I love how Brian Campbell of CBS Sports handicapped how he thought the card at WrestleMania 34 could have looked if it has been booked differently. Even with several great matches projected by the wrestling analyst, the current card for the event in New Orleans on Sunday is solid from top to bottom. The problem for me is what will ever come of Dolph Ziggler? Will winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal raise his profile once again.
When fans look at the superstars who are not in marquee matches, the one that sticks out to me is Dolph Ziggler. WWE’s biggest enigma could be one of the best and a main event performer, but for one reason or another, the “Showstopper” has yet to recapture the brass ring that led to two world title runs. Ziggler is mired in the mid card, where he should be a dominant wrestler. Instead, he stands in his own purgatory.
Campbell had Ziggler challenging Randy Orton, the current United States Champion in a match that would have been a highlight of the mid-card. He blames the issues with Ziggler on bad timing and bad booking.
“SmackDown hasn’t done much with the time invested in Ziggler’s new gimmick and disappearance from the show after voluntarily giving up the U.S. title,” writes Campbell. “Giving him a chance to win it back against a legend like Orton would be a great way to spice up the kickoff show with a strong match. Considering Orton’s respect for Ziggler’s work, it’s likely he would be fully engaged and hungry to steal the show.”
It’s not all WWE’s fault. Ziggler is good at what he does and one of the best workers to come along in a decade. Once billed as a potential replacement to the role Shawn Michaels once portrayed, Ziggler isn’t the draw that John Cena, Daniel Bryan or even Orton have become. Like other performers who “look the part” like Roman Reigns or Bray Wyatt, the connection between wrestler, fans and WWE aren’t aligned properly.
A series of storylines involving love interests – A.J. Lee, Lana and Summer Rae – all but ruined potential main event programs. WWE never reinvested in making him a top-flight superstar.
I used to think Dolph Ziggler’s political stances were viewed negatively by WWE management (Vince and Linda McMahon being huge supporters of Donald Trump). But Ziggler has not been able to get over the fans, which is more important. It would seem winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal may be the only was he can resurrect his stagnant career.