The Issue of Dolph Ziggler – #1 Contender for the WWE Title

The New Era in the WWE is supposed to be all about giving opportunities. The change is aimed at altering the core of the product. Those who were on top undeservedly would fall, the ones who bring fresh blood in would get a shot at the top and those who had been mistreated would get a chance of breaking the glass ceiling. And so, the very first week of the New Era, Roman Reigns got demoted to the midcard, Finn Balor got a push the moment he set foot through the door and Dolph Ziggler finally got recognised as championship material beyond the midcard. The fans should have been happy but if you look at the comments left online, the WWE Universe seems to be disgruntled once again.

Ziggler has been with the WWE since 2004. He’s gone through literally everything – form being a male cheerleader in the Spirit Squad, to being Vicky Guererro’s boy toy, to being the lone survivor in the 2014 Survivor Series and becoming the fan favourite. The Show Off has held the Tag Team titles once, the US title – once, the World Heavyweight Championship – twice (although the first one lasted only a few seconds), the IC title – four times, but never the WWE title. The Big One has always been reserved for the top players and Ziggler never was considered one of them. As Dolph’s undeniable skills in the ring and fiery personality backstage showed through the years, his popularity grew and the fans got behind him. Yet, Ziggler was always used as a stepping stone only. He’s a guy who makes anyone he meets in the ring look good, therefore he was the perfect jobber. His best promos were kept as exclusive features that never got aired on TV. In general, all hope seemed to have been lost. And so, when the first true episode of SmackDown Live aired, the fans did not expect the Show Off to come out the #1 contender for the WWE Championship.

You’d think that once the guy who most seem to believe is underrated and underused finally gets a push, the fans would be ecstatic. Yeah, but no. Imagine my surprise when I read through the comments on the video, showing Ziggler win and saw only negativity. Then the IWC started to talk about the Ziggler controversy and everyone became a critic. Suddenly, Ziggler wasn’t good enough. Apparently, he had been at PPV pre-shows one too many times to be taken seriously. I read and read and I became more and more bewildered because opening one of those exclusive promos, Ziggler cut backstage the comments would be in the complete opposite end of the spectrum. The opinions changed overnight but Dolph’s wrestling skills haven’t and neither has his gimmick. Only the fans’ response did.  Then again, every video, featuring Finn Balor on NXT would get a great amount of comments, saying Balor needed to be on the main roster and that he should get a push. The moment he did, the comment sections got flooded by comments, criticising the WWE for pushing some “new guy on his first day at work”. It seems like the IWC cannot be pleased.

The WWE, jumped on the anti-Ziggler trend and swiftly wrote it into the feud. The entire storyline of this week’s Smackdown Live was based on that. Ambrose underestimated Ziggler and so Dolph allowed Bray Wyatt to get into his head.  In my opinion, all the segments were brilliantly written, the Ambrose/Ziggler opening promo exchange, in particular, was outstanding. And yet, many still complain online about Ziggler vs. Ambrose at SummerSlam. This entire situation, once again, leads me to believe that the problem is not in the writing or the wrestling, but in some people’s insatiable need to complain.

The New Era promises opportunities and delivers. Dolph Ziggler has worked hard to get where he is now and he has shown his quality over and over again. Yes, his credibility has been damaged by persistent bad booking. However, he still is talented and skillful and the New Era is trying to right the wrong that had been done to him. For some reason, the fans are boycotting that.

My advice would be to sit back and enjoy the change in the product, instead of nitpicking every booking decision the WWE makes. When it comes to top class entertainment, Dolph Ziggler will always deliver.

What do you think about the Ziggler situation? Leave a comment and let us know!

Dela Lozanova
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