Former WWE Superstar Tony Nese, who was released with 13 other Superstars last Friday, took to Twitter this week to clear up the “short and white” comments he made in his first post-WWE interview.
Nese spoke with The Wrestling Perspective podcast in an interview that will be released at 8pm ET today, via YouTube and Twitch. During the interview, he talked about how he went through a WWE tryout several years ago and was told that he didn’t have what the company was looking for because he was “short and white.”
Nese also talked about his WWE release and confirmed that budget cuts is the reason he was given for the departure.
“So, it wasn’t like a creative thing of like, ‘Hey listen, we just got nothing for you,’ whatever. It was straight up what you hear on the internet,” Nese said. “It’s budget cuts, you know? The company’s obviously trimming some fat and whatever their plan is, unfortunately business is business and I was on the sh*t end of that stick.”
Nese then talked about how he officially received his WWE contract on Halloween 2016. Before that, he worked the Cruiserweight Classic, worked RAW a few times, and the 2016 Hell In a Cell pay-per-view. While he was working a tryout for WWE NXT, he was told that he likely would not be signed, mainly due to his size.
“At the beginning of all this, I did a tryout at NXT and through the tryout, I actually got told about the Cruiserweight Classic that they were looking to do, and it was actually a funny conversation,” Nese recalled. “It was, ‘Hey listen, we really enjoy your work out there and your look and everything. You’re probably never gonna work for this company but, we are doing a tournament and we’re trying to use cruiserweights all around the world and stuff like that and your name is in the hat for that’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know if I should be happy about that or not. Pretty much just told me I’m not gonna get a job here,’ and this was like in the middle of my tryout.
“So now I had what? I had two days in the tryout, already in my head going, ‘Okay, I’m not getting a job here. I gotta — whatever. I’m still gonna bust my ass and show ‘em what I got.’ So I actually, I asked them — I don’t know if I’m gonna get in trouble for this one or whatever but, I was like, ‘Listen, the cruiserweight thing sounds great but why would you say you don’t think I’ll ever work here?’”
He continued, “And the answer was straightforward, ‘You’re short and white. That’s not what we’re looking for right now.’ But anyways, it was kind of like a, ‘Hey listen, you know, you’re not six foot-something, you don’t have an interesting background when the company’s trying to reach in different countries and everything.’ You know, so it made sense. I actually, believe it or not, like that. I like that he just straight up said this is why and rather than someone dancing around, ‘Well, you know, maybe not right now,’ whatever it is. I hate that more than anything. Just tell me.”
Nese also revealed that he has a number of post-WWE bookings in the works, but he can’t talk publicly about them just yet. He is currently under a 90-day non-compete clause, making him a free agent after Thursday, September 23.
Regarding the “short and white” comments, Nese took to Twitter this week and issued a statement on what he said as the line started to make the rounds on social media.
He wrote, “Ugh….before this gets out of hand. It was referring to how I didn’t have a unique background. Just a kid from Long Island who wanted to be a wrestler. But my overcoming of that by proving to them I’m worth a shot became my unique story.”
Nese also revealed his new logo, which you can see in the tweet below. He is taking bookings via [email protected], and also has a new Twitch channel at @TonyNesePA. Nese noted that he will start streaming on Twitch next week, with fan chats, Q&A sessions, WWE 205 Live road stories, and eventually gaming, plus other ideas he has.
Nese last wrestled on the June 8 WWE 205 Live show, teaming with Ariya Daivari, who was also released on the same day as Nese, to defeat Ari Sterling and Asher Hale. Nese signed with WWE in 2016, and left the company as a one-time Cruiserweight Champion. For those who missed it, you can click here for Nese’s post-release statement.
Stay tuned for more on Nese. You can see the related posts below:
Ugh….before this gets out of hand. It was referring to how I didn't have a unique background. Just a kid from Long Island who wanted to be a wrestler. But my overcoming of that by proving to them I'm worth a shot became my unique story. https://t.co/BnjINNXi6K
— Tony Nese (@TonyNese) July 2, 2021
The channel has been created. I will be starting next week with Chatting, Q & A's, 205 Road Stories and eventually Gaming, as well as other ideas I have.
— Tony Nese (@TonyNese) July 1, 2021
Shout out to not only someone I have the privilege of being close friends with but also one of the greatest graphic design artist I know. @greggosline your work and friendship is one of a kind. 🙏🏼https://t.co/BSnELbbpnA pic.twitter.com/JU7fbAgMBr
— Tony Nese (@TonyNese) July 1, 2021
(H/T to POST Wrestling for the quotes)