Jake Jeremy's Triple Threat - Dolph Ziggler: Cheerleader, Champion & Beyond
by, 07-04-2013 at 02:28 PM (2096 Views)
Hello ewrestlingnews.com community, I am here to present a new Blog with my thoughts and opinions on both WWE and TNA's current product. I have recently been an article writer for SEScoops.com (you can find my articles on that site under Editorials - The 3 Count) and have come over to the ewrestlingnews.com site as this is a more opinion-based site with a wealth of original content, thanks for reading and please comment below.
In this opening edition of the Triple Threat, I’ll be looking at Dolph Ziggler, and what transpired at Payback; why the ending to the Del Rio vs Ziggler match will set in motion the biggest push in Dolph’s career, and what the future holds for the WWE with Dolph being a major part of the company going forward.
What I want to point out first is the excitement and buzz that is in wrestling right now, it is traditionally a quiet period after WrestleMania with most of the major stars being given time off and Cena being left to plug the gap with an up and comer until the next major event. However this year we have seen the evolution of Daniel Bryan’s character, it has been coming but small tweaks to his character and his fire in the ring have put him squarely on the company’s radar.
Someone else who has had a character evolution has been Dolph Ziggler, we knew he was good, but now, so does he. The Showoff persona is a million miles away from the Spirit Squad lackey that got a pedigree and superkick for his trouble during most RAW appearances. The evolution of the Dolph Ziggler character appears to be heading into face territory, something he hasn’t officially tackled in his television run, but has the charisma to pull off, with all that being said, here’s the Triple Threat.
WWE’s recent Payback event had a healthy amount of talking points, one of the more polarising being the World Heavyweight Championship match between Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio, I however didn’t mind the WWE’s decision to strip Dolph of the title, here is my reasoning;
1. Double Turn…
At WrestleMania 13 a unique and career changing event took place, Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin battled in a submission match that resulted in a ‘double-turn,’ in that Hart turned heel, and Austin turned face, this happened in the Allstate Arena in Chicago, also the site of this years Payback event, where Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler pulled off the same feat.
Ziggler’s recent concussion casted a lot of doubt on the longevity of his title reign, how quickly could he return? Could he perform at the high level we (and he) expects? This all played perfectly in the angle, with Del Rio attacking Ziggler’s head repeatedly, at first it appeared to be used as a bit of leverage in the challenger’s favour (aren’t we all sick of dumb babyfaces anyway?), but it began to become uncomfortable as Alberto reigned down blows to the skull of Dolph, who sold the attack perfectly and gained sympathy from almost the entirety of the crowd, with only a few smatterings of cheers when Del Rio won.
Another aspect of the psychological impact of the angle was AJ Lee on the outside, whose expression as her ‘boyfriend’ was taking this beating was used to translate over to the TV audience, forget the fact that she humiliated Kaitlyn earlier in the night, she added an extra human element to the angle and played her role perfectly.
WWE’s recent history of ‘face-turns’ hasn’t exactly been stellar, The Miz being a prime example, however it appears that careful consideration has been taken in advancing the Del Rio/Ziggler feud and taking it out of the stale category.
A lot of comparisons have been made between Ziggler and greats from WWE’s past, most notably Curt Hennig and Shawn Michaels. What I take from these comparisons is Dolph’s ability to ‘sell’ in the ring, I have mentioned in previous 3 Counts that Ziggler has the ability to take a very convincing beating, sometimes to a fault, showcasing your opponents is a fantastic skill to have until it becomes a detriment, Booker T has spoken about this in the past.
2. Begin The Chase…
To call Dolph ‘The Next …’ is also a detriment to his abilities, he isn’t the next anyone, he is the first Dolph Ziggler, and it appears that he is being set to advance into the role of babyface to take on Del Rio and chase for the World Heavyweight Title.
Ziggler losing the title in the manner of which he did may also work out well for the feud. Winning the Money in The Bank contract and cashing it in on the worn down champion can be seen as a cowardly move (just don’t tell the New Jersey crowd from Raw that), and up to this point Dolph has never truly ‘won’ the World Heavyweight title, he held (or didn’t) the belt for 5 minutes when Edge was disqualified back during his first “reign,” and of course the MITB cash in.
Having Dolph chase for the title can mean that when he eventually retains it can be touted as his first true championship reign, he can have a well fought bout with Del Rio and enjoy a grand triumph that can be built into a major part of the WWE’s history.
A lot of Internet wrestling fans are fans of the Attitude era, myself included, and they clamour for the TV-14 rating to return, as they believe that this will reinvigorate the WWE product. What I find very interesting is the correlation between the current PG era, and the early 90’s. What a lot of fans forget is that the company was creating a child-friendly product back then too, with an unstoppable behemoth at the helm, that being Hulk Hogan. The fans began to give the once beloved Hulkster a negative reaction, and with the substance issues that were rampant throughout the locker room the impetuous became showcasing the ‘smaller' stars, such as Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, 1-2-3 Kid and thus ushered in the ‘New-Generation’ Era.
3. The New Generation…
Look at the product today and it is a very close comparison, there is a negative reaction (from the older demographic) to the company’s biggest face, John Cena, and the focus has started shifting to talent such as Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Curtis Axel and The Shield. I’m not making any claims about substance issues; the wellness policy is playing a solid role in keeping the risk to talent’s health to a minimum and I commend the WWE for taking such a strong stance on their talent’s wellbeing.
We’re heading into a New Generation, and I think one of the key parts of this will be the booking of Dolph Ziggler. His athletic ability, his workrate and his drive has pulled him from bad gimmick purgatory and he has pushed himself into the position he is in now, through determination. This is one of the most exciting times in recent history to be a WWE fan and with the careers of The Undertaker, The Rock, Brock Lesnar and Triple H the company is taking the move to showcase the younger talent on the roster to ensure the future of the business, it seemed at one time like it would never happen, and the McMahon power struggle storyline on RAW does give cause for concern, but the foundations are being set for a very interesting few years ahead.
As always follow me on twitter @jakesumojeremy for updates on my columns.
I’m Jake Jeremy and that was the Triple Threat.