Nic Nemeth Talks About Understanding And Earning Respect Of NJPW Locker Room

Nic Nemeth has been paving his own path since his release from WWE, and currently finds himself in the main event scene of TNA as well as a recent stint with the IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship for NJPW. On "Busted Open Radio," Nemeth opened up about the complicated process of earning respect in Japan.


Nemeth describes himself as the "luckiest guy in the world" after recalling his many back-and-forth trips to the country across the past few months. "I'm finally, you know, starting to really, like understand the locker room and know a few guys." He then commented on the natural distrust the locker room has in any promotion, and that respect needs to be earned. "You gotta earn some people's respect, and hopefully over the last few months I have."

He also recalled his recent match in Fukuoka during a Japanese holiday, where he got to face NJPW President, Hiroshi Tanahashi. "We had a blast. Tried to outdo each other in the ring and we got to do a little — what we call shooting — in the beginning, where we got to just feel it out and feel each other out and try and tie each other up. And it was a dream come true."


Nic Nemeth doesn't believe he's earned the NJPW locker room's respect just yet

While he lived out a dream to face Tanahashi, Nemeth also pointed out that he lost his title to David Finlay the night after, but opts to focus on the positives instead. "They treated me really well and being in the ring with Tanahashi was something I thought, five years ago — I was in WWE for 20/25 years, then I was going to come behind the scenes, assistant, agent, producer, you name it — and I never thought that this match could ever happen and now it can happen."


Despite capturing gold and facing Tanahashi, Nemeth feels like he's "barely" earning the respect of the locker room since he's only had a few trips to Japan and only had a "couple of marquee match-ups" so far. "So, I'm still earning that respect and hopefully I'm earning that step-by-step."

Nemeth does, however, believe that he will earn their respect eventually, but that being humble will aid him in his efforts. "It really helps to be humble, especially when you go 'I don't know if I'm even accepted here, I gotta see if I can earn my stripes with these guys just to have a chance to come back.'"

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Busted Open Radio" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.