Why Dolph Ziggler Should’ve Left The Company In 2018

12/1/2023 5:54 AM

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Why Dolph Ziggler Should’ve Left The Company In 2018

Why Dolph Ziggler Should’ve Left The Company In 2018

December 1, 2023 5:54 AM
Why Dolph Ziggler Should’ve Left The Company In 2018
WWE News

Why the former World Heavyweight Champion shouldn't have resigned with WWE in 2019.

To the shock of many, former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler was one of the recent names released from the company. The WWE alumni has been in the company since 2004. Many considered him a lifer as Ziggler has gone up and down the card throughout his career. However, Dolph Ziggler was never the guy Vince McMahon saw as the next Hulk Hogan or John Cena. The former WWE star has even stated that he’s heard rumblings that Vince just didn’t see it in him: 

“Sometimes it was second-hand by other people but not in a condescending way. ‘Hey man Vince (McMahon) doesn’t see it in you.’ A few times it was pretty close to the top. ‘Hey man, we just don’t see it. It just doesn’t work for you.’ Every day it was like I can take it but if I can get just 30 seconds let me try to prove them wrong. So, for the next couple of years something would happen, somebody would get hurt, they would put me in that spot, and I would go out and if they could put me into that spot a little more, after that if I could just win a few times and after that maybe I could just retain. So it was baby steps, little goals all the way through. Somehow the timing worked out and sometimes it happens.”

There’s been too many times when Ziggler has showcased his main event potential. From IC title feud against the Miz in 2016 or his series of matches against John Cena, there are negatives about the 43-year-old. It’s still stunning that Vince never gave him a serious push as a top guy. That’s why Ziggler should’ve left the company in 2018 when his contract was up. 

Dolph Ziggler Has Too Many Examples That Show-off His Greatness

Admittedly, the name itself felt pretty low card. But Ziggler’s in-ring ability managed to make people forget that he has one of the worst professional wrestling names ever. Ziggler managed to survive one of the worst acts in wrestling - The Spirit Squad. The guy has loads of charisma and he’s essentially this generation’s Shawn Michaels when it comes to selling. 

Is he The Rock or Stone Cold on the mic? No, but he’s good enough to get the crowd into whatever story he’s selling. His constant battles against Kofi Kingston were always great because the pair worked so well together. But him fighting names like John Cena, Rey Mysterio, and Seth Rollins proved just how elite of an athlete he was. Ziggler was flashy, but not in a way that highflyers move around the ring. The former WWE star made sure to steal the show by telling a simple story that made him and his opponents look great. 

Ziggler was ready for the main event when he cashed in the Money in the Bank contract on Alberto Del Rio in 2013. But Vince McMahon didn’t even give him a chance to be a top guy because the win itself was Ziggler’s reward. After dropping the belt to Del Rio, Ziggler was never the same as a character, and by the time 2019 rolled around, he was a “good hand” meant to put over other talents. 

Dolph Ziggler’s Character Was Dead 

The stop-and-start pushes of Ziggler really killed his overall momentum. Every time Ziggler seemed to be on the cusp of grabbing the brass ring, Vince McMahon reminded audiences that he was a mid-card talent.

Once 2019 rolled around, his character was a shell of its former self. Ziggler’s character hadn’t evolved since his days in The Spirit Squad. He desperately needed a change, but he was stuck in a place where he was never going to be pushed beyond the mid-card. That’s why reports of him turning down an offer to resign with WWE emerged, it opened the gates for Ziggler to excel outside of the WWE fold. 

The independent scene was hot during this time. Plus, Tony Khan just announced the arrival of AEW. The start-up company could’ve used a veteran like Ziggler on the roster and the former WWE star needed a fresh beginning: From the character to the environment, this would’ve been a perfect opportunity to showcase a different side of Dolph Ziggler. 

Guys like Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and EC3 reinvented their characters and proved that they were main event stars outside of the WWE walls. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see him scrap with names like Kenny Omega or Kazuchika Okada. It would’ve never been a guarantee that an outside success on the indie scene would’ve gotten him more attention from Vince McMahon. EC3 is a prime example of this. But a fresh coat of paint would’ve revived his career and hopefully, taken him down a path that fans have never seen before.

WWE Was Never Going To Take Dolph Ziggler Seriously After His Brief Run At The Top

It was clear that WWE was never going to take him seriously once he dropped the WWE World Heavyweight title back to Del Rio. Ziggler will always be a talented name. Despite lacking any true definition of his character, he still had some fun moments post-2019.

Him getting involved with The Shield, his tag team run with Bobby Roode, and even his brief NXT Championship win; those were still great moments that exemplified his skills as a performer. But his release from the company in September wasn’t particularly a surprise. This is a shame as Ziggler still has plenty of value left because he’s so darn good inside of the ring. 

Ziggler’s WWE career is over. But, that doesn’t mean his value in professional wrestling has ended. He could finally make his debut in AEW. But a change of scenery would’ve done Dolph some good in 2019. He could’ve made Vince and company see him in a different light had his new path been a success. At the very least, Ziggler will always go down as one of the top performers of this generation.