I might face a lot of flak on the interwebs for this but both an annoyance and a favourite activity of mine is to draw comparisons between the wrestlers of the present era and those of the yester generations.
Who would this wrestler have been had he been a part of the Monday Night Wars era? Or the Attitude Era? Mind you it’s not a comparison of competency or a matter of how ‘over with the crowd’ the talent in question is.
It’s more like a character/ persona fit. Of all the glammy WWE superstars to grace the squared mat in the recent past, the ilk of Fandango and Tyler Breeze, none of them have fit the boots of WWE’s then resident rockstar Shawn Michaels, quite like Dolph Ziggler.
Sure, Dolph Ziggler started out as a male cheerleader and then as Vicki Guerrero’s boy toy, two roles the WWE has tried utmost to bury and throwback to for brief periods on televised episodes.
Ziggler also most recently played Colonel Sanders, mimicking a brawl similar to that of Peter Griffin and the human-sized chicken on Family Guy, with the Miz!
But nothing describes the best Dolph Ziggler quite like the glistening leather gear and high white boots and flying dirty blond hair, as he stomps the corner of the ring, biding his time to land a Sweet Chin Music, in JBL’s words ‘right on the button’, of his opponent.
Ziggler is over with the crowd in the truest sense of the phrase, and is reprising the role of the roster’s resident rockstar, one he unofficially inherited from the likes of the Heart Break Kid, with a little bit of the skullduggery, which are possibly strains of Attitude Era heel supremes Edge and Chris Jericho.
Ziggler called himself the benchmark several months ago and has since put out match after match pseudo-jobbing to talents like Baron Corbin and AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose, and even to the Miz!
Ziggler’s entire career at WWE can be loosely interpreted as ‘much ado about nothing’ as the man was pushed on several occasions only to job for contemporaries as well as veterans, at the end of the day.
Ziggler not only made for some of the most entertaining storylines that led to some of the most athletic matches of the ilk that gets crowd behind him to start a momentum every now and then.
Don’t get me wrong, calling Ziggler the show stealer in each of those matches would be an understatement, and I am not saying Miz was not worth it when Ziggler lost this time due to outside interference, but as an observer you have to ask how much are they going to bury the quality of Ziggler’s character?
Ziggler’s resume commands of several titles under his belt but each of those title reigns were cut short in an unsatisfying fashion that did not do much justice to the ‘heart’ that the commentators speak so highly of.
Short of allowing him a few pity wins on the script, WWE has done precious few things in favor of Ziggler’s character, making ‘him work for it’ if you will, much like they had with Roman Reigns, having him chow down on disappointment after overcoming insurmountable odds.
But Reigns’ character had a reason, he was not as widely accepted as a face as Ziggler! Ziggler can still evoke a bigger crowd response than most of the current crème of superstars that WWE think of as the current face of the company.
Not only has the flexibility of his character allowed him to provide a stepping stone for wrestlers like Big E Langston, but had also helped WWE nuance the characters of several of the WWE women’s division members who helped him as a ring-side valet, starting with Maria, AJ Lee and of course, the unforgettable Vicki Guerrero.
With Ziggler’s impending contract end, one is left to wonder what is in store for the Kent University Hall of Famer. Speaking of amateur wrestling laureates, word on the grapevine is that Shelton Benjamin is inbound and there is a high probability of him forming a stable with Ziggler and Jack Swagger.
So how will Hunter and team play their cards? Put Miz on a permanent heel status by stealing a third match from under Ziggler’s nose by outside intervention, which would inadvertently be the finishing nail on the impressive resume Ziggler had built in his decade long run so far.
Or will they crown Ziggler a champion and have him sign the dotted line for a fresh lease of life on the Blue Team?
As much as Ziggler winning the match contributes to his stay in WWE, his re-contracting or otherwise would also answer the questions to what WWE has indeed got in store with reference to Ziggler as a champion, looking to become the millennial Heart Break Kid.
Needless to stay Ziggy Dolph-dust is a pro-wrestling veteran now, regardless of which ring he steps in, and not one bit a jobber.