Dolph Ziggler has come a long, long way since his debut as the loathsome Nicky in early 2006. The Show Off is a former Intercontinental, United States and World Tag Team Champion, as well as enjoying one of the shortest reigns as World Heavyweight Champion in history.
Remarkably, how time flies, it has been almost two years since Ziggler captured his first, and to date only, world championship in the WWE.
Ever since however, fans have seen the former Spirit Squad member gradually given more television time and prominence, which led to him pulling double duty at both the Vengeance and Survivor Series pay-per-views last year, earning himself a reputation as a company workhorse in the process.
At Money in the Bank this past July, it became apparent that the WWE was finally considering giving Ziggler the main event push that many believe he deserved by having him go over seven other superstars and claim the Money in the Bank briefcase.
My question is, however, does Ziggler actually need the briefcase at this stage in his career; could it be that being 'Mr Money in the Bank' is actually hindering his ascent up the ranks?
While a number of observers expected to see the proclaimed guaranteed cash in at Hell in a Cell, nothing came to fruition. Moreover, with a fellow heel, and a monster heel at that, in The Big Show becoming World Heavyweight Champion, we are left scratching our heads as to when Ziggler will have a legitimate shot at the title.
It could be argued that the briefcase and enclosed contract is actually hindering Ziggler right now. For instance; a victory, clean or otherwise, against John Cena at Survivor Series would elevate him into to the WWE championship scene, if he did not have a guaranteed blue-brand title contract. Even in defeat, it is likely that Ziggler will be allowed to go toe-to-toe with the leader of the Cenation on Nov 18, proving his worthiness of a title shot, guaranteed contract aside.
Furthermore, while undoubtedly a 'world' championship, Smackdown's World Heavyweight Championship is almost universally recognised as secondary to the flagship WWE Championship. But, alas, due to the contract, Ziggler's character has to be pre-occupied with the former, perhaps meaning that his feud with Cena is simply a hold-off rivalry for the both of them.
While I recognise that there is a multitude of creative possibilities, such as turning Ziggler's face and having him feud with The Big Show, it just seems that he naturally fits into the WWE Championship scene better at the moment, with its counterpart being contested between Smackdown's resident behemoths.