Former WWE Superstar Ariya Daivari recently spoke with Dominic DeAngelo of WrestleZone for his first post-WWE interview. Daivari was released from his WWE contract back on June 25, after signing with the company in June 2016 for the Cruiserweight Classic. Daivari is currently under a 90-day non-compete clause, and will become a free agent on Tuesday, August 31. He is currently taking bookings via [email protected]
Daivari noted that he received the release phone call from Canyon Ceman, WWE’s Senior Director of Talent Development, not long after cracking his phone screen with a dumbbell while working out. He learned of his longtime friend and tag team partner Tony Nese getting released on the same day, then saw where he had missed a phone call from a number with a 203 Connecticut area code. Daivari put the pieces together, took it in stride, and went back to the pool with a few drinks.
With WWE releasing several talents in recent months, some notable, Daivari said there was always the thought that anyone could be next, but he also thought he and Nese may be safe because they were working on a consistent basis.
“Me and Tony Nese were on like literally every episode of 205 Live like the entire pandemic even beforehand so we were working every single week and we were working with a lot new guys they were bringing us,” Daivari said. “Again on one hand, like I said, when bigger names got let go, [so the thought was] ‘Oh it could be anybody.’
“On the other hand, we were working every week so I didn’t think I’d fall into that category, but I don’t know. I was always told by more veteran wrestlers the average WWE career is like five to seven years unless you’re a big star.”
The WWE 205 Live brand went through many changes over the years, and Daivari reflected on how he was a part of the various eras of the brand, and while many things changed, two constants were he and Nese. He talked about their friendship, and how they were with Drew Gulak at one point. Daivari revealed how they received praise from coaches and producers, and were hoping this would lead to a run on NXT, RAW or SmackDown.
“Tagging with Tony was a lot of fun because in real life we’re really good friends and we actually became friends when 205 Live and the whole cruiserweight division started,” Daivari said. “If people remember, me, Drew [Gulak] and Tony were like this trio they put together. They [Nese and Gulak] were already friends from the indies. I didn’t really know them but that’s when all three of us became really tight and real friends in real life and then me and Tony kind of tagged off and on for almost five years. But then around this last stretch during the pandemic, it started getting more regular and we always brought it up. We just said, ‘Hey, we really enjoyed tagging together and I think we could be a good fit for a tag team.’ So I thought we were having really good tag matches. All the NXT coaches and producers telling us how much they liked as a tag team.
“We were hoping it was going to continue on into an NXT run, or a RAW run, a SmackDown run as a tag team cause again, it is WWE. They may not think a lot of the cruiserweight division or smaller guys, but I thought as I tag team, I said, ‘I think we’re a very formidable team together,’ so we can wrestle whether it’s Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode or the Street Profits or whoever. Any tag team, not just NXT, not just 205, but any tag team in WWE, I think me and Tony [would do good] in that situations.”
Daivari also revealed that he and Nese have plans to keep their tag team going elsewhere when they become free agents next month.
“To be honest, one thing that I really want to put out there is just continuing to tag team with Tony Nese,” he said. “I feel like we were on the cusp of greatness, you know? We were ready to go full boar with it and unfortunately, the timing didn’t work out so we definitely, me and Tony have kind of kept our eye on the tag team scene a lot more. Obviously, there’s really good teams in every company right now so hopefully, that’s something that me and Tony can do, is step into the tag team light a little bit bigger together.
“We’re communicating every day and getting stuff figured out so hopefully, that’ll come to fruition soon. I do plan on starting a Twitch stream soon where I want to kind of tell my whole WWE story, little by little, episode by episode. Keep watching, you’ll be seeing me very soon.”