Dolph Ziggler’s career in the WWE has seen many ups and downs, but just when fans thought “The Show-Off” was on his way to the top, he fell back down the ladder.
Many fans pine for Ziggler to compete with the big boys. His energy, charisma and ability are definitely recognizable.
For right now though, he’s trapped as a mid-carder.
But where exactly did the man who seemed to be on the rise actually plateau? Here’s a look at the career of Dolph Ziggler—from the point at which he began the descent back to mediocrity.
Dolph Ziggler’s first push came as Nicky—a member of the Spirit Squad—in 2006.
The team feuded with Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and Triple H—leading to the reformation of D-Generation X—and even defeated Kane and The Big Show for the Tag Team titles.
After spending most of 2007 in the developmental territories, Ziggler returned with the name we know him by now.
He picked up right where he left off, maintaining several noteworthy feuds, including then United States champion Montel Vontavious Porter and then Intercontinental champion Rey Mysterio.
One year later, he won the Intercontinental title.
Moving up the chain of superstars, Ziggler earned a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship.
After a few matches for the esteemed title, Ziggler’s rise leveled off, then began to fall.
So where did it officially start?
Obviously having the World Heavyweight Championship handed to him wasn’t the greatest thing to happen to Dolph Ziggler.
But it wasn’t the worst.
This act would have fueled the hatred for Ziggler.
Defending it successfully might have shocked many, provided intrigue and brought legitimacy to his character.
Instead, he lost less than 12 minutes after being rewarded the belt.
Then he was “fired.”
After making the switch to Raw, Dolph Ziggler entered a feud with John Morrison which ended at WrestleMania XXVII.
Now, wrestling Morrison was great. Even losing is acceptable.
But Ziggler wrestled in the biggest pay-per-view of the year as a tag team. His team lost at the hands of Jersey Shore’s Snooki.
There have been some embarrassing celebrities who’ve “graced” the WWE. Snooki takes the cake.
Let’s get this straight: Jack Swagger pushed himself on Vickie Guerrero—Dolph Ziggler’s manager—and fought for Ziggler’s United States Championship. What did Ziggler do about it?
Ziggler could have built a quality feud with Swagger that would have built both up concurrently.
Instead, Ziggler sat back and took it.
It appeared Dolph Ziggler was set to rebound in late 2011. Though he dropped the United States Championship, he entered a mini feud with WWE champion CM Punk.
But what happened next killed the momentum.
Ziggler and teammate Jack Swagger joined Team Johnny to take on Team Teddy at WrestleMania XXVIII.
The match was clearly full of mid-carders and talent who just had no other place on the card.
Since his team won at WrestleMania XXVIII, Dolph Ziggler has hardly done anything worth bragging about.
He lost a handicap match to Santino Marella. He’s taken beatings from Brodus Clay. He’s depended on Jack Swagger to rescue him in singles competitions.
He even lost to Hornswoggle (and Clay).
Worse yet, most of these matches ended embarrassingly quick.
At this point, Ziggler is only a mid-carder based on name and resume. Otherwise, he’s been a glorified jobber the past few months.
Hopefully, his latest run at the Tag Team Championship will actually provide a serious threat to R-Truth and Kofi Kingston. If Ziggler can lend a boost to the division, it’ll benefit his personal career in the process.