I sat in my living, staring blankly at the screen, my jaw hanging open. Luke Harper had just defeated Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship. I wasn’t really mad. I wasn’t really upset. I wasn’t really anything. You know how they say when you get electrocuted you can’t move, you just sort of stand there shocked as all your nerves are overwhelmed? That’s how I felt. While I applaud WWE Creative for doing something so far outside the box that nobody could have predicted it, I still can’t get over the fact that these events transpired earlier this week. It turned the wow factor up to about an eleven. It set up Luke Harper as his own man outside of Bray Wyatt. It established that Triple H really is the ultimate heel. It gave an immense amount of heat to the upcoming Team Cena vs Team Authority traditional Survivor Series match. And it left the door wide open for a Dolph Ziggler push.
I don’t hide the fact that I am a diehard Dolph Ziggler guy. I have liked him for many years and he will always be over with me. That being said, I am going to try to write this article from the perspective of a professional wrestling observer and not a fanboy.
Dolph Ziggler, real name Nic Nemeth, is a former two time World Heavyweight Champion, Tag Team Champion, three time Intercontinental Champion, United States Champion, and former Money in the Bank winner (which he successfully cashed in against Alberto Del Rio). He was also in Vince McMahon’s Spirit Squad, but let’s gloss over that quickly and leave it in the past. The point is, Dolph Ziggler has had, can have, and will continue to obtain gold throughout his career. He’s a star. You can’t watch a taping of anything WWE related without seeing someone with a “Push Ziggler” sign. Even Triple H makes jokes about it on the mic because he knows how over Ziggler is with the fans. The aforementioned briefcase cash in against Del Rio got one of the loudest crowd pops in recent memory.
All that being said, WWE has a history of not properly utilizing Dolph Ziggler. Granted, some of the burial down the card is his own fault. He ran his mouth outside the ring about his displeasure with the company a few years back. That’s a huge no-go when dealing with an egomaniac like Vince McMahon. Regardless of previous transgressions, Ziggler has proven his worth. He can grapple up with anybody, even the lowcard guys he can make look good. He sells every move, he entertains the crowd, and he has the “it” factor when it comes to the look and presence of a professional wrestler. He can put over the biggest of stars in epic matches. He can stand on his own, or work with a group as his time with AJ Lee and Big E Langston showed. Now is the time for Ziggler to get a push. Why, you might ask?
Well, let’s take a look at the current roster. Brock Lesnar took his title and went home. John Cena and Randy Orton are, arguably, growing stale. (If they haven’t already been so the past couple years.) Top billed guys are out with injury. Wade Barrett, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, and Roman Reigns are all sidelined. Dolph Ziggler is being paired with Cena at Survivor Series which, right or wrong, is the guy you must either go through or get his stamp of approval to become a superstar. Ziggler now has even more crowd sympathy and drive because of Luke Harper beating him into the ground. And this is the season for someone lower down the totem pole like Dolph to really get a moment in the sun. We are coming up on the last two pay-per-views of the year. WrestleMania is a close five months away, which means the Royal Rumble is only three months away. Now is the perfect window for Ziggler to get a push before all the hype and buzz of WrestleMania begins.
Dolph Ziggler could carry the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and do so with class and flair. Granted, nobody is going to buy a match with Lesnar and Ziggler, especially with an outcome of Ziggler getting over on the guy that broke The Streak. But Lesnar has to lose at some point. And before all these other superstars return from various injuries to take over the helm of the next generation of WWE talent, Dolph Ziggler needs a moment. Maybe not because we all really want it, but just for the opportunity for Ziggler to show Vince and Company that he has what it takes to be the face of the company. Given the chance, I think Ziggler could go down as one of the greatest superstars of all time.
Whoever eventually takes the title from Lesnar could find themselves in a tremendously great feud with The Showoff. Any storyline involving Dolph Ziggler has the potential to be amazing because he works harder than most guys and will not let himself give a weak performance in the ring. Perhaps this Sunday is a great opportunity for Ziggler. Not to help Cena get the victory, but instead turn on his teammates and help out The Authority in order to make good on their promise that Ziggler could have everything he wants and more. With all the injuries and an absentee championship reign from Lesnar, Ziggler is the guy with the most to gain at this particular moment. His foot’s in the door at this time, all he has to do is continue stealing the show.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker