Why Facing John Cena Is Dolph Ziggler's Last Test to Move Up in WWE

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2012

photo by wwe.com
photo by wwe.com

Oh great, here we go again.

Admit it, that’s what you thought the moment that WWE decided to put forth the idea of Dolph Ziggler versus John Cena.  Yeah, me too.

Not because Dolph can’t hang with John in the ring, I think we’re all in agreement that Ziggler has more than proven himself and can get it done on a very high level.  Not because we all believe that Cena is going to totally run through Dolph as if he wasn’t there, ultimately standing victorious as always.

Okay, maybe some fans feel that way.  Alright, a lot of them.

But for me, this potential feud with Cena is yet another moment when we will all be led to believe that Dolph’s time has finally come.

That’s right, WWE’s great underachiever, the guy with all the talent and ability, all the promise, finally has a real opportunity to not only make it to the next level, but to do it with the top Superstar in the company.

And for some fans, that notion is all kinds of infuriating.  Why?

Because fans have been down this road before with Ziggler.  There have been a few times in the past, the very recent past, to be clear, that Dolph has been this close to the top.

Just imagine the gesture of my index finger nearly meeting my thumb, because I’m totally doing that.

Yep, this close.

Yet, every time Ziggler has seemingly stood on the precipice of greatness, he suddenly falls, or is pushed, backward.  Whenever it happens, and then he once again gets back to that point of making it, many fans likely all share the same reaction.

“Enough messing with us.  Cut it out.”

It was only a couple of months ago that Chris Jericho wrestled his last match in the WWE, losing to Dolph on Monday Night Raw.  Though Chris did pin Ziggler the night before at SummerSlam, this Monday night showdown pitted Jericho’s WWE contract against Dolph’s Money in the Bank contract.  And Ziggler won.

Dolph Ziggler, having dispatched of a legendary WWE Superstar, was surely on his way now. Nothing could stop him from grabbing that brass ring.  Right?

Enter Randy Orton, who wound up being the Legend Killer’s Killer, as he beat Dolph in a feud that left the bleached blonde Showoff alone and rejected, like the prospective science major wearing the powder blue tux at the prom.

Add to the feud with Orton the fact that Dolph cannot seem to string together two victories in a row for any reason and you likely have a major exodus of Ziggler fans leaving in droves, all headed for the nearest exit.

Oh, but come back guys, Dolph may be working John Cena next, so fingers crossed!

This is all stemming, of course, from the John Cena and AJ Lee alleged “love affair” that cost AJ her job as Raw GM and has her replacement, Vickie Guerrero, convinced that something inappropriate did indeed go down.  Caught in the middle of this is Ziggler, who confronted Cena on Monday and was shoved down for his efforts.

While it’s not really confirmed that these two guys will enter into a program together, the fact is that the traditional Survivor Series match is booked and neither one of them are on either team.  So, since their dance cards are not yet full, it makes sense that they will keep finding reasons to dislike each other until eventually we have ourselves a fully fleshed-out feud.

But, where does it go from here and how could it all end?

Despite all of the concerns that fans surely have about the possibility of this rivalry moving forward, I for one believe that this time, it is different.

Sounds like I’m falling for it, right?  Perhaps.

But Dolph would not be facing just any WWE Superstar here.  This is John Cena we’re talking about. He is the Alpha Male of WWE.  He is Superman, Captain America and Will Smith all rolled into one. He is the headliner, the guy that the entire company revolves around and now he could be bringing all of that stroke, all of that influence, to bear in a feud with a guy who is a pinfall away from being World Champion.

This is the last test for Dolph Ziggler.

Provided he keeps doing what does best, which is working hard in the ring, and if he has a good showing against Cena in whatever match ends up happening between them, then Dolph will hopefully get the green light to move ahead in WWE.

He has done his part, kept his head down, and turned in one impressive performance after another.  He keeps his mouth shut and does what he’s asked to do.  He has done his part.  Now, it’s time for Vince McMahon to reciprocate.

The only way to become a top star in this business is to work the top stars.  When a main event guy lays hands on you, it is a statement of belief in your abilities and your position in terms of deserving a chance.  And, when that main event guy is John Cena, it changes everything.

He is the top guy.  There is none bigger in WWE.  And when you get that level of validation, then nothing can stand in your way.  This is it for Dolph Ziggler.  Time to man up and prove he is the next big thing in WWE.

At least I think that’s what’s happening here.  Of course, we’ve all been wrong before.