Wrestle Enigma
Wrestle Enigma

A Miscarriage Of Money: A Look Inside The Improper Booking of Dolph Ziggler & Why It Needs to Stop

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If you were to wind the clock back 2 months and you were asked “whom do you know will grab that brass ring & become a world champion next year (2013)? Unless you’ve been living under rock one of, if not your only answer would most definitely be WWE’s resident “Show Off” Dolph Ziggler.

And while my opinion on that has not changed as I firmly just know Dolph Ziggler will in fact win the World Heavyweight Championship (if not the WWE championship) this year, it is more than evident to everyone watching that when you think of credible threats to today’s main event talent you do not think of the name “Dolph Ziggler” despite the fact that he holds that shiny, dented blue briefcase of his.

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But why? Why is it that the man who has seemingly everything going for him feel like such an afterthought? Why is it that the only man in the company with a guaranteed title shot anytime anywhere feel like such a loser? Why is it that the man who closed the final PPV of 2012 standing atop of the WWE ladder looking down on a defeated John Cena with a Brooklyn crowd solidly behind him feel like he’s unworthy of challenging let alone holding a world championship?

Well I’m here to tell you why. The answer is actually quite simple really as it is something that the WWE has dabbled in quite a bit since it’s inception. Hell I’ll even go on record and say that it is one of the many things they’ve found tremendous success in, that being as the title above states: Improper Booking. For years Dolph Ziggler has been on the cusp of breaking through to the main event scene and trust me when I tell you that his road has not been easy.

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On top of having the most unfortunate luck of being cast with a godawful name like “Dolph Ziggler” he has managed to overcome that and become one of the most talented workers in the company today. He has also managed to develop quite a fanbase in both the casual and “internet” crowds. A United States and Intercontinental title reigns under his name, both coming by means of defeating Kofi Kingston by the way (just thought I’d point that out (my God how many times have these two wrestled each other on tv?). The show off has even managed to let it be known in the record books that for 10 brief minutes in early 2011 he could be recognized as World Heavyweight Champion. So yes as you can see, improper booking in WWE isn’t exactly a fresh concept.

But now it’s time we get to the meat of the problem. After years of being mishandled by the creative team I had thought WWE had finally turned a corner with Dolph Ziggler when he was awarded the Money In The Bank briefcase last summer. So here we go, Ziggler is made of money & it’s time to go all the way with this guy and build him into a main eventer before he finally gets the gold. Sounds simple does it not? I mean, how do you screw up a sure thing? I guess when I asked that question back in July WWE took it as a personal challenge because they did it. Ziggler you’re screwed, probably.

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Since winning the briefcase, Ziggler followed up this big victory by..: losing at Summerslam to Chris Jericho. losing to Randy Orton at Night of Champions and being left completely of the Hell in a Cell match card. And believe me there were plenty of TV losses along the way, most of which coming via Brogue Kick. Luckily, Creative managed to get their heads out of their collective asses for a brief moment & award Ziggler with a new concept for him: a WIN on Pay Per View. Ziggler would defeat Randy Orton via super kick at the Survivor Series as the sole survivor of his team. And of course, one month later he’d follow up with the biggest win of his career to date as he would defeat John Cena in a ladder match not only successfully defending his MITB contract, but he would leave the new Barclays Center with a little female companionship as the once loved AJ Lee would align herself with the very narcissistic #heel himself.

All is right with the world, but we should’ve known it wouldn’t last because here’s where things go downhill for Dolph. Since the start of 2013 Dolph Ziggler has been the recipient of many, and I mean many losses on television. He failed on two occasions to defeat John Cena in both a singles match and a steel cage despite hitting Cena with everything in his arsenal as well as rely on illegal assistance from both AJ Lee and Big E Langston. More losses would soon follow including not one, but two televised submission losses to World Champion Alberto Del Rio, a pinfall losses to Kane as well as Team Hell No & being thrown into an unadvertised impromptu match at the Elimination Chamber PPV.

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Dolph Ziggler went from beating the face of the company to losing week, after week, after week and it has to stop now. I said at the beginning of the year that it’s not a question of “If” Ziggler will become champion in 2013, it’s a question of “when” and “where”. I still know that to be true but when that time comes it’s best Dolph Ziggler get there will some damn credibility. When Edge won the first MITB briefcase back in 2005 you didn’t see him constantly jobbing and made to look like a fool. No he went on to defeat Chris Benoit in a Last Man Standing match at the next ppv, challenge for the championship without using the briefcase even and be involved in a very personal feud for months with Matt Hardy which culminated in a successful MITB defense (granted that was such a good feud because of the circumstances but it’s still a valid point). Then Edge would head into New Year’s Revolution and shocked the world as he defeated a bloody & battered John Cena to win his first WWE championship and a new star was born. The formula works WWE, start using it again.

Now while I’m sure the crowd will react very vocally when Ziggler finally does cash in the contract and win the championship it doesn’t change the fact that WWE should not solely rely on the act of winning the championship and holding the championship as a vehicle to get him over. I’ve seen it time and time again, Daniel Bryan being a prime example last year. Bryan won the same briefcase in 2011 and would proceed to not only lose on a weekly basis afterward, but he would disappear from television for seemingly months. And while they did bring him back to TV a month before his cash in when he finally won the title it just felt so, anticlimactic.

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Luckily Bryan managed to strike gold and make the best out of a bad situation and Ziggler could do the same but it’s not very often lightning strikes twice. It’s very evident that WWE’s way of thinking is that because a superstar holds MITB, that’s pretty much a license to beat them into the ground as much as they want because no matter how much they lose they’re getting that big win eventually and it’s going to erase all those losses. I’m sorry WWE, but that only works if we were to have our memories wiped clean after every one of your shows, and with that fancy new WWE app of yours which gives us weekly Raw and Smackdown results we won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Wrestlemania 29 is a mere 6 weeks away, and not only is Dolph Ziggler heading into the biggest show of the year without any credibility but I’m not even all that convinced that WWE knows what to do with him on this PPV short of a “shocking cash in” on a weakened Alberto Del Rio. For someone who ended 2012 on the highest of notes, he’s seemingly heading into the Showcase of the Immortals without any clear direction and that is a true miscarriage of money and justice from the creative team (Sick Em Shield!). He may have the girl, and he may have the muscle but the one thing Dolph Ziggler has yet to obtain is legitimacy and that is truly what he needs the most. You screwed it up Creative, now fix it before the damage becomes irreparable.

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Thank you for reading, please be sure to leave a comment letting us here at Wrestle Enigma your thoughts on Dolph Ziggler and your opinions on how WWE is handling his character. 

And of course, don’t forget to check out the many other great editorials from the rest of our great writers and contributors.

And here’s where I sign off, until the next one everybody.

- Jason Collins

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Author: Louie Babcock (81 Articles)

Owner of WrestleEnigma.com. The Internet Wrestling Community's medical expert. Pre-Med at the University Of Minnesota. Most importantly, a proud father and leader of a great staff of writers.

  • http://twitter.com/phenom951 phenom951

    Yeah, umm…guys. This article is not really about the absurdity of Ziggler’s name. LOL

  • http://wrestleenigma.com/ Brett Chandler

    I enjoyed the article, but his name is irrelevant to success. “Triple H” or “The Undertaker” are god awful names, yet they’re still future first ballot Hall of Famers. I expect him in an Edge role in the future where he’s a top heel, but a transitional champion mostly. Ziggler is a great wrestler and he’s passable sometimes on the microphone, but he doesn’t have that it factor that will make him a main event star.

  • http://twitter.com/TheAbelHerrera Abel Herrera

    I’d name my son Dolph Ziggler, then I’d shove him in a locker and make fun of him. Seriously? Imagine trying to be popular in school and telling people your name is Dolph Ziggler LOL.

  • jay

    Great article. It’s kinda sad how Swagger actually has more credibility than Ziggles heading into WM. It shouldn’t be that way. They gotta start doing more with him. As for his name, yeah it was stupid. It sounded like some cheesy porn star name. But yeah great article. Orton absolutely sucks btw

  • SiD

    And I like Ziggler, and I also see no problem in his name. But… creative needs to make sure that he does not cash in at WrestleMania. I want to see a Swagger title reign :D

  • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

    Great write up, Collins. My main issue with WWE and its booking of Ziggler is that they are obviously stalling. A year ago, I didn’t think Ziggler would win MitB because he didn’t need it. He could challenge the World Heavyweight Champion at any time and feel like he belonged at least as a challenger. The problem is that since winning the case he hasn’t really improved on that status. He’s still more of a challenger than a champion. This something you definitely touched on. He’s always on the cusp of being a star and never given the booking to break through.

    I still remember years back when Rey Mysterio refused to drop the IC Title to Ziggler who would need another year after that to get to the title. When he finally got the championship, he was a great champion and lost the title only to immediately move into the title picture. His first chance at testing the water for a main event run, showing that WWE had appreciated what he had done as champion. His feud with Edge though was handled so horribly that he being given the World Heavyweight Championship actually hurt his career. He went on to take a year to get another title. He carried the United States Title well as a great champion there, leading him back to another breakthrough point, and that was a year ago. He has yet to be allowed to breakout as they keep stalling.

    At the end of 2012, it felt like they were finally saying Ziggler was ready, but only a month later he’s back to stalling. I don’t blame Cena as much as WWE’s follow up after Cena. Ziggler has no direction. He’s just the guy with the briefcase which doesn’t help when he can’t cash in thanks to the ADR/Swagger storyline. It’s just bad booking on WWE’s fault, constantly not realizing when it is essential to keep up a person’s momentum.

    You would think with them pairing him up with both a valet and a bodyguard he’s be winning more often not less, but WWE has somehow made both a hindrance. It’s just weird by WWE.

    I don’t think that Ziggler is a lasting main event star, but he should definitely be able to be a top worker as a transitional champion for SmackDown if not Raw as well over time. I expect that this next reign will be a sort of crowning for him. He should have a few successful defenses, get a few real months as champion, and it will probably be the last time he touches the title for a while.

    I just hope that WWE makes sure he doesn’t just cash in for the sake of cashing in only to have him lose it a month later. There’s potential here to at least make sure that Ziggler comes out of this looking like a future contender, and WWE needs to hold onto that by booking him right.

  • https://twitter.com/DragonSagaWE Jason “Dragon Saga” Patrick

    His name is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Nick Nemeth sounds generic as all hell, Dolph Ziggler sounds like a Superstar name, something a rockstar would have, which is the entire point. It doesn’t add much to his persona but it doesn’t detract either.

    I don’t personally like Dolph Ziggler; he’s overrated by so many, his overselling still irritates the hell out of me, I’m obviously not the only one who doesn’t understand him as he NEVER gets a crowd reaction unless it’s somebody else, and he is the smark wrestling fans favorite toy. That said he is athletic, definitely has a great look, has a certain degree of charisma but sadly for him that isn’t going to get him far.

    I fully expect – although I admittedly hope he doesn’t as I’d find it hilarious – become World Heavyweight Champion in the near future. But all he’ll be his a transitional one. He doesn’t have “It” like Punk, Cena, Rock, Austin or others had, he has a much more watered down version of “It,” like what Edge had.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derrick.cannon Derrick Cannon

    While I also don’t see a major problem with Dolph Ziggler’s name, it is clear that creative needs to do so much more to make the MITB winner credible besides the eventual moment of the title cash in. At this moment it would almost come as a shock if the winner of the Money in the Bank went on a major winning streak before cashing in the brief case. Winning what should be a career changing match has been both a blessing and a curse. This needs to change or who would want to endure the brutal road to get to the cash in. Dolph Ziggler should be an integral player at WrestleMania, and in all likelihood will be, it’s time to remind people that he could be the first person to have their cash in at the biggest event of the year.

  • http://twitter.com/MYO716 Marc

    Honestly, I don’t see what the problem everyone seems to have with Dolph’s ring name is. Also, odds are you won’t have to wait too much longer for Ziggler to cash in. It’ll probably happen at Mania.