Dolph Ziggler: Realistically, 16 or 17 of my past years with WWE haven’t worked out

Originally published at Dolph Ziggler: Realistically, 16 or 17 of my past years with WWE haven’t worked out

Dolph Ziggler reflects on his career ahead of Stand & Deliver.

In early February, Dolph Ziggler appeared on NXT 2.0 and one month later, he became the NXT Champion by pinning Tommaso Ciampa in a three-way that included Bron Breakker. Ziggler’s NXT Title will be on the line April 2nd when he meets Breakker in singles competition.

Dolph has been a part of WWE since 2004 and is a Triple Crown Champion in the company. Despite his tenure, Ziggler feels he’s still growing as a performer and expressed to Sports Illustrated that the majority of his run has not worked out. He adds that no matter what his situation is, he’s always ready to perform at a high level.

Realistically, 16 or 17 of my past years with the company haven’t worked out. Let’s not even discuss my win-loss record. But I know who I am. I’m barely six feet tall and barely 200 pounds, but I am constantly growing as a performer. Sometimes I’m not on TV for weeks. Sometimes I’m in quick matches. But I’m always ready to go 30 minutes in the main event for the world title. And now that I’m the champion, I’m not in a position where I need to do a little more cardio and get in even better shape. This was already my life. I was ready and I still am ready. I’m not here trying to turn it up. I’m shredded as hell and already turning it up.

Since 2019, Ziggler has been teaming with Robert Roode and they’ve won the SmackDown and Raw Tag Titles together. Ziggler mentioned that if their current situation was happening in IMPACT Wrestling, he’d be backing Roode.

Ziggler credited his partner for taking losses for him and hopes Roode gets a chance to shine in a singles role again one day.

If this were Impact, I would definitely be cornering him, and I would be happy to do it. He has my back, and I have his. When he was in Impact, Roode was doing much better than me. I complain all the time I don’t have a great win-loss record, but he is taking so many losses for me. He doesn’t get nearly talked about enough, and WWE has so much talent that it’s easy to slip between the cracks. But he’s better than me. He’s more ripped than me. He’s extremely smart, too. At some point, I hope he throws me through the barbershop window and we get to beat the hell out of each other.

The NXT Stand & Deliver card will have an addition to by the conclusion of tonight’s NXT 2.0. Cameron Grimes, A-Kid and Roderick Strong are going to be in a Triple Threat to determine who gets the final spot in the North American Title Ladder match at Stand & Deliver.

1 Like

One of the biggest “what if” questions for me is what if Dolph tool a break from WWE sometime in the last five or six years. I feel like he would have found some degree of success banking on himself. If Cody, MacIntyre and others have, I think he would have at the very least raised his stock, value, and standing upon a return to the company.

Instead, he’s become a poster boy for a lot that’s wrong with current day WWE. A guy who is very talented, but sloted in a position forever, and just happy to be there.

Dolph is 1992-era Tito Santana.

8 Likes

He did have some very poorly timed injuries though. For awhile from 2011-2015 it felt like every time they were getting ready to give Ziggler a push he got injured or got a concussion. Just bad timing that only played into the narrative that WWE would tease him and the audience with a push for it only to get squashed.

At this point this run in NXT and his work in the tag-team division seems like the best use of him. He can still go in the ring and has a lot of name recognition from being with the company for 15 years. And if lightning strikes at the right time and the right feud comes along there’s still a chance he could win another elusive world title. It took Kofi and Christian each about 15 years to win a world title. It could happen again for Ziggler one day.

3 Likes

I agree with all of this, but the only thing I question is if the fans want to see him win a world title again. Maybe he changes his character and begins to connect again, but he just has a hard time connecting with the audience when he cuts a serious promo. There is just something about his promo style that feels very “soap operaish” if that makes sense, just over the top and hard to buy in to.

Its like he took an acting class, then quit after a month and now he overuses the tricks he learned in that one month.

2 Likes

The last time I feel anybody bought into him was shortly after that Smackdown Live brand split in 2016… and they did the fued with The Miz.

Fall 2016 (No Mercy PPV, I had to look it up). That was the last time it felt like people were ready to give a shit and get behind him. Instead, they just kept going with his booking of ups and downs, as they always do.

I think fans have moved on from ever taking him seriously.

He has his go to “serious promo” voice…but that’s it. He has pulled that out one too many times.

1 Like

I remember that feud, wasnt there a stipulation where if one of them lost they had to leave WWE or something like that? I remember I didnt have high expectations and it ended up being a great match.

Agreed with the “serious voice”, though I cant tell if its the promo ability, or if its the disconnect between his promo’s and the way hes booked that looses me. Hes a guy I wish would go to AEW, I think he could really rehab himself there as in the ring the guy is gifted.

Maybe. But then he’s a part of video packages like this.

I thought this was really well done. As a heel Ziggler being cocky he stays in character but tells a logical story that will culminate in a good match. That’s really all I ask for from any wrestler in any wrestling company at any level.

Christian had to leave and come back to get that chance. Kofi was hidden in tag teams for years and wasn’t turned into a total jobber afterthought like Ziggler was for years.

No chance he ever gets close to a world title again

This guy had one of the biggest pops of all time. Will never forget that

1 Like

Absolutely.

Unfortunately, there follow-up was awful. He got injured, and like a Finn Balor, the company seemed to lose all faith in portraying him as a main event guy. Or feel they can heat him up occasionally, and them drop him right back down.

Oh, they had one other time where they seemed to flirt with a push, and that was the Survivor Series that Sting debuted, and he was sole survivor. But again, no follow-up as a consistently pushed guy.

I watched the video - and I will agree, it does a good job of selling him and the match. And maybe in 2022, the best place for Ziggler is as the “guy” in NXT 2.0.

I think, myself and many others, just believe that he could have been doing that on a much larger scale. and really be a focused player on a main stage.

Hopefully he’s creatively satisfied.

The problem with Dolph Ziggler is that I think he actually thinks that he’s a lot better than he actually is. He has done absolutely zero to freshen himself up over the years, whether it be his look, or his moveset. He thinks because he oversells, that makes him amazing is what I get from him.

1 Like

That pop is so incredible, and as someone who was so incredibly invested in this man’s success that they just drained right out of me, that pop practically brings a tear to the eye, incredible moment

1 Like