Nicholas Theodore “Nick” Nemeth (born July 27, 1980), best known by the ring name Dolph Ziggler, is an American professional wrestler and comedian, currently signed to WWE.
Nemeth signed a development contract with WWE in 2004, and was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). He was brought up to the Raw brand in 2005 as Kerwin White’s sidekick. He was, however, sent back to OVW shortly afterwards, where he joined The Spirit Squad as Nicky. They debuted on Raw in January 2006, and won the World Tag Team Championship once before returning to OVW that November. In September 2007, Nemeth was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), where he won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship twice, with Brad Allen and later Gavin Spears.
Nemeth returned to the WWE main roster under his current ring name in September 2008. Since then, Ziggler has held the World Heavyweight Championship twice, the WWE Intercontinental Championship four times and the WWE United States Championship once, and was the 2012 Money in the Bank winner. He has also been the sole survivor of two Survivor Series elimination matches at the 2012 and 2014 events.
Nemeth attended St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio where he was an amateur wrestler, and holds the school record for most pins in a career with 82. At St. Edward, he was teammates with Gray Maynard and Andy Hrovat. During Nemeth’s time at St. Edward, the wrestling team won the National Championships on two occasions.
He wrestled collegiately at Kent State University, eventually setting what was then the record for most career wins in the team’s Nemeth’s record was passed in 2006, and as of 2010 he stands second all-time in career victories at Kent State. He had 121 career wins between 2000 and 2003.
He won championships in 3 consecutive years. He was a three-time All-Mid-American Conference champion, winning the 165 lb (75 kg) tournament in 2000, 2002, and 2003, and as of 2010 is the last wrestler from Kent State University to have won three amateur wrestling championships.
Nemeth has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was five years old, when he attended a wrestling event at the Richfield Coliseum and decided to become a professional wrestler at age twelve His younger brother, Ryan, is also a professional wrestler who previously worked with WWE and wrestled in NXT under the ring name of Briley Pierce.
Nemeth is a graduate of Kent State University, where he majored in political science with a pre-law minor. Prior to his WWE tryout, he was living in Phoenix, Arizona, and had been accepted to the law school at Arizona State University, where he was due to start his first semester.
Nemeth is good friends with his former Spirit Squad teammates, particularly Michael Brendli, with whom he lived in Florida until 2008. Since then, he has returned to residing in Phoenix.
Nemeth was previously in a relationship with comedian Amy Schume, He also once dated fellow wrestler Nicole Garcia-Colace, who is known on-screen as Nikki Bella.
Nemeth is also fluent in American Sign Language. Nemeth later revealed in Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling Podcast that he chose the name “Dolph” because that was his great grandfather’s name and he said that his friend suggested the name “Ziggler”. He has said that he has Hungarian ethnicity.
Nemeth has over the years repeatedly referenced the “bronies” of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom. This preceded fellow wrestler Xavier Woods coming out as a brony in March 2015, and commentator Corey Graves attending BronyCon in his WWE Culture Shock series.