WWE News: Here's Why Dolph Ziggler Hasn't Been On WWE Programming Since 'Royal Rumble'

Lorenzo Tanos

Despite making the final four of this year's Royal Rumble on January 27, Dolph Ziggler has yet to appear on WWE programming since the event. This extended absence, as well as previous rumors suggesting that Ziggler was preparing to wrestle his final dates before his WWE contract expired, has led many fans to wonder about his status with the company.

In an interview Wednesday on the Wrestling Inside the Ropes podcast, Ziggler broke his silence by discussing his contract status and explaining that he is "technically" still under contract with WWE. As quoted by Wrestling Inc., the 38-year-old Monday Night Raw wrestler said that he has something akin to a "handshake agreement" with the company that allows him to focus on non-wrestling endeavors, such as his stand-up comedy performances.

"It's weird because for the last two years I've had somewhat of a handshake agreement, kind of behind closed doors deal with WWE. I've been able to do a lot of things, on my own, not at WWE, just because of the relationship we've had for the last 14 years."

As reported by The Inquisitr on January 27, Ziggler said in an interview that he was "on hiatus" from WWE and was not going to be appearing at the Royal Rumble that same night. However, he surprised fans at the Chase Field in Phoenix by showing up as the 28th entrant in the show's titular main event, as he most notably threw former tag team partner Drew McIntyre out of the ring before getting eliminated later on by eventual runner-up Braun Strowman.