He's exciting, he's flashy and he's a showoff. But is Dolph Zigger's current persona really bringing him anywhere?
The unfortunate answer to that is a resounding "no."
Now there's no doubting the talent level of this guy; Ziggler exhibits great in-ring ability, very solid mic skills, and has a distinct aura about him. He clearly possesses all the skills necessary to become a top star in the company.
The only roadblock holding him back is his running gimmick. The "showoff" angle coupled with the straight-up cockiness is absolutely fine. And don't get me wrong, I do love the job Vickie Guerrero is doing in the WWE.
But the fact of the matter is that Ziggler has been running this persona for much too long and hasn't really gone anywhere with it. Although it was a nice stepping stone into the mid-card scene, he really needs that extra boost to get to, and remain, at the top of the card.
In six years with the WWE, Ziggler has worked just three major title matches. He faced Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship twice, and CM Punk for the WWE Championship at the past Royal Rumble.
He was a one-time World Heavyweight Champion, if anyone even remembers. The title, however, was awarded to Ziggler due to Edge's firing. That same title reign lasted just 11 minutes and 23 seconds after a impromptu title match with the Rated-R Superstar.
So, the short and skinny of it is that Dolph needs that final push to the top. So who better to help him with that than the Nature Boy himself, Ric Flair?
Luckily for the WWE, Flair's current contract with Impact Wrestling will soon be coming to an end. And rightfully so, rumors and rumblings of Naitch's possible return to the WWE have surfaced throughout numerous dirt sheets.
If he does indeed return in 2013, why not pair him up with Ziggler? Why not make the ultimate showoff the mentor of the upcoming showoff?
The benefits of this potential match are just about endless.
For one, it'll raise another top talent for the company. With a clear lack of main-event players, there's no questioning the WWE's need for a fresh face in the major-title scene. They have done a nice job integrating C.M. Punk in with John Cena and Randy Orton, but that isn't enough.
You can see the early signs of the company pushing other young talent, such as Sheamus and Cody Rhodes, to the top. With his magnificent talent, Ziggler must follow suit.
Secondly, bringing in Ric Flair to manage Ziggler would definitely put him even more over with the crowd. If you paid close attention during WrestleMania XXVIII and the subsequent Monday Night Raw, Ziggler received a nice little pop from the hot Miami crowd.
It's almost as if the fans, mostly the smart marks, are telling the company they want more of him. And by evidence of The Rock's 'Mania victory, Brock Lesnar's return and Daniel Bryan's "YES" shirt, the WWE is finally listening to their audience.
As far as booking a Flair-Ziggler union, here is how I would go about it.
From now until Survivor Series in November, Vickie continues to work as Dolph's manager. But shortly after picking up a devastating series of losses, Ziggler abruptly fires Vickie out of frustration.
Vickie would then only be left with Jack Swagger as her client, leaving Ziggler by himself and possibly turning him into face.
Some time in early 2013, the WWE can sign and bring in Flair. He can bump into Ziggler backstage and give him a spiel about how Dolph reminds Flair of a younger version of himself. They are both talented, flashy and cocky.
Flair can assure Ziggler that he can hone in his skills and turn him into the WWE Champion. Ziggler would agree and subsequently create one of the most intriguing wrestler-manager relationships in WWE history.
Being that Flair is an icon of the industry, there's no way the crowd will even fathom the thought of treating him as a heel. That would mean Ziggler would have to become some sort of a face, as scary as that may sound.
I would actually book him as more of a tweener than a face. Flair can run face and still make it work. If so, Ziggler would certainly solidify himself amongst the older demographic and the IWC as one of the favorites.
In my last article, I booked WrestleMania 29 a year in advance. There, I have Ziggler in a fatal-four-way match for the United States Championship against Jack Swagger, Zack Ryder and Santino. I wouldn't have him pick up that strap, however. Winning the U.S. title is just a reassurance and perpetuation of mid-card hell.
Would you be excited to see Flair mentor Ziggler?
Ideally, Flair would help form Ziggler into a main-event talent around SummerSlam 2013. Perhaps Ziggler can even inherit Flair's famed figure-four leg lock to further his status.
Regardless of what I say about the topic, however, it seems the WWE will make Dolph Ziggler a top talent for the future. But with rumors of a possible return for Naitch, that is how I would do it.
In my mind, Flair would definitely help a main-event push for Ziggler. He brings the wits, the credibility and the legend to make Dolph an elite talent.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree?
If so, please feel free to leave a comment or suggestion about the potential pairing below.