Over the past few years or so, the WWE career of Dolph Ziggler hasn’t exactly gone as hoped. Since cashing in his Money In The Bank contract on Alberto Del Rio and winning the World Heavyweight Title back in 2013, Ziggler hasn’t progressed to become a consistent fixture in the main event picture, as everybody expected him to.
Indeed, Ziggler only held that belt for just 69 days before dropping it back to Del Rio. A severe concussion, the result of a mistimed kick from Jack Swagger, was the main reason for Ziggler losing the title on that occasion, but since that time, he’s never quite reached the same level again.
There have been moments of hope, however, such as winning the Intercontinental Title multiple times, or his performance in the main event of Survivor Series 2014. That was arguably the greatest performance of his career, overcoming a 3-1 numbers disadvantage to eliminate Kane and Luke Harper on his own.
After that, he went toe-to-toe with and ultimately beat Seth Rollins in a world class display of professional wrestling from both men, albeit with a little assistance from Sting. He truly looked like a star and stole the show, that night. But soon after, his performance was forgotten about, and WWE seemed to give up on Ziggler.
He has all the talent in the world, but something has been preventing him from reaching the very top level of the industry.
Which leads us onto the question, what happens next for Dolph Ziggler? As many of you may have heard, WWE No Mercy takes place this Sunday. In one of the more talked-about matches on the card, Dolph Ziggler will challenge The Miz again, for his Intercontinental Title.
However, there’s an additional stipulation; if Ziggler loses, he must retire. With everything on the line, Dolph has to deliver in this match if he wants to maintain his WWE career. If Ziggler does end up losing and being forced out of WWE, he certainly wouldn’t be short of options.
Contrary to what they may have you believe, WWE is not the only place in the world that a performer can go to wrestle. Dolph is very well respected by the internet fanbase and would have no problem finding potential suitors in the indy scene should he suddenly become available.
The likes of NJPW, Lucha Underground, TNA and Ring of Honor would surely be queuing up to sign him. And the list of dream matches that he could genuinely partake in would grow hugely.
Matches like Ziggler v Ricochet, Ziggler v Will Ospreay, Ziggler v Zack Sabre Jr and Ziggler v Kenny Omega just to name a few, would be incredibly interesting and would certainly appeal to a large number of wrestling fans around the world.
Also, as we well know, retirement stipulations in WWE are not always adhered to. Back in 2012, Ziggler defeated Chris Jericho in a match which terminated Y2J’s contract with WWE. He returned just a few months later at the 2013 Royal Rumble, rendering the original stipulation rather pointless.
Who’s to say that a similar thing wouldn’t happen in 2016? Ziggler could very well lose on Sunday, but simply come back sometime in 2017.