A lot of unexpected things happened during SmackDown last night, but WWE fans weren't expecting Dolph Ziggler to turn heel. After losing a yet another match to Baron Corbin during the episode, Kalisto came out to make the save after Corbin added insult to injury in a post-match beatdown of Ziggler. However, some frustration got the better of The Show Off, and he attacked Kalisto and other WWE Superstars backstage.
Dolph Ziggler has been a top face for SmackDown since WWE's brand split became official in July. He has been featured in some big matches, including a WWE Championship match with Dean Ambrose at WWE Summerslam and a handful of matches with The Miz over the Intercontinental title. The only issue is that aside from a few bright spots, he's lost the majority of his matches on SmackDown over the last six months.
Last night on SmackDown, the loss to Corbin may have been the final straw that broke the camel's back. His attack on Kalisto and other WWE Superstars came off like a natural heel turn, but there's still the possibility of WWE officials using it to add depth to his face character on WWE television. As it turns out, Ziggler's heel turn was done for a specific reason, and it's just the beginning for Dolph Ziggler heading into 2017.
According to a new report, Dolph Ziggler delivering a superkick to Kalisto was intended to be a full heel turn for him. There won't be a slow burn where he apologizes to the WWE Universe and eventually undergoes a full character change on WWE television. His actions during last night's edition of SmackDown was a full-fledged heel turn, and Dolph Ziggler will be acting as a heel going forward.
It will be the first time he's used a heel persona on WWE programming since 2013. The reason for the heel turn may seem obvious, but WWE officials pulled the trigger on the turn simply to freshen up his character on television, give him new life, and possibly utilize it down the road in SmackDown's World title picture.
Dolph Ziggler has lost a lot of big matches on WWE television over the past few months, so it's only natural his character would eventually become fed up with losing, especially when he has the moniker of "The Show Off." The fact is his character works better as a heel since that's what it was designed to be, but the question now is how he will transition his dynamic with the WWE Universe to make him a top heel on SmackDown.
In the short term, what Ziggler's new persona needs is to prove to the WWE Universe that he is a changed man. You can assume that he will begin cheating to win matches and will do what is necessary to keep from losing as often. Other than Kalisto, Dolph confronted Apollo Crews during a backstage segment, so it seems like he'll be feuding with one or both of those men heading into the WWE Royal Rumble later this month.
WWE officials demonstrated to the WWE fans that Dolph Ziggler is still hitting his head on the glass ceiling of WWE because he was passed over yet again to become the WWE World Champion and Dean Ambrose has been able to capitalize on those chances. For example, Ambrose became the IC Champion last night on SmackDown after Ziggler's feud with Miz ended abruptly. Meanwhile, Dolph was pushed into the mid card.
Ambrose vs. Ziggler seems like the natural progression of this storyline, but the important thing is to get the latter's heel persona over with the WWE Universe before he chases another title. Dolph Ziggler may be able to turn his heel run into something new for himself, but the coming weeks will be pivotal for this future in WWE.
[Featured Image by WWE]