Wrestle Kingdom 18 kicked off what will be a stacked 2024. There’s so much wrestling to look forward to, that fans may be surprised what catches their attention. Surprised was the general reaction to Nic Nemeth, formerly known as Dolph Ziggler, making an appearance at the big show. A Nemeth run in New Japan? We are all rubbing our chin in intrigue.
Nemeth, along with his brother Ryan, appeared on the show and sitting in his seat wasn’t the only thing he did. After David Finlay captured the IWGP Global Heavyweight Title defeating Jon Moxley and Will Ospreay, Finlay decided to have a few words with Nemeth. That led to the two men exchanging blows and further fighting it out backstage. The whole situation makes it seem like Nemeth is poised to make a play in NJPW to come after Finlay and that championship.
Nemeth was among the performers released from WWE after the merger with UFC to become TKO Group Holdings. He was an individual that many believed was WWE for life, so seeing the company release him was astounding. There’s been much talk about where he could appear next, with many pushing for AEW as a spot where he could remind the world that he’s among the best in the industry. But New Japan Pro Wrestling is a strong platform where he could do the same.
No matches or next appearances have been announced as of this writing. But if that comes out there are some huge possibilities for the future. Think about Nemeth in the ring with the likes of Finlay, SANADA, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi, and others. Could we see him stand across from Kazuchika Okada? What if this opens the door for him being in the G1 Climax, or even setting up the bridge for him to appear in AEW? Several possibilities weren’t on fans’ radar that are now a reality.
Nemeth should be recognized as one of the best performers in the industry today. He had some shining moments while in WWE but was never put in that main event slot that his abilities demanded. Nemeth was relegated to a role meant to make other names, but when given the opportunity, he’d put on matches and performances that were beyond memorable. He deserves more praise for his nearly 20-year run with WWE.
Professional wrestling is all about creating moments that grab headlines. Nic Nemeth showing up at Wrestle Kingdom 18 is one of the early headlines of 2024. Here’s to hoping that it creates even more moments and bigger matches for “The Showoff.”