On Wednesday, reports suggested that a number of WWE superstars, including former NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival and husband-and-wife duo Mike and Maria Kanellis, might be wrapping up their stints with the company. Now, it appears that yet another performer — six-time Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler — could be done with WWE in a few weeks from now, possibly a few days after the company’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
In a report published on Thursday, PWInsider’s Mike Johnson took a detailed look at the various rumors that have been swirling regarding certain WWE superstars and their alleged requests to be released. Talking about Ziggler, Johnson wrote that there has been “a lot of talk” that the 38-year-old Monday Night Raw competitor is “done with WWE” after he reportedly turned down the company’s offer to work backstage as a producer. He also pointed out that Ziggler has yet to return to television after losing a cage match to Drew McIntyre last month and hasn’t been active in the house show circuit, either.
In addition to his extended absence from WWE television and live events, Dolph Ziggler appears to have quietly changed his name on Twitter, switching from his ring name to his real name of Nic Nemeth. Furthermore, PWInsider wrote that Ziggler is expected to miss more time in the coming weeks due to his upcoming engagements as a stand-up comedian.
“As of today, sources claim he remains under a WWE deal (and some there have denied he is exiting at all) but others have been pointing to January 31 as an exit date. Whether that turns out to be the case, we will see.”
The rumors of Ziggler’s purported plans to leave WWE by the end of the month came just one day after reports hinted at a pair of potential exits from the company. As reported on Wednesday by Fightful, WWE officials are apparently concerned that Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, aka The Revival, are “done or finishing up” with the promotion after a recent backstage incident. Later on that day, Pro Wrestling Sheet specified that Mike and Maria Kanellis, who have recently been appearing on 205 Live after seldom being used on SmackDown Live and Monday Night Raw, requested to be released by the WWE, due to their disappointment over their lack of a significant role in the company.
While it’s not clear whether other companies are interested in Dolph Ziggler’s services, reports claiming that the 15-year WWE veteran is considering leaving the promotion are nothing new, as pointed out by Forbes. The publication also noted that Ziggler had denied reports from last year that claimed he had just signed a lucrative, multi-year contract with WWE. But with his non-wrestling endeavors, as well as the emergence of All Elite Wrestling in mind, Forbes opined that the timing has never been better for Ziggler, assuming he is really planning to leave WWE.