Dolph Ziggler: 7 Curious Facts About the WWE's Resident Show-off
When people see Dolph Ziggler, the first thing that comes to mind isn't "hmmm...he's a curious individual." It's more often, "Will someone smack this guy already?"
While Ziggler is indeed arrogant, he's one of the brightest stars in the business and the only way he can go is up.
As Ziggler continues his ascent to the top with his Money in the Bank briefcase in tow, it's easy to forget about Ziggler's impressive history.
Ziggler's on-screen character may be cut-and-dried, but his journey to becoming the #heel and show-off was a pretty curious one.
Here are seven curious facts about WWE's resident show-off, Dolph Ziggler.
1. He Was an Extremely Successful College Wrestler
Before Dolph Ziggler was dominating his opponents in the squared circle, he was doing it on the mat.
According to Alex Atkinson from KentWired.com, Ziggler is fourth in the Flashes' most career wins with 121 and is one of just 10 Kent State wrestlers to secure 100 victories.
Ziggler went on to become the MAC Champion in the 165-lb weight class three times in his career and qualified for the NCAA tournament four times, just one of four to do so for Kent State.
Nick Nemeth (Ziggler's real name) went on to graduate with a pre-law degree and planned on going to Arizona State for law school until he had a few successful tryouts with the WWE.
Since then he's been showing off at every given chance.
2. He Wasn't the Only Success from His High School
Almost every high school class has that one kid. That one kid who went on to do amazing things.
At small schools it might be someone just making a Division-I sports team or getting a big job with a huge corporation. At big schools it might even be something as crazy as a kid going to the NBA like LeBron and Kobe.
St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio has three of those kids. Ziggler attended St. Edward High School and participated on their nationally renowned wrestling team, winning the national championship on two occasions during his four years as he set the school's career record for pins with 82.
Also on Ziggler's high school team; Gray Maynard and Andy Hrovat.
Maynard is a very successful MMA fighter who has the fourth-fastest knockout in UFC history and is one of just two fighters to defeat Frankie Edgar. Maynard has many impressive victories, including wins over Edgar, Jim Miller, Clay Guida, Kenny Florian and Nate Diaz.
Andy Hrovat was another impressive alum from Ziggler's St. Edward wrestling team. Hrovat went on to become one of the best collegiate wrestlers in University of Michigan history, was a three-time NCAA All-American and competed at the 2008 Olympic Games.
I can't imagine that Ziggler honed his headstand headlock against Maynard or Hrovat back in high school.
3. He Started out as a Caddy
Many WWE fans remember Chavo Guerrero Jr's Kerwin White gimmick. Guerrero played a golfer named Kerwin White and employed a young and athletic kid by the name of Nick Nemeth as his caddy and sidekick.
Ziggler's WWE TV debut came on a 2005 episode of Sunday Night Heat with Guerrero. Ziggler even tagged with Guerrero on a few occasions.
Unfortunately for Ziggler, his time as a caddy was short-lived as Guerrero switched back to Chavo after the death of Eddie Guerrero. Ziggler was sent back to Ohio Valley Wrestling where he would participate in a few different tag teams.
Before Ziggler was showing off and gyrating for the fans, he was helping Kerwin White decide whether to settle for a nice approach, or go for the green.
4. He's the Lone Survivor from the Spirit Squad
Dolph Ziggler's next shot in the WWE was with a much more memorable gimmick. Ziggler was one fifth of the Spirit Squad, a group of male cheerleaders who feuded with Shawn Michaels, and eventually the reborn DX.
As Nicky, Ziggler was one of the five talented young Superstars on the Spirit Squad, but is the only member still in the WWE.
The other members, Kenny, Johnny, Mitch and Mikey, are all gone from the WWE and on to "bigger and better" things. Kenny is playing college football, Johnny has disappeared from sports entertainment since 2008, Mitch dated Torrie Wilson and lost an MMA fight by TKO and Mikey returned to Ring of Honor as Mike Mondo.
While the Spirit Squad was just one of WWE's faction takeovers, the five men involved looked like they could make individual runs, but Dolph Ziggler was the only member to stay alive in the WWE and has climbed the solo ranks ever since.
5. Has Appeared on Other TV Shows
Numerous WWE stars have made the jump from sports entertainment to the silver screen and the big screen. The Rock has become a movie star, John Cena has made appearances on TV shows and movies and Hulk Hogan was in No Holds Barred...among other actual movies.
Ziggler hasn't made the jump yet and after seeing the video above, that might not be a bad thing. During a WWE Karaoke week on the Lopez Tonight Show (before it went off the air) George Lopez had WWE Superstars come in and sing songs...poorly. Dolph, of course, sang Right Said Fred's hit single "I'm Too Sexy" and succeeded in slaughtering it.
Along with his rough karaoke performance, Ziggler also showed up on MTV's Silent Library with other WWE Superstars and successfully stayed quiet (which was the goal of the show) while he had a carnival horse race horse attached to his nipples (seen here at 18:50).
While Ziggler is WWE's resident show-off, he might not be ready for the big screen yet. That is, unless it involves nipple endurance.
6. WWE Runs in the Family
Another curious fact about #HEEL's greatness is that it apparently runs in the family.
Ziggler's real-life little brother, Ryan Nemeth, is an NXT Wrestler and currently acts as the NXT backstage interviewer as Briley Pierce.
Pierce made his WWE Developmental debut in a loss to Big E. Langston which he followed up with a loss to Brad Maddox. After tagging with Maddox a few times, Pierce debuted on NXT's first episode of Season Six as an interviewer.
While WWE's show-off continues chasing the World Heavyweight Championship, his brother continues to make his name known in developmental.
Who knows, maybe Pierce will interview Ziggler once he finally cashes in!
7. He Can Sell a Monkey Flip
A lot of people realize this, but it's worth pointing out.
Dolph Ziggler sells like a champ. He could very well be the best at selling moves in the WWE today.
Why is this curious? Because few people think of how well a guy sells when they watch him. A lot of people gravitate toward wrestlers who can talk or look cool or have amazing moves. It takes a special talent to be able to sell so many different moves so well.
Dolph Ziggler can definitely take a bump, which isn't always a guarantee with professional wrestlers (see John Cena selling punches or anything the Great Khali has ever done...ever).
Don't believe me? Watch this.
There you have it, seven curious facts about the WWE's show-off, Dolph Ziggler.
Ziggler has a lot of reasons to think so highly of himself. He dominated as an amateur wrestler in high school and college, got to hang out with Chavo Guerrero and the Spirit Squad, his little brother has followed his footsteps and Ziggler is the best at selling moves in the business.
Ziggler kept his Money in the Bank briefcase at TLC with the help of AJ Lee and is right in the middle of a very interesting storyline with AJ and Big E. Langston.
Enjoy curious facts about your favorite WWE Superstars? Check out the rest of the WWE Curious Facts Series: