Former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Tony Nese was spotted in the crowd during this past weekend's edition of AEW, and Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is now reporting he has signed a contract with the company. AEW has yet to release a "Tony Nese is All Elite" graphic (stay tuned in case that happens), but Nese worked a pair of matches of AEW Dark's latest taping at Universal Studios over the weekend. Nese was one of the many wrestlers cut by WWE over the summer but has kept busy with matches in various independent promotions like Create A Pro Wrestling and WrestlePro. And because his real name is Anthony Nese, the "Premier Athlete" won't have to worry about changing his name while joining the promotion.
Nese joins a growing crop of former WWE stars who have joined AEW in recent months. That list of names includes Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, Malakai Black, Ruby Soho, Andrade El Idolo, Adam Cole and Bobby Fish.
AEW Dynamite recently celebrated its second anniversary as a weekly program on TNT. The promotion's president, Tony Khan, admitted in an interview with Sports Illustrated around that same time that the young promotion was years ahead of what he had envisioned.
"I certainly had aspirations for AEW to hit certain heights, but we're further than I've ever dreamed," Khan said. "We've signed Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, Adam Cole and Sting all in a one-year period. We've added legendary names like Christian Cage and Matt Hardy, and stars of the present — Andrade El Idolo and Malakai Black--and the development of the women's division, especially being joined by Ruby Soho and Thunder Rosa. We're really proud of where we are after two years, and we're so grateful that the roster worked so hard through the pandemic."
After being shunted to Saturday night for the past two weeks, Dynamite will be back on Wednesday this week. Check out the full card for the show below:
- TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara vs. Ethan Page (Guevara must leave Inner Circle if he loses)
- Jon Moxley vs. 10 (AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament)
- Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida (TBS Championship Tournament)
- The Elite (Kenny Omega, Adam Cole, The Young Bucks) vs. The Dark Order (Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, John Silver, Alex Reynolds)
- CM Punk vs. Bobby Fish