Tony Nese Recalls 'WrestleMania Moment' With Kevin Owens

AEW's Tony Nese, who worked for WWE between 2016 and 2021, performed at WrestleMania only once during his tenure with the company. Nese successfully challenged Buddy Murphy (now Buddy Matthews in AEW) for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship on the WrestleMania 35 kick-off show. While Nese was disappointed with how the match panned out; being allocated only a small amount of time for the bout, with the match also being bumped to a picture-in-picture at one stage while another segment aired, the duo did face each other again days later to wrap up that year's WrestleMania Week

"The last thing is 205 Live of all this," Nese told the "AEW Unrestricted" podcast. "The cool thing about that match, if you listen to the crowd, we genuinely got them. You were able to feel it throughout the match and by the end of the match, we got a standing ovation from people who'd been watching wrestling all week long."

Despite receiving admiration from fans in attendance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn following the 20-minute rematch with Murphy on "205 Live," there was one particular moment shared with former WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens after that match that Nese will treasure forever. 

"Kevin Owens was making his entrance or whatever [for a dark match]," Nese said. "He even came out, gave me a huge hug and kind of gave me my moment in front of the crowd and everything. That whole moment, it felt like that capped off WrestleMania for me. That was my WrestleMania experience right there."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit the "AEW Unrestricted" podcast, with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.