Dolph Ziggler's last-minute involvement in this Sunday's world heavyweight championship match has the internet faithful giddy as the talented, young heel has yet another shot at a legitimate world championship reign.
Dolph Ziggler has always been one of a small handful of WWE superstars who seem to attract a strong internet following. But now, he is their undisputed king.
Once upon a time, CM Punk was the chief savior of the internet on the strength of an impressive independent wrestling resume. This resume included a memorable ROH championship win in his last match with the third-tier indy promotion prior to his WWE debut.
After CM Punk's much-talked about quasi-shoot promo last year, he ascended into superstar status, and while he is still somewhat coveted by the underground fans, his seven-month WWE title reign has done quite the number on his rebellious shine.
Daniel Bryan was next in line for this distinction. But one word later, he now finds himself in the midst of a phenomenon, not to mention next in line to carry the WWE's most prestigious championship.
Given the impossible-to-please internet wrestling community's disdain for mainstream success, the vocal group seems to have migrated to the eternally struggling Dolph Ziggler.
Ziggler seemed to be on his way to the main event months ago, but after a prolonged period of waiting by the higher ups, the former temporary world heavyweight champion now finds himself stuck in six feet of midcard quicksand.
Win, lose or schmoz, Ziggler has put together a string of impressive matches in the past several weeks, and he always seems to make the most on the modest chances he is given to shine.
Sometimes, in the wrestling business, strange twists of fate lead to golden opportunities for hungry superstars. Ziggler fits the description as he gets set to challenge Sheamus for the world heavyweight championship.
But if he wins, so what?
This would be the equivalent of Ralph Nader becoming President of the United States should Barack Obama or Mitt Romney pull out of the race with a torn ACL.
Ziggler has done next to nothing of significance over the past several months, and after being lost in the shuffle it will be difficult to suddenly buy him as a legitimate world champion even if his reign isn't castrated to a quarter of an episode.
The WWE's time-honored formula of putting emphasis on future world champions through wins and meaningful, secondary title reigns is a lost art. Dolph Ziggler is one of many aspiring suitors suffering from it.
As essentially a first-time world champion, Ziggler would likely be subject to the same shenanigans that the Miz, Jack Swagger and even Sheamus struggled through during their respective world title reigns.
Through a series of dirty finishes and lukewarm victories, Ziggler could very well be yet another victim of a world title reign should the former Spirit Squad member eventually become less relevant upon losing the world title.
The initial excitement of a new world champion is always palpable amongst most wrestling fans. Even if Dolph Ziggler finally reaches the top of the mountain at No Way Out, it will be whether or not he comes off as a legitimate champion that will cement him as a main eventer.
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