Amatuer Wrestling Career (High School / College)
Nick 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 history. 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 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.
Early Career (2004–2008)
Ohio Valley Wrestling (2004-2005)
Nemeth signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2004. He was assigned to their developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), debuting as “Nick Nemeth”. He feuded with Paul Burchill and challenged unsuccessfully for the OVW Television Championship, losing a championship match against then-champion Ken Doane on August 12, 2005. Nemeth was called up to the Raw roster shortly afterwards, making his television debut on the September 19, 2005 episode of Sunday Night Heat. He was made the enforcer and sidekick for Chavo Guerrero, Jr., who was using a golfer in-ring persona and going by the ring name of “Kerwin White”. As such, Nemeth became White’s caddy. His wrestling debut came on an episode of Sunday Night Heat, teaming up with White in a tag team match against Shelton Benjamin and Matt Striker. After the death of Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero dropped the “Kerwin White” character, and Nemeth no longer played the role of his caddy and tag partner. After a few months of wrestling in dark matches and at house shows, he was sent back to OVW.
The Spirit Squad (2005–2006)
Nemeth became a part of the Spirit Squad faction, a group of five wrestlers who used the in-ring personas of male cheerleaders, and adopted the name Nicky in OVW during late 2005. The Spirit Squad members trained with real cheerleaders and gymnasts to ensure their characters were believable. On January 23, 2006, they had their WWE television debut as a group, appearing on Raw and helping Jonathan Coachman win a Royal Rumble qualifying match against Jerry “The King” Lawler by performing cheers for Coachman and distracting Lawler. They later became a part of the on-going scripted feud between WWE chairman Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels. The heel (villainous) McMahon brought in the Squad to attack Michaels on numerous occasions, including placing them in multiple handicap matches. They also wrestled in the tag team division, and on April 3, on Raw, won the World Tag Team Championship when Kenny and Mikey, with outside help from the other three Squad members, defeated Big Show and Kane. After winning the championship, all five members of the Spirit Squad were recognized as the champions, allowing any combination of them to defend the championship.
In May, McMahon signed another Handicap match, with the Spirit Squad facing Michaels. The match never started, however; instead the Spirit Squad attacked Michaels, and, as part of the storyline, shattered his knee with a steel chair. McMahon brought Triple H to the ring to attack Michaels with a sledgehammer; however, after Triple H felt that the Squad had disrespected him, he attacked the group. This led to Triple H and Michaels reforming D-Generation X (DX) and they began a feud with the Spirit Squad. DX played various sophomoric jokes on the Squad and the McMahons, as well as defeating the Spirit Squad in handicap tag team matches at Vengeance and a clean sweep in an elimination handicap match at Saturday Night’s Main Event.
At the same time as their feud with DX and their alignment with McMahon, the Squad also wrestled other teams in Raw’s tag division over their World Tag Team Championship, successfully defending the championship against the teams of Jim Duggan and Eugene, Charlie Haas and Viscera, and Snitsky and Val Venis. They then entered a lengthy feud with The Highlanders, whom they eventually defeated to retain the championship at the Unforgiven pay-per-view in September. The Squad as a whole later began a losing streak with separate members losing singles matches to Ric Flair on consecutive episodes of Raw, until Kenny managed to defeat him on the October 23 episode. It was then announced that Flair and a WWE legend, selected by interactive voting, would wrestle the team for the World Tag Team Championship at the Cyber Sunday pay-per-view in early November. The fans chose Roddy Piper, and he and Flair defeated Kenny and Mikey to win the championship. The group disbanded on the November 27 episode of Raw, when they were defeated in a five-on-three handicap match by DX and Flair. In a backstage segment later that night, DX placed all members into a crate stamped “OVW, Louisville, Kentucky”, a reference to the developmental territory from which the Squad had come.
Ohio Valley Wrestling / Florida Championship Wrestling (2007–2008)
Nemeth returned to OVW on January 17, 2007, at the television tapings, again using his Nick Nemeth ring name, along with Mike Mondo, formerly Mikey in the Spirit Squad, as the “Frat Pack”. The pair teamed with Mike Kruel in a match against Seth Skyfire, Shawn Spears, and Cody Runnels. The team disbanded in the early parts of 2007. Nemeth then competed in several dark matches before the OVW television tapings, competing against several wrestlers including Chris Cage, Bradley Jay and Jake Hager, before he began teaming with Mondo again in August.
At the end of August, Nemeth and Mike Mondo were moved to the Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) developmental territory and in his debut there, Nemeth gained the nickname “The Natural” and defeated Hade Vansen. In November 2007, Nemeth gained Big Rob as his manager, but their alliance was short-lived. At the start of 2008, he tweaked his name to “Nic Nemeth” and began teaming with Brad Allen, with the pair gaining Taryn Terrell as their valet. Nemeth and Allen started a frat boy type ring character with Terrell as a “sorority chick”. On March 22, Nemeth and Allen won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship by defeating defending champions Eddie Colón and Eric Pérez, but lost the championship back to Colón and Pérez on April 15. Throughout April and May 2008, Nemeth wrestled in several dark matches prior to Raw, losing to Kofi Kingston and Ron Killings on several occasions. Soon after, he returned to the name “Nic Nemeth”, and began teaming with Gavin Spears. The pair defeated Colón and Pérez to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship on August 16, but lost it to Heath Miller and Joe Hennig less than a month later.