After Alberto Del Rio suffered an injury, Sheamus needed a new and last-minute opponent for No Way Out and here we are talking about his new challenger, Dolph Ziggler.
But where is Dolph Ziggler in his WWE journey? I’m not sure anyone knows the answer to that.
He has been a former Champion, but he has not been in a main event. He is main eventing at No Way Out, but is he now a main eventer?
Dolph Ziggler has been compared to everyone from Shawn Michaels to Billy Gunn. I can easily place him on that graph; he is not yet Shawn Michaels, but he never was and never will be Billy Gunn.
Right now he reminds me of Curt Hennig. He reminds me of Mr. Perfect.
It is more than the declaration of perfection in his theme song or his ability to take a lively bump. Dolph Ziggler is a man who is perfect in any role you place him.
And only now do I wonder if that can be a problem.
Curt Hennig was close to flawless in the ring. He was the perfect Intercontinental Champion. But when WWE needed an announcer or a referee he could do that, too. He did everything well—perfect, if you will—and perhaps so much so that he never made it to the top of the business.
Once it looked like he might.
It happened in the most imperfect of ways. WWE had booked a Survivor Series match between Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior against Ric Flair and Razor Ramon. Yet, the Ultimate Warrior disappeared to wonderland or wherever he would go after being in WWE a few months.
WWE needed a replacement.
They chose Mr. Perfect (who had been serving as the perfect adviser for Ric Flair). Mr. Perfect would go on to retire Ric Flair in a loser-leave-town match, but then he’d move back to the mid-card where he’d put over wrestlers, perfectly.
Dolph Ziggler finds himself in a similar situation.
He is being elevated, not because he was noticed, but because he was needed.
It could be a one-off, but I like the buzz that is around Dolph Ziggler right now.
“Another excellent match involving @HeelZiggler . I think I detect some type of trend here."
Paul Heyman retweeted that remark and agreed.
(It should be noted that nobody understands overlooked talent like Paul Heyman, and Mick Foley once was overlooked talent.)
If I could paint you a picture of Jack Swagger and Vickie in the mid-card and one of the WWE main event scene and ask, in which of these does Dolph Ziggler most belong? I think I would get a fairly consistent response of In the main event.
For those of you old enough and honest enough to have seen The Lion King, you know that even Disney knew a King could only walk around with Timon and Pumbaa for so long. It is past time for Dolph Ziggler to separate himself from his Timon and Pumbaa (no offense to Jack Swagger and Vickie).
Dolph Ziggler may not defeat Sheamus at No Way Out, but he can make it a statement match. Much like Shawn Michaels did against Diesel at WrestleMania XI, he can be the better man in the match.
He must now do what Curt Hennig never got a chance to do in late 1992. He must turn a temporary spot in the main event into a long term one.
Dolph Ziggler is one of the best in the WWE right now when it comes to actual skill combined with natural ability.
It makes him sometimes look perfect, but he is not. He is a man, a very gifted man.
And he is now on the brink of rising to the top or stalling out again.
His match with Sheamus at No Way Out could be a new beginning or the beginning of another long wait.
At the PPV, you don’t have to be perfection, Dolph. You just have to be the main event. And you have to be it so well that nobody can argue your right to stay there.