Arguably, the two most under-utilized superstars in the WWE, according to the fans, are Cesaro and Dolph Ziggler. Sure, there are others that the WWE Universe has an affinity for, but there’s been an overwhelming feeling over the last three years that Cesaro and Ziggler should be, or should have already been pushed to a main event level. That frustration has certainly been shared, and a level of displeasure has been on display by both men in recent months.
At the very least, the brand extension created opportunities for both Cesaro and Ziggler to enter significant programs on their respective shows immediately following the draft. It’s debatable whether those programs were significant enough to satisfy their most die-hard fans.
Ziggler was inserted into the title picture right away on SmackDown, but the push wasn’t entirely sustained. Dolph lost the WWE World Championship match to Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam and was quickly shoved down a few rungs on the ladder while Ambrose transitioned to AJ Styles. Cesaro has been entrenched in a long feud with Sheamus that began before SummerSlam and continues to the present day.
As it stands now, Mick Foley declared that because there was no conclusive winner to the best of seven series, Cesaro would team up with Sheamus and the title opportunity promised to the winner would become a tag team title shot against The New Day at a date to be determined. Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler’s rivalry with The Miz will reach its conclusion at No Mercy when he puts his career on the line to challenge for the Intercontinental Championship one last time.
According to Cageside Seats, these particular angles have a lot to do with both superstars’ status with WWE moving forward. In Cesaro’s case, his contract is coming up soon. Pairing the Swiss Superman with the Celtic Warrior was done in case Cesaro decides not to re-sign. It’s no secret Cesaro has been frustrated with his position in the company, and he voiced his complaints following the draft by openly questioning the decision to put him on RAW instead of SmackDown.
The WWE could keep him paired with Sheamus until he decides what his future will be. If Cesaro wants to part ways, look for Sheamus to be pushed coming out of the tag team. If Cesaro re-ups, then a quick break-up is more likely with Cesaro finally emerging over Sheamus in their long, drawn-out feud.
As for Ziggler, his contract isn’t actually up for at least another year. The stipulation for his match with The Miz at No Mercy has led to rampant speculation that The Show-Off is on his way out of the WWE for good. While it’s entirely possible that he will lose at the pay-per-view, there have been discussions about him taking a significant amount of time off, but returning in 2017 with a repackaged gimmick.
It’s interesting that while both Cesaro and Ziggler appear to be at a crossroads in their WWE careers, it was thought that by pushing Ziggler into the title match at SummerSlam, he might be convinced to stay. Meanwhile, the company has not done anything resembling that for Cesaro. The closest he came to a main event match was the night after WrestleMania when Shane McMahon booked a fatal four way match to determine a new number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
He briefly sniffed a title shot again on the first RAW following the draft, but another fatal four way resulted in another loss. Adding the best-of-seven stipulation to a rivalry with Sheamus that has seen multiple iterations was a creative way to keep fans invested in the outcome, but the uncertainty of Cesaro’s contract status likely forced the company to delay the ultimate payoff until a final decision was made.
No Mercy and Hell In A Cell will be interesting to watch, if only for how Cesaro and Ziggler are booked considering their current delicate situations.
[Featured Image By WWE]