Not too long ago, Dolph Ziggler was considered one of the best wrestlers in the WWE, possibly undervalued by the company but never underappreciated by the fans.
Lately, that viewpoint has turned from “undervalued” to “stale.”
Once one of the most talented and sought after performers on the roster, Dolph Ziggler has been relegated to elevating Bobby Roode and (perfectly) selling spinebusters for legends on supercharged house shows.
— Jonny Fairplay (@JonnyFairplay) November 26, 2017
(Say what you want, but that was the perfect storm of execution and selling!)
Dolph Ziggler is a former two-time world champion in WWE. All totaled, he has 9 title reigns to speak of, plus two Slammies and a Money In The Bank contract. And he’s been on the main roster for 12 years.
That brings us to today. Dolph has a Hall Of Fame list of accolades, and no one cares. No one reacts for Dolph Ziggler like they used to. And so what do we try to do? We try to fix it.we try to pigeon hole a gimmick or a change onto Dolph Ziggler.
The latest one? Dolph Ziggler needs a manger.
Look, I get why this is being suggested. Andrade “Cien” Almas is one of NXT’s most talented performers. You can go as far to say he’s been the best in-ring talent the yellow brand has since his debut. But something was missing. He turned heel, and that certainly helped. But something was still missing.
Enter Zelena Vega.
Zelena Vega has been the perfect addition to Andrade’s character. She’s filled in the missing character elements with perfection, and given him the added boost he needs to be over. And now he’s the NXT Champion—a move that people were literally begging for as we went into NXT Takeover: War Games.
So if it works for Andrade, surely it must work for Dolph, right???
The argument in favor of this idea goes deeper, too. During both of Dolph’s World Heavyweight Championship “reigns,” (look it up, neither amounted to an actual title run), Dolph was paired with a woman. The first was Vickie Guerrero, and the second was AJ Lee (along with Big E).
Neither AJ Lee nor Vickie Guerrero are with WWE today, and I can’t really think of a performer on the roster to fill that spot. Vega is in NXT, where she is needed. Lana? Well we already tried that one. Paul Heyman is already advocating for someone more Beastly, so that’s out of the question. Paul Ellering? He has yet to return to the main roster, but if you wanted to make an argument for aoynoe he’s the guy.
So what else can we do with Dolph Ziggler? Sheamus is a former 4-time world champion, and he’s killing it in a tag team with Cesaro. So maybe we can do that. But with who? And why?
Or we could elevate Dolph again, as AJ Styles seems likely to get past Jinder Mahal at Clash Of Champions and will need a challenger at the Royal Rumble. It worked for Dolph at SummerSlam 2016 with Ambrose, and that could work for him again.
But then what? We’re right back to where we are today.
Here’s what they need to do with Dolph Ziggler: nothing.
And when I say nothing, I literally mean it. Take him off television. Remove him from the roster page on WWE dot com. Send him home and let him rest. And I don’t just mean the physical guy. Let his character rest.
I don’t think you need to change anything with Dolph Ziggler, we just need a break. Say he’s AJ Styles’ throw away challenger for the 2018 Royal Rumble and they have an excellent match. Awesome. Thank you Dolph, we appreciate you. We’ll see you after WrestleMania. We’ll see you over the summer. Maybe even after SummerSlam.
The point here is simple. We don’t need to change anything about Dolph Ziggler to make him special again. He already is special. We just need some absence to make the heart grow fonder.
And trust me, with enough time away from Dolph Ziggler, our hearts will indeed grow fonder.