The WWE's biggest showoff has had a big year. He's been lurking on the outside of WWE main events, and he even won the Money in the Bank match for the World Heavyweight Championship and still has his briefcase, ready to cash in.
Dolph Ziggler has even been thrown into a feud involving AJ Lee (one of the WWE's only Divas with anything interesting going on), NXT newcomer Big E Langston and John Cena.
While Dolph has become a huge part of WWE programming, he's still not considered a main-event guy. Ziggler's insane ability to sell moves in crazy ways makes him an easy target for racking up losses to other Superstars. Taking insanely huge bumps and being so good at putting opponents over does just that, puts THEM over.
If Ziggler wants to ascend into WWE's main-event scene, he needs to beat John Cena...again. Ziggler's first big victory over Cena at TLC wasn't a true win because of the AJ shenanigans.
For Dolph to be looked at as one of the WWE's biggest players, he needs to beat John Cena all on his own. Due to recent rumors of a leaked WrestleMania main event, he has to get that win soon.
Unfortunately for Ziggler, he doesn't have a very good chance before WrestleMania. The Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber are the only pay-per-views before wrestling's biggest night, and neither are a very good opportunity for a solo showdown to settle the score.
Dolph and Cena will both be a part of the 30-man Royal Rumble match. They will also most likely be involved in one of the Elimination Chamber matches at the last pay-per-view before Mania.
Therefore, Dolph needs to start getting over against Cena. The Steel Cage match on the 20th anniversary edition of Raw looked like a good way to see Dolph go toe-to-toe with Cena, but it was more about Big E and AJ than it was about Dolph.
If Dolph wants to finally break into the main-event title race (his World Heavyweight Championship reign that lasted less than a day doesn't count), he needs to do what all of the stars before him have done.
He needs to beat a huge-name veteran.
Cena is a perfect matchup for Ziggler. Cena has been WWE's poster boy for years now, and having Ziggs score a clean win over Cena on a huge stage would cement Ziggler in the upper echelon of sports entertainment.
Ziggler's blue briefcase is the only way he can ascend to the top of the WWE without beating Cena or another big name. But Ziggler can't just cash in as a transition champion in between Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus or something.
If Ziggler cashes in, and the WWE wants him to be a major player, he needs to cash in and keep the belt for a while. That isn't always the case with cash-ins that are convenient last-minute fixes for storylines or injuries.
The WWE needs find a way to put Ziggler in the position to beat Cena one-on-one without outside interference on a big stage. With the lack of opportunities before WrestleMania, they better find it quick if they ever want the #HEEL to become the huge star he potentially could be.