We can now add Dolph Ziggler to the expanding list of WWE brand-split supporters who believe the upcoming shakeup will be nothing but positive for all those involved. In fact, the only real detractor to the brand split of note has been Steve Austin. Stone Cold recently went on record to disagree with Vince McMahon’s assessment that he’ll have the deepest roster in the history of the company. Austin pointed towards the quantity vs. quality debate, saying there might be a lot of wrestlers come July 19, but how many of them are main-event talent?
Stone Cold has also gone on record in the past, advocating for the WWE to maintain just one World Champion. And while nothing has been decided regarding that matter when the brand split goes down, there have been talks of adding another World Championship, as they did previously, to be the exclusive property of one particular show (RAW or SmackDown) and not both. Hence, why Dolph Ziggler might be the perfect candidate to show support for the extension.
Ziggler’s two World Heavyweight Championship reigns both came at a time where the WWE had two champions. But since the company decided to combine the WHC and the WWE Championship into the current WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Ziggler has seen his stock decline back into the crowded mid-card. Dolph recently did an extensive interview with Sporting News, where he predictably displayed his approval for the upcoming brand split.
“I think it’s great. That brand extension is great for everyone. It will initiate more of a competition between the brands, which can only lead to good things. We’re going to have to be throwing more things against the wall trying to see what sticks and running with it and there’s going to be a ratings competition. There’s going to be competition for bragging rights. And the most important part of this entire thing as someone who studies the business and wrestling and sports entertainment, the most important part is that it’s an opportunity for several superstars and divas to go above and beyond and become much bigger and much more of an important part of their brand than they ever were before. That’s the part I like.”
Whether Ziggler will be one of those superstars to “go above and beyond and become much bigger” remains to be seen, but it should provide a jolt, at least initially. The WWE Universe has witnessed the brand split before, and there are plenty of pessimists who are wary that history is bound to repeat itself as far as the pitfalls WWE fell into. Ziggler is not among those.
“It already is different. There is an entire roster of NXT superstars who are drooling to get their hands on WWE superstars. There’s a fan base behind them. Once you do the extension and set up the two different brands, it is now two “A” shows theoretically going head-to-head live one day after each other competing to be the best. That is a very cool part. That’s the difference. It wasn’t like that before. It used to be maybe half as much talent as there is now. There is three full rosters that are going to have to be broken up into two solid rosters and it’s going to be great for the fans no matter whose side you’re on.”
It’s refreshing to hear from a veteran like Dolph Ziggler that the brand split will create competition within the WWE. There is no WCW, and the Monday Night Wars are long gone. But it has become clear that each superstar wants to make sure the show they get drafted to is the better show. That should create some interesting television, especially since both will be live as a result of the brand split, and the USA Network’s demands to get SmackDown’s ratings up. And whatever night Ziggler ends up on, the Show-Off wants to make sure you don’t turn his show… off.
[Image via WWE]