Booking to Potential – The Steve Austin Experiment

Christopher Mariscal

From his early days as Chavo “Kerwin White” Guerrero’s caddy, to his days of being a male cheerleader, to being shipped off in a crate back to OVW, to re-debuting with bleach blonde hair and shiny striped boy shorts, Nick Nemeth has slowly become one of the “anything for a job” work horses of the WWE. 

I can’t blame him, he may not even be aware that it’s going on.  If I had anywhere close to his physique or abilities I’d probably do the same.  However despite the bad 80’s porn name, bad 80’s wrestling bleach job, and bad 80’s Don Johnson sneer, Ziggler has proved that he can at least give us the illusion that he can keep up with Rey Mysterio.

I might even go out on a limb here and say that their match was one of the most entertaining on the Night of Champions card.

I’m going to go out on a slightly shorter limb and say that this booking is going to be a bit of a stretch.

Even for me.

But the notion behind it is that just about anyone (except perhaps Sim Snuka) can be saved.  The admitted motivation behind it is that I actually like what Ziggler has to offer in the ring, but I absolutely hate saying, typing, and thinking about the name “Dolph Ziggler”.

 How would I book Nic Nemeth?  Glad you asked.

Nemeth would come to the ring in regular street clothes, his hair back to its normal brown, and microphone in hand.  He addresses the crowd in a stern and serious tone.

“If you could please cut the Dolph Ziggler music, I would greatly appreciate it.

First off, I don’t think I need to tell any of you that my real name isn’t Dolph Ziggler.  I’m not a male cheerleader named Nicky.  I’m not Chavo Guerrero’s golf caddy.  My name’s Nick Nemeth and when I was a kid I just wanted to be a professional wrestler.

I’m not out here to give any scathing wrestling promo about my Summerslam opponent or anything like that.  In fact I want to give him all the credit in the world, Rey Mysterio I know now why you are considered one of the best the world has to offer.  I truly feel that you are doing exactly what you set out to do and what all these fans wanted you to do and that is bring prestige back to the Intercontinental Championship.

When people look at you, they think of names like Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig, Bret “Hitman” Hart, Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.  They forget about names like The Mountie, Dean Douglas, Albert, and Santino Marella. 

Then it got me thinking.  How do I want to be remembered?  Do I want to be signing autographs at a high school gym with the Bastion Booger and Paul Roma?  Or do I want to be laughing it up with Triple H about the time we headlined Wrestlemania?

I may have lost to Rey Mysterio at Night of Champions, but forgive me if I had a moment of clarity wondering to myself:

‘Self, you’re beating the living hell out of the greatest luchador ever to walk the planet…why the hell are you still going by the name Dolph Ziggler??’

Of course you can’t give Rey Mysterio those kinds of moments as he does what any good competitor does and capitalizes on them.

But in a way, I’m glad that I lost.  I now know that I have what it takes to go toe to toe with one of the greats.  I don’t need the flashy gimmicks or the stupid name to be remembered.  Nick Nemeth has what it takes to get it done in this ring and every one of you people saw it.  I have the strength, I have the agility, I have the technical prowess to be one of the best.

This is why at Summerslam Nick Nemeth will do what Dolph Ziggler could not, and that is win the Intercontinental Championship.  And what’s more, he gets to win that championship from one of the over the top, cartoon character, super heroes that are a symbol of everything that is wrong with this sport that I love.

Rey Mysterio.  The King of Mystery.  I know that there are some weird Spanish names, but I sincerely doubt that anyone’s parents would name them “the King of Mystery”.  So what I want to know, who are you?”

Rey Mysterio’s music hits.  Rey Mysterio hits the ring and responds to Nemeth’s criticism.

“Dolph, or Nick, or whatever you want to be called, I can understand where you’re coming from.  You had a pretty good match…which you still lost…and now you suddenly think that you’re hot stuff.

There was once a young man who got his start at age fifteen wrestling at a church in Tijuana.  He was fast, he could fly, and he went by the name Colibri.  In case you aren’t up on your Spanish, it means the Hummingbird.    Do you get it?  Fly?  Fast?  He earned the right to be called Rey Mysterio.  A name that is synonymous with greatness in the art of Lucha Libre. 

You want to know why I go by Rey Mysterio?

It’s because I am Rey Mysterio.  I’m the embodiment of all the victories, all the skills, all the accolades that it took to earn the right to be Rey Mysterio.

You did have a good match, but that cartoon character in the mask had a better one.”

Nemeth responds.

“The cartoon character in the mask won’t fare so well at Summerslam.  We will find out how well the cartoon character does against a real, legitimate, bona fide wrestler.”

Nemeth tries to attack Mysterio, but Rey counters into a 619 and eventually throws Nemeth out of the ring while mock lifting his mask at the irate Nick Nemeth.

From here Nemeth continues to interrupt Mysterio’s matches, but these aren’t the standard run ins for a disqualifications.  Nick Nemeth executes various famous finishers from the past on Mysterio and makes it a point to name the hold’s real name.

After interfering in a match with whichever move would finally do Rey in, he would say:

“That’s a fisherman suplex.  Not the Perfect-Plex.”

“That’s a swinging neck breaker.  Not the Shake Rattle and Roll.”

“That’s a double under hook face buster.  Not the pedigree.”

And in the final week before Summerslam, Mysterio would get the best of Ziggler with a 619 and a throw out of the ring.

“Hey Nicky, that could be a rope assisted double kick to the face.  But that also could be you getting punked out 619 style.”

Nemeth and Mysterio would go on to have a very physical and intense Intercontinental match reminiscent of several matches of yore.  It would be compared to matches like Perfect v. Hart, Steamboat v. Savage, Michaels v. Ramon in a Ladder Match, and Triple H v. the Rock.  Nemeth would inevitably lose, but he would be able to continue on with the anti-gimmick gimmick.  Like many of the men who choose to branch out in that way, he will be forced to sink or swim.  He will either rise to the occasion, or he will not be able to command the charisma of those before him.

I think that he has the look and ability to do it, it’s all in the hands of the people.

Well, and Vince McMahon. 

And Vince, if you like any of my ideas, shoot me an email at  

All of you readers feel free to as well.  So far I’ve received a bunch of great feedback (emails are getting into the double digits) and love hearing from all of you.  I do try my best to write back in a timely fashion, and as always, I look to you for suggestions (which I swear I will get around to eventually). 


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