Earlier this week, rumors emerged that Dolph Ziggler was possibly on his way out of WWE, close to one month after he had last appeared on Monday Night Raw. Although he didn't say anything about wanting to leave the company, Ziggler shared some details about his contract status with WWE in a recent interview, while also speaking positively of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and suggesting that he could be a good fit for the upstart independent promotion.
Speaking to entertainment reporter Chris Van Vliet, Ziggler explained that he remains under contract to WWE, but has not been appearing on recent episodes of Raw because he is on a long-overdue hiatus. As quoted by Wrestling Inc., the 38-year-old ring veteran added that he won't be appearing on Sunday night at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, despite the fact that the event will be held in Phoenix, where he is presently based.
"For now I am on a hiatus with WWE," Ziggler told Van Vliet.
"It took me like 10 years to get a weekend off and this is it. So we'll see where it goes from here. Like I said, we have a handshake agreement which is different from what's on paper. I've given everything and we'll see if there is more for me to give, I'll be happy to be a part of it."As previously reported by PWInsider, those familiar with the situation believe that Dolph Ziggler might not be much longer for WWE because he was unhappy with the company's offer of a backstage producer role. In his interview, Ziggler said that if he were to stay with WWE, it would have to be as an active wrestler for the meantime, as producing is something he only sees himself doing "10 years down the line."
Talking about the idea that he might take his talents to All Elite Wrestling if and when he chooses not to re-sign with WWE, Ziggler downplayed the chances that he may one day become the "next big signing," but stressed that he'll be keeping his options open as he focuses on other things for the time being.
"You never know. I think it would be great, I think I would be a great addition to that company which seems to be for true wrestlers who love the sport and the business. It's a great idea."With Dolph Ziggler taking a wait-and-see attitude regarding his wrestling career plans, it isn't clear when exactly his WWE contract will be expiring. However, WrestlingNews.co also cited the Van Vliet interview and wrote about how Ziggler dropped hints that he will "no longer be under contract soon," allowing him to enter free agency and, should he choose to do so, sign with a rival company such as AEW.