Childhood & Early Life
Nicholas Theodore Nemeth was born on July 27, 1980, in Cleveland, Ohio. He has two younger brothers, Donald, and Ryan, who is also a professional wrestler.
He became passionate about professional wrestling as a kid after he witnessed a wrestling event. At the age of 12, he decided to become a professional wrestler.
At St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio, he was an amateur wrestler. During his time, the wrestling team won the National Championships twice. He later graduated from Kent State University with political science as major.
He was a collegiate wrestler at Kent State University as well. At college level, he had won amateur championships in three consecutive years. He also holds a three-time All-Mid-American Conference championship.
Before joining WWE, he lived in Phoenix, Arizona, and was about to start studying law at Arizona State University.
As of 2010, he holds the second all-time in career victories at Kent State University, having achieved 121 career wins between 2000 and 2003.
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Nicholas Theodore Nemeth signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2004, and joined the Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW).
On August 12, 2005, he lost the OVW Television Championship match against Ken Doane. He was called up to the Raw roster, making his TV debut on the September 19, 2005 episode of ‘Sunday Night Heat’. The same year, he became a part of The Spirit Squad, a professional wrestling tag team.
On January 23, 2006, Nemeth and The Spirit Squad members had their debut in WWE television. On April 3, they wrestled on Raw, and won the World Tag Team Championship, after which they were recognized as the champions.
On January 17, 2007, he returned to OVW, and competed in several dark matches against various wrestlers. In August, he was moved to the Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) territory, and in his debut he gained the nickname ‘The Natural’ and defeated Hade Vansen.
In 2008, he teamed with Brad Allen. On March 22, they won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship. In April and May 2008, he wrestled in several dark matches, but lost to Kofi Kingston and Ron Killings on several occasions. On September 15, 2008, he re-debuted on Raw, introducing himself under the name ‘Dolph Ziggler’. On October 10, he was suspended for 30 days for violating WWE's Wellness Program policy.
In his first match on Raw as Ziggler, he lost to Batista on December 1, 2008. The next week he got his first victory against R-Truth. The he defeated Charlie Haas. He competed in the 2009 Royal Rumble match, in which Kane defeated him.
On April 17, 2009, he made his debut on SmackDown, defeating the US Champion, Montel Vontavious Porter. On the May 1 episode of SmackDown, he was defeated. He also lost to The Great Khali as he was disqualified after he attacked Khali with a steel chair. After a few weeks, he defeated Khali.
On the February 26, 2010 episode of SmackDown, he defeated John Morrison and R-Truth to compete in the Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania XXVI, where he was defeated. On the July 9 episode of SmackDown, he defeated Chavo Guerrero and Montel Vontavious Porter to qualify for the SmackDown Money in the Bank ladder match, but he once again failed to win the match. On July 28 at the SmackDown, he defeated Kofi Kingston to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship for the first time.
In November 2010, he was chosen a Pro for the fourth season of NXT. On the January 4, 2011 episode of NXT, he won the battle.
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Dolph Ziggler successfully retained the Intercontinental Championship at Tables, Ladders and Chairs (TLC) in a three-way ladder match, but lost the title to Kingston at SmackDown on January 4, 2011. That same night, he won a match against Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre and The Big Show, and became the No.1 contender to the World Heavyweight Championship.
He was defeated by Edge in a rematch on the February 11 episode of SmackDown, but since Edge used the spear, Ziggler was declared the new champion on the February 14 episode of Raw.
On the March 7, 2011 episode of Raw, he defeated John Morrison in a singles match. On the April 18 episode of Raw, he defeated Evan Bourne. He then defeated United States Champion Kofi Kingston on the May 30 episode of Raw, which led to a championship match which Ziggler won to earn his first US Championship.
On the December 26 episode of Raw, he defeated WWE Champion CM Punk. However, Dolph did not win the championship. At the 2012 Royal Rumble pay-per-view, he failed to capture the WWE Championship from CM Punk.
On the June 11, 2012 episode of Raw, he pinned The Great Khali, Swagger and Christian in a four-way elimination match, and became the No. 1 contender to the World Heavyweight Championship. But he lost the title match to Sheamus.
On the July 3 SmackDown, Dolph Ziggler defeated Alex Riley to qualify for the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match. He went on to win the title match.
Besides his appearances on wrestling episodes on TV, he also appeared on the November 3, 2009 episode of ‘Deal or No Deal’, and on ‘Lopez Tonight’ on August 9, 2010. He appeared in a 2011 episode of ‘Silent Library’ as well.
He has made regular appearances on his friend WWE wrestler Zack Ryder's YouTube web series, ‘Z’. On February 1, 2012, he debuted as the host of WWEFanNation's YouTube series ‘WWE Download’ where he reviewed both viral and WWE videos.
He made his video game debut in WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 and has since appeared in eight video games.