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Why the Ziggler-Lawler segment was the best in years

Dolph Ziggler and Jerry Lawler tore the house down on SmackDown Live.

Dolph Ziggler Jerry Lawler
Ziggler and Lawler put on one of the best promos in a long time

Dolph Ziggler's heel turn on SmackDown Live a few weeks back was met with universal acclaim. The Show-Off's babyface character had long since run its course despite experiencing a slight resurgence during his feud with The Miz, and the former Spirit Squad member was desperate for a change in attitude.

Thankfully, the SD gods answered our prayers.

Since super kicking Kalisto, the former World Heavyweight Champion has been slowly building some momentum on the blue brand as he looks to potentially shoot himself back into world title contention one day. Whilst we have seen that happen on a number of occasions over the last few months, it couldn't hurt to see where this current run of his goes.

But the highlight of this recent heel turn has almost certainly been the segment between Dolph Ziggler and Jerry Lawler during King's Court. Now whilst many people felt this was a bit too much, the intense atmosphere of the promo and the general delivery of the lines made for fascinating viewing.

If you aren't familiar with it then first off go and watch it, and secondly watch it again because it's that good. It feels personal, it feels dark and most importantly it makes Ziggler feel like a bigger threat than he has in years. It's every little piece of storytelling brilliance that we've come to expect from WWE over the years, rolled into one glorious ball.

First off, let's talk about Ziggler's tone. After failing to respond to Jerry for about five minutes, he comes out with this slow, drab and almost monotone voice in order to communicate with the Hall of Famer.

It felt so different and refreshing to hear Dolph come out with something that isn't a progressive rant that turns into a scream because it adds to the idea that his character is just fed up and wants to do things his own way now.

Jerry Lawler
Lawler’s heart attack came completely out of the blue

Then, there was Lawler's general attitude. The company did well to still maintain the idea that Lawler is a bit of a heel these days, with his over the top appearance, coupled with his harsh comments in response to Dolph showing that he still has some fight left in him.

That made the segment feel that much more powerful, and in all honesty, it probably wouldn't have worked nearly as well if this wasn't a heel vs. heel segment. They're hard to pull off, but they definitely managed it here.

However, the real crowning moment was the reveal of the "footage" that Ziggler brought along with him to SmackDown. As the video started rolling, it quickly became obvious that the former Intercontinental Champion was referencing Jerry Lawler's heart attack from four years ago, even going so far as to take the blame for the event entirely.

It was so, so effective because it just took the promo to a whole new level of real. We had heard rumours over the years that it was Ziggler's elbows that night that caused the event, but nobody could have imagined that they'd go so far as to have Dolph talk about it directly to The King.

Even better, when the video stopped, Dolph proceeded to describe what everyone had just seen in painful detail to really drive the point home in the most effective way possible.

It was a truly brilliant way to get some instant heat on Ziggler, followed up by his superkick which went directly into the chest of Lawler. We all know that was likely done on purpose, and it makes the audience feel genuinely uncomfortable when you consider what happened four years ago.

It became obvious that this was more than just a heel turn - this was a man completely snapping and losing the ability to care about anything other than himself.

Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler as a heel is much more interesting

Hell, even JBL stumbling into the ring in order to assist his long time friend was brilliant. Everything from start to finish here just felt so real and so passionate, and now all we want to see is Dolph Ziggler get his comeuppance.

It's doubtful that this will lead to a match, considering Lawler's age but that doesn't mean we won't see him recruit someone to battle Dolph on his behalf.

Which is, in a nut shell, why this worked so well. Nobody really knows what direction this is going in next and it's okay to feel that way, because professional wrestling isn't supposed to be obvious.

We've become so used to knowing the majority of what's going to take place before it even happens that this was so refreshing, and it forces you to tune into the blue brand this week so that we can see what kind of repercussions will come Ziggler's way. 

The SmackDown Live writers need to take a bow, because things are just getting better and better as the weeks go on.


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