Ever since the brand extension more than two months ago, Dolph Ziggler has been more relevant than in the past three years. Programs with Dean Ambrose and The Miz for the WWE World Championship and the Intercontinental Title have elevated Ziggler’s status on SmackDown, and even though the brand split was designed to create fresh opportunities for superstars like Ziggler, it all may be coming to an end soon.
Part of the reason his current feud with The Miz has been so compelling is because Dolph Ziggler agreed to put his career on the line against the IC belt this Sunday at No Mercy. His WWE main roster career began in 2006, debuting as a member of the Spirit Squad, and has endured countless start-and-stop pushes, few highs, and many lows.
Ziggler has incorporated the good, the bad and the ugly into his current angle with The Miz, delivering perhaps the greatest promos of his career in the last month. Fans and WWE officials alike have felt the emotion come through in waves, hoping beyond hope that his career could continue down this path rather than walk away, or maybe worse, return to mid-card mediocrity.
The SmackDown Live creative team once considered putting Ziggler inside a cage with The Miz for their payoff match at No Mercy, but the stakes have been raised considerably. No longer is their showdown about keeping Maryse from interfering, though it’s certainly possible she’ll get involved in the outcome once again.
Last week, we reported that Ziggler’s contract with the WWE doesn’t run out until next year, which led many to believe that he would win the match at No Mercy. However, all signs continue to point towards the contrary. The other option in our report last week indicated that Ziggler would lose, take an extended hiatus, only to return at some point in 2017 with a repackaging and a new gimmick.
All these scenarios remain on the table, but according to Daily Wrestling News, a new plan has emerged following Sunday’s pay-per-view. The plan continues to have Ziggler lose to The Miz, but instead of getting a makeover for next year, WWE officials are trying to convince Ziggler to transition into a backstage agent/producer role. The proposed role would be similar to that of Jamie Noble, Dean Malenko, Road Dogg, Fit Finlay and others.
The WWE has done an admirable job of telling this compelling story, leaving a lot of fans uncertain about how this all plays out. The most recent episode of SmackDown Live alone had a ‘Dolphumentary’ and a mini reunion of the aforementioned Spirit Squad. His appearances on Talking Smack have included retrospectives of his career, forcing Ziggler to look back and at times, think about what could have been.
It’s ironic that if Ziggler does lose on Sunday, he will mark the second WWE superstar that has “retired” from the company because of The Miz. It’s no secret that Miz and Dolph are close friends outside the ring, and The Miz is responsible (from a storyline perspective) for ending the WWE career of another of his close friends, John Morrison. It’s unclear whether Ziggler requested a final program with The Miz or if it just played out this way.
Ziggler, in recent years, has expanded his horizons outside of sports entertainment as a way to make the transition from wrestling easier. He’s been ascending up the stand-up comedy ladder and has been used as a political correspondent on numerous occasions for FOX. Dolph is only 36 years old, so if he is willing to accept the role as a backstage producer, it will give him more time to do those other things outside of wrestling.
On multiple occasions, Ziggler has stated that if he can’t perform at a high level anymore, then he wants to walk away. It just feels like he’s resurrected his career right as it appears to be over.
[Featured Image By WWE]