Dolph Ziggler was taken out on last week's RAW by Rusev when the "Bulgarian Brute" buried one of his crutches in the throat of Ziggler, and he was stretchered out of the arena. WWE's report following the segment was that Ziggler is suffering from a severely bruised trachea, and they didn't give a timetable for his return.
Ziggler's injury in storyline is coming at a time where his contract with WWE is nearing its end, so the belief is that WWE won't put Ziggler back on television until he has signed a new deal with the company.
There were reports of Ziggler signing a new deal with WWE last month, but those reports were later refuted by Ziggler, saying he hadn't signed the contract WWE offered him and that he made a counter-offer which, at that point, had yet to be accepted by WWE.
"I'm thinking about it right now. I had a request for an upcoming contract that would end a few months from now, maybe two or three months from now, and they requested back what they would like, I countered another offer and we're waiting to finalize some things."
There's been no word on whether or not Ziggler has finalized his new deal with WWE, but the common belief is that he hasn't.
WWE is trying to get a deal done with Ziggler before next month's SummerSlam event, as they want him to wrestle Rusev on the show. Of course, Ziggler probably wouldn't end up beating Rusev, but since Rusev is the one who took him out, it only makes sense for Ziggler to seek revenge on him.
If Ziggler doesn't return before SummerSlam, that could be a big sign that he hasn't, and maybe won't re-sign with WWE. Most people are expecting that he will renew his contract with WWE in the next couple of weeks, and Ziggler himself has said that he expects to be with WWE for the remainder of his pro wrestling career. But, he wants the right deal, and if he doesn't get it, he doesn't mind walking away.
"I mean, it feels like I started here, I should end my career in the WWE. I feel like they like having me around and I love working here, so it would be really hard to walk away."
Ziggler has had an up-and-down relationship with WWE in the past because he feels like he should be in a better spot than he is. So, if he feels that WWE isn't going to fully recognize his talent, he could end up elsewhere. But, it's probably safe to say that he's not going anywhere.
[Image via WWE]