Ryan Nemeth Explains How 'Hollywood Hunk' Became His AEW Nickname

Given his less-than-stellar win-loss record in AEW, Ryan Nemeth is mostly known for what he's doing out of the ring these days, from starring in "Being the Elite" to having backstage altercations with one CM Punk. But the "Hollywood Hunk" has managed to remain a mainstay in AEW nonetheless since joining in 2021, and has even found time to expand his Hollywood profile, portraying Gino Hernandez in Sean Durkin's "The Iron Claw."

But how exactly did Nemeth go from the brother of Dolph Ziggler to the "Hollywood Hunk?" In an interview with "Drop the Mic," Nemeth revealed the origins for his AEW gimmick began years ago, when he, two future AEW stars, and one future WWE star, were all trying to work their way up WWE developmental.

"When I was in NXT, and some of my best friends were Brodie Lee, who was Luke Harper then, or Trent Berretta or Sami Zayn...we would all go to the beach together every weekend," Nemeth said. "But I was more of a beach guy than anyone else. Any free time when we didn't have a show, I was at the beach...So they made this joke, they would call me 'The Local Beach Hunk. The Local Hunk.' And I thought it was kind of a fun, silly thing."

Ryan Nemeth Says Discussion With Tony Khan Led To 'Hollywood Hunk' Nickname

Years later, when Nemeth was getting ready to make his AEW debut during the COVID-19 pandemic, he would have new wrestling gear made. He revealed he was encouraged to put the word "Hunk" on his trunks after a discussion with several of his old friends, and that a discussion with AEW owner Tony Khan took care of the rest.

"I remember after that first match was on 'Dynamite' against 'Hangman' Adam Page, it was really late in the night, the show had wrapped up, it was in Jacksonville, and I was kind of heading to the hotel," Nemeth said. "And the owner, Tony Khan, goes 'Ryan. Hey, you're the hunk, but what kind of hunk are you?' And I just looked at him and go 'Hollywood.'

"And he took out his phone and goes 'Hollywood Hunk, got it.' And he starts texting, and I don't know who he was texting, but I imagine some of the production team because when that episode aired, it said 'Hollywood Hunk, Ryan Nemeth.' And I thought it was so funny. From that point on, I kind of embraced it."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Drop the Mic" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription