club. But it isn’t just any stage, and this isn’t just any comedy club. This is an institution, one which is famous for grooming mega comedy stars. People like Belushi. People like Chris Farley. Tim Meadows. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell…the list goes on and on and on for decades. And you’re on that stage. Wow. I mean…wow.”

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