If Dolph Ziggler’s bio on WWE translated to his position within the company, you might think he’d be considered one of WWE’s top stars.
“Can it be? Can it be that Dolph Ziggler really is that damn good, the best in the business and the man who steals the show every single night — and your girlfriend too? You better believe it, brother… Initially cast in go-nowhere roles as a caddy and a cheerleader, Dolph finally found his calling as, quite simply, the guy who was the most talented Superstar on the card and didn’t mind crowing about it when the time was right.”
But at second glance, it’s the WWE’s job to put over every superstar on their roster on their official website, which deals almost entirely in kayfabe. Ziggler ranks no higher or lower than anyone else in the company if you ranked them based solely on the website bios. And breaking down Ziggler’s career, one which saw him initially debut with WWE in 2005, you notice some of the highest of highs, and some lowest of lows.
The WWE bio mentions his forgettable roles as Kerwin White’s caddy and spot in the Spirit Squad, but those gimmicks came before he started establishing himself as one of the best workers in the company. Ziggler was fortunate enough to get second and third opportunities, something others could have only hoped for prior to being released. But the most common sentiments whenever Dolph Ziggler’s name is brought up is “under-used,” “wasted” and “extremely over.”
That last attribute may be the one that’s kept him employed with WWE for over a decade, more so even than his in-ring ability. WWE officials realize they have a fantastic worker under their thumb, one they can use in any spot on the card, but one that won’t ever reach the heights that his fans hope for. And according to a report from 411 Mania, Dolph Ziggler has not sustained a top-of-the-card push because WWE officials have never believed in him as far as those spots are concerned.
In the report, Dave Meltzer says that top WWE decision-makers “never believed in him, even when fans did. It was unfortunate.” People will often revert back to the night after WrestleMania 29 when Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, defeated Alberto Del Rio and became World Heavyweight Champion for a second time. It rivaled Shane McMahon’s return earlier this year as the top moment in WWE over the last five to 10 years. Yet, it still didn’t result in anything sustainable as far as Ziggler remaining in the main event scene is concerned.
Ziggler’s two championship reigns came during a time when WWE had two World Champions. However, the World Heavyweight Championship was routinely booked as second fiddle to the WWE Championship, simply there to give glorified mid-carders the chance to be called a champion. Once the titles were unified, it may have brought more credibility to the sole title-holder, but it also dropped guys like Ziggler back down a couple pegs on the card. When Dolph was the sole survivor in the main event of the 2014 Survivor Series, it appeared as if he was earning a new push. But it turned out he was just fodder for the bigger rivalry that became Triple H and Sting.
The upcoming brand split might give Dolph Ziggler another opportunity he likely wouldn’t have received had things stayed status quo. The goal of this brand extension is to make Smackdown equal to RAW, something it never quite accomplished in past iterations. If they’re successful, a second world title would mean as much as the current WWE World Heavyweight Championship, in theory. But WWE creative will have to reinvest in a character that the WWE Universe has supported for years in order for him to finally become more than just a show-off.
[Image via WWE]