I really hope Dolph Ziggler doesn’t end up as a never was, he deserves better. More importantly, he earned better.
I know I know, he got the world title twice and both mid card belts for like six months at a time. But in twenty years will he be remembered? If he has to retire due to concussions, he’ll only be remembered as a what if story. There are worse things than retiring young, with money in the bank, and a university education in your back pocket. Look at Chris Nowinski, his life is far more meaningful now than if he got a series of secondary, transitional title runs during the heyday of the roster split.
But Dolph Ziggler could have been money, he should have been money, he should be doing what Orton is doing now. Sure he had his slip ups. The black dye job head shave immediately comes to mind. As does every match he had with CM Punk during Punk’s WWE Title run. And of course being passively blamed for Jerry Lawler’s infamous on air heart attack (by Jerry Lawler himself on Austin’s podcast). But Ziggles survived his stretches of nothing to do, mid card pushes that went nowhere, and congruence tests management threw at him and won the world title in front of one of the hottest crowds in wrestling history at the RAW after Mania last year. Just thinking and writing about him cashing in that briefcase is giving me goose bumps. You could see it on his face what was about to happen, and when it did happen, you could feel the emotion through the television set. Which is how it’s supposed to be for the top guys with the big gold belts.
If Ziggler is done, he’ll always have that night in New Jersey. He earned the belt, for real, before it had to be taken from him, for real. In a fake sport that’s saying a lot. And Ziggler has a lot of talent. Move set, charisma, mic skills, looks, and cardio all in abundance. He got over as a heel and as a face with the internet fans and the common fans. His t shirts were so brightly colored that they are easy to see in the crowd in the HD era, and there were a lot of Ziggler shirts in the crowds from 2012-2013.
I don’t just hope he comes back, I hope he comes back and management trusts him enough to give him the Undisputed Title. Sure he’d look good with the white IC Title but he is bigger than that belt, better than that belt, and has earned the real thing. Ziggler is a talent you build the roster around like Bret Hart back in the day because he can work with anyone. But if he comes back as a mid card gatekeeper, it will be just as sad as him having to retire, because both mean the same thing. That his time at the top that he earned, was taken from him by external forces outside of his ability to control or influence. That would be sad for the fans and bad for business, no doubt.