Anthony Nese (August 6, 1985) is an American professional wrestler, currently signed to WWE on the RAW roster. Nese is known for wrestling throughout the Northeastern United States under his real name and under the ring names of Matt Cultrone, Matt Maverick, Tony Ace and Tony Nese. He is also known for his brief tenure in TNA from 2011–2013.

During June 2016, Nese unofficially joined the WWE, where he has appeared on WWE NXT and WWE Monday Night RAW programs where he competed in the Cruiserweight division on the 205 Live roster.

Professional wrestling career

Independent circuit (2001–2011)

Anthony Nese was born in New York and trained there under the instruction of Mikey Whipwreck. He wrestled for various independent promotions across the Northeast, mostly between New York and New Jersey, winning several championships across the independent circuits including singles and tag team titles.

Nese debuted on June 20, 2001 at PWF Zero Gravity under the ring name Matt Maverick, where he wrestled a singles match won by Tony Balboa.

Two years later, Nese returned to the ring on October 18, 2003 in an event for Michigan Marquee Wrestling Association. As Matt Maverick, he teamed with Jimmy Shalwin and Frankie the Face to defeat Tommy Starr, Jim Duggan and Johnny Swinger.

Since 2003, Nese went on to wrestle every year, leading towards his eventual decision to sign with TNA in 2011. He wrestled his last independent match on December 10, 2011 for New York Wrestling Connection's NYWC Miracle on 112, defeating Danny E.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2011–2013)

In December 2011, Nese signed on to join TNA. He was assigned to the X-Division and made a few appearances before vanishing from television in-ring competition for months. Wisely, Nese was released from TNA on May 17, 2012. The release was a result of Nese being scheduled for a tag team match for Pro Wrestling Syndicate iPPV on June 1, 2012 in Rahway, New Jersey. The match would include Nese teaming with Sami Callihan against wrestlers The Great Muta and Kai. Since Nese had been on TNA's X-Division roster for months without seeing any significant in-ring time, he asked permission to work the match for Pro Wrestling Syndicate. This request was denied due to the fact Nese was still under contract to TNA. Instead he was offered a release from TNA which Nese accepted.

Nese took part at the X-travaganza on January 12, 2013 (aired on April 5, 2013) teaming with Rashad Cameron against Doug Williams and Kid Kash in a losing effort after Nese would be pinned by Williams with the Chaos Theory.

Return to Independent circuit (2012–2016)

After departing from TNA, Nese returned to the independent wrestling circuit continuing to appear for the New York Wrestling Connection promotion also competing in several independent wrestling promotions including Pro Wrestling Syndicate. He started using his real name, Anthony Nese. Nese became the first PWS Tri-State champion and was undefeated. He shortly feuded with Matt Hardy, defeating him in a match for the Tri-State title before eventually losing the title to Star Man on November 9, 2012 in a triple threat match. On October 12, 2013, Nese defeated the FWE Tri Borought Champion Paul London in a non-title match. In early 2013, Nese began working for Dragon Gate USA and Evolve. On November 3, Nese began his first tour of Dragon Gate USA's Japanese parent promotion, Dragon Gate, unsuccessfully challenging Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! for the Open the Brave Gate Championship. On November 9, 2013, at House of Hardcore 3, Nese defeated Alex Reynolds and Petey Williams. On December 8, 2013, Nese won the Family Wrestling Entertainment's Openweight Grand Prix.

On September 14, 2014, at EVOLVE 35, Nese and Caleb Konley won the Open the United Gate Championship from The Bravado Brothers (Harlem and Lancelot) in a three-way match, also involving AR Fox and Rich Swann. At FWE ReFueled Day 1, Nese and Jigsaw defeated Adrenaline Express to win the FWE Tag Team Championship. The following day, they lost the title to The Young Bucks. On July 18, 2015 at House of Hardcore 9, Nese faced John Hennigan in a losing effort. On August 15 at EVOLVE 47, Nese teamed with Caleb Konley in a winning tag team match, defeating Rey Horus and Trent Barreta. The day after on August 16 at EVOLVE 48, Nese defeated Ethan Page. On August 20 at FBW Boiling Point, Nese defeated Chris Dickinson. On August 27 at NYWC Hotter than Hell, Nese and Papadon challenged NYWC Fusion Champion Joe Gacy in a triple threat title match in which Gacy successfully retained the championship.

On December 12 at CZW Cage of Death XVII, Nese wrestled a match won by Greg Excellent. On December 18 at Five Borough Wrestling's FBW Season's Last Wish Nese wrestled a match losing to Kenny Omega. Nese finished 2015 on December 19 at NYWC Tour de Circus, where he defeated MASADA.

WWE (2016–present)

Nese debuted on June 23 as part of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic tournament to determine a new Cruiserweight Championship after the title was reactivated; where he defeated Anthony Bennett in the first round. He lost in the second round on July 14 to Brian Kendrick. On August 25, Nese returned, in a match on WWE NXT where he teamed with Ariya Daivari in a defeated effort against TM-61 (Nick Miller & Shane Thorne). On the following night on August 26, Nese wrestled in a dark WWE Cruiserweight Classic, teaming with Drew Gulak to defeat Kenneth Johnson & Lince Dorado. Beginning on September 26, Nese made his brand debut on Monday Night RAW in a match won by TJ Perkins. On October 3, Nese made his second RAW appearance, defeating Rich Swann. On the October 17 edition of Monday Night RAW, Nese teamed with Brian Kendrick & Drew Gulak defeated TJ Perkins, Rich Swann & Cedric Alexander in a six-man tag team match.

In wrestling

  • Finishing moves
    • Reverse piledriver, sometimes from the pumphandle position
    • 450 splash
    • Single leg Boston crab, sometimes while kneeling on the opponent's back – 2014
    • Pumphandle Michinoku Driver II – 2016–present
    • The Running Kneese (Running knee strike to an opponent seated in the corner) – 2017–present
  • Nicknames
    • "The Premier Athlete"
  • Entrance Themes
    • "Win It All" by CFO$ (WWE; 2016–present)

Championships and accomplishments

External links

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