Why Now For Dolph Ziggler?

Nick Paglino

Dolph ZigglerSorry to rain on everyone’s post-Raw parade but I have some serious issues with the whole Dolph Ziggler/ World title win. Not with Ziggler… hell, he’s one of the best wrestlers today. Tremendously gifted at only 175 pounds, (that’s what he weighs, ignore at what he’s billed) he wrestled collegiately for Kent State, has been a consistent pro and is a great all-around guy as well.

But I have a BIG problem with the extenuating circumstances that, to me, taint the win. And I have a problem with the WWE that doesn’t care about him or you but gets you back on the hook after “giving” you something you wanted.

Fans have been screaming about Ziggler’s treatment for months. The damage is noticeable. On the run up to the World title win, Dolph Ziggler has been beaten time after time of late and according to the Pro Wrestling Torch summation of 2012 WWE wins and losses, Ziggler lost 57 times on TV and PPV last year… 13 more than anyone else. Wins and losses don’t matter? Bull. It’s all about perception. Casual fans don’t know who the hell Dolph Ziggler is because they have been told not to care.

Who did Ziggler beat? By cashing in the MITB briefcase on a weakened Alberto Del Rio, Ziggler won the title from one of the least-over World champs in history. Again, it’s perception…

Imagine the difference with a heel Ziggler “stealing” the WWE title from John Cena, who was weakened from surviving and overcoming The Rock, would it hurt Cena? Wouldn’t Ziggler be better off if he beat Cena rather than Del Rio?

If the WWE wanted to “make” Ziggler, they would have handled him differently. Starting with his name… Dolph Ziggler’s name is not cool. No one kid will want to grow up and become “Dolph Ziggler”.

Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, Randy Savage, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels are six memorable WWF/E Champions who have “real” names. The Rock is the only one that doesn’t fall into that category. Characters like Yokozuna don’t count because they are characters, not someone expected to carry the belt or brand forever. Triple H is on the borderline. Edge wasn’t a top guy for long enough and CM Punk is the best World Champion between April and January.  Names are important.

WWE is a fishbowl… I’ve said this before and I preach it to those who attend camps at which I instruct. Even though the WWE puts Dolph Ziggler in these positions, I believe they have a negative perception of him, despite putting him in those situations. Isn’t that crazy?

I say this with confidence because of three reasons.

Dolph Ziggler is a great professional wrestler/sports-entertainer but his name sucks. Strike one.

He’s so much a clone of Mr. Perfect that he takes too many bumps in matches and too many big bumps as well. Makes him look like a mark. He’d win more matches if he stopped taking such stupid bumps. Trust me when I say this… The perception WITHIN the WWE is unbelievably cruel toward the wrestlers who destroy their bodies for them. Strike two.

And last but not least, the WWE thought so little of him that they had him steal a win off one of the weakest World title holders ever on the Raw after WrestleMania. Not at WrestleMania but one night after. Not when he could have been seen and admired through the prism of WrestleMania history but on Raw that happens every week. Strike three.

Last night’s Raw seemed to me like a big session of make-up sex with the hardcore fan that supports the company year-round after a WrestleMania that was completely catered to the casual, once-a-year fan. Great Raw! What a show! So much fun! Fantastic Raw! Why the hell can’t it be like this more often? Why couldn’t they do this AT WrestleMania?

Here’s the reason why… they don’t care about you, your opinion, your likes or dislikes. They want your money and they know they’ll get it from you. The WWE burns through capital like titles and talent, destroying assets that could be monetized because the WWE only cares about a few guys and their vision.

Nick Nemeth who plays Dolph Ziggler is a great guy and tremendous wrestler. He is expendable capital, not a transformational champion who will seize the top of the card for years to come. Not because he isn’t talented but because the WWE doesn’t appreciate him. That’s a shame.

This is a strong opinion and you may disagree. Share thoughts with me on Twitter @RealKevinKelly

Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report? Submit it now!