Was WWE No Way out the Start of Dolph Ziggler's Road to the Top?

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2012

photo by wwe.com
photo by wwe.com

By now, most fans know that Sheamus retained the World Heavyweight Championship against Dolph Ziggler on Sunday night at WWE No Way Out.

And, most fans are likely pretty well ticked off about it.

The truth is, everyone has an opinion, and the overall opinion right now seems to be that the Showoff deserved to go over at the pay-per-view.

We have heard it all before.  Any time a worker comes up through the ranks of WWE, doing everything asked of him, and being a team player, gets to a certain point, the question of ‘when is he getting the gold?’ inevitably gets asked.

This is especially true in the case of Dolph Ziggler, who has worked very hard at getting over in the company, both in the ring, and on his character.  

He is one of the best workers on the roster, and his matches, especially in the past two weeks, have been stellar.  He has become a true workhorse in the ring.

His sarcastic attitude, and arrogant demeanor, combined with his clever use of social media and lingo to smugly remind everyone that he is extremely cool, has firmly established himself as arguably the top heel on WWE television.  So, yes, the personality is definitely there.

He is a real talent, a guy who is well rounded in every way that he possibly can be.  He seems to be ready, and always on the edge of getting over the hump.

Always just on the edge.

When the news broke of Alberto Del Rio’s injury, the rumor mill instantly began spinning, with speculation of who would take his place against World Champion Sheamus at No Way Out.  

The name thrown around first?  You guessed it.  Your boy, D-Zi.  That’s right, I stole it.  What?

Dolph has been close before, and in fact has even held the gold, at one point.  Granted it was for like 15 minutes, and WWE rarely ever mentions it on the air, but the fact is, for it to really count, Dolph needs to get there, and needs to truly make it happen.

According to the crowd in New Jersey on Sunday night, Dolph’s moment to conquer had finally come.

That’s right, the fans wanted it.  Though Ziggler is a top-notch heel, and has put in all the necessary work to gain that foothold, the live crowd are just not having it.

This is not an indictment on the classic heel/babyface structure that has traditionally been the norm in pro wrestling, not at all.  I believe that it has always been used, and continues to be used, in stadiums, arenas, coliseums, auditoriums, high school gyms, and National Guard Armories all around the world, because it absolutely works.  

That’s a lot of places, right?  Hey, it works everywhere, what can I say?

So, I don’t believe that a winning formula should be changed, and I daresay that the majority of fans agree with that sentiment.

But, while it does work, that is not to say that the fans do not recognize talent when they see it, and are very certain of who they like, and who they want to win.

Perhaps win is the wrong word, perhaps succeed is the better term, and when it comes to Ziggler, fans just want to see him attain that next level.  They see the work that he has put in, and they know that when it comes to the talent currently waiting in line to reach the top, that Dolph’s number is the next to be called.


Dolph’s opportunity at No Way Out was certainly not a one-shot deal, a way to just fill the void left by Del Rio.  Surely WWE is very aware of Dolph’s potential, and have not brought him through the company to merely just push him back down, right when he could break out.

At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

I believe that this match against Sheamus was only the beginning for Dolph, that it is the start of a rivalry that will eventually lead Ziggler to the World Championship.

I’m not only telling myself that one, I’m repeating it like crazy.  And, I’m doing it here as well.
Come on, you’re doing it too, right?

Yes, we have been down this road before with Dolph, and yes, it may be just wishful thinking on the pat of fans who are pulling for this guy to overcome.  

But, I happen to believe that when a worker is good, he should be rewarded, and despite what anyone believes about championships being just props, the truth is, in the eyes of fans, they still mean something.

Dolph Ziggler, after toiling away in one meaningless match after another in the past few months, has been doing nothing but improving, and shining, in every way that counts.  He has earned the right to wear the big gold belt, and the time for that to happen is coming.

Soon.  Probably.  Well, maybe.