WWE News: Dolph Ziggler On Preparing To Leave WWE After ‘No Mercy’ & His Relationship With Vince McMahon
It should have come as little surprise that Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens have produced some of the most compelling content on Monday nights since the WWE initiated the brand extension. But outside of AJ Styles’ mainstream emergence, the best segments on SmackDown Live have come during the feud between The Miz and Dolph Ziggler.
Now that No Mercy 2016 is history, their rivalry has cooled off a little over the last two weeks, but anyone would have difficulty following up their program leading to No Mercy, where The Miz put his Intercontinental Championship on the line against Ziggler’s entire WWE career. The weeks leading up to the SmackDown pay-per-view presented the realistic chance that Ziggler might be departing the WWE, but of course, he emerged victorious to begin his fifth reign as IC champ.
In a recent interview with SkySports to promote WWE’s upcoming tour of the UK, Dolph Ziggler admitted that his career was at a crossroads and had likely been stuck in neutral for nearly three years. But he also pulled back the curtain a little further to reveal that the angle with The Miz wasn’t just a storyline.
“I’d been in talks with an agent for about a year and told him to have a couple of things ready after the date after the No Mercy pay-per-view just so I had my bases covered. But while I was prepared to go, I sure as hell never wanted to go. WWE is a business but [WWE chairman] Vince McMahon is a human being and if I went to him and said I need to leave because I can’t go higher on the card, I believe he would understand and let me go. I could go and do other things, too – I am fortunate that I have a stand-up career, while I have also gone on Fox News to talk politics, something I study, write about and have lots of ideas about. But I am still prepared to be the best WWE Superstar I can be and I want to keep doing this.”
Ziggler alluded to the WWE Chairman during the revelation that he was halfway out the door. And during the past three years that Dolph had been mired in the malaise of WWE’s mid-card, he was never shy about criticizing WWE management or “The Authority.” So, of course, his feelings about Vince are worth paying attention to at this point in his career.
“I have always been told it’s important to have a relationship with Vince but at the same time it is difficult. The one or two days a week you would see him he is extremely busy getting the shows ready for the live audience, so if you find two or three minutes you’d better have something good to say as he is a workaholic and you are eating into his time. He is a little scary at first but the more you talk to him, the more you deliver in the ring and the more he can count on you [the more time he has for you]. For years I have taken the time to say hello and bring up an idea and he is usually very receptive. He has started to trust me a lot more.”
That trust, it seems, has led to a career renaissance for Ziggler, with storylines and promos that he admits no longer include memorization or catch phrases. He’s allowed to convey more real-life anecdotes, even in the midst of his current feud that involved part of the male cheerleading group, The Spirit Squad.
Ziggler also admitted that no match he’s ever been involved in, including any of his matches on the grand stage of WrestleMania, had the build or the drama that the one for No Mercy did. Fortunately, The Show-Off paid it off by stealing the show with The Miz that night, and the hope is that he’ll be able to continue down that path using realistic drama to help sell the great matches he always delivers anyway.
[Featured Image by WWE]