WWE Royal Rumble Recap: Has Dolph Ziggler Put Us on the Road to Unification?

TJ Nagy@@tj_nagyAnalyst IIIJanuary 28, 2013

You can say whatever you want about Mr. Dolph Ziggler. At this point in his career, I've heard it all.

He's a future champion.

He's the most misused wrestler in the WWE.

He'll always be stuck in the position he's at now.

He has sweet hair (actually, I've never heard anybody say that, but you get the idea).

But the one thing you can't deny about Dolph is that he's always got a spotlight on him. Better yet, he's earned that spotlight slowly and methodically throughout the years. 

He's the definition of proper character development, a heel who has continued to improve in every aspect of his persona throughout the last few years.

You can claim that he had Vickie as a mouthpiece for most of this time, but I've never accepted that notion. Ziggler proved over time that he was much better on the microphone than most people believed.

Sure, having arguably the most hated "diva" of all time as your manager helps generate some excellent heat, but Ziggler took full advantage of his situation, and that is why he's still relevant today.  

The problem is that, even though Ziggler continues to get pushed and continues to find himself in promising situations, the guy always seems to fall just a little bit short. All the victories, all the accolades, all the primetime matches, and all Ziggler can show for it is one 15 second WHC reign, a blue briefcase, and a crazy girlfriend who calls him "Ziggy."

But maybe Ziggy is onto something. Maybe he knows something that we don't—something big. 

All it took was one promo yesterday at the Royal Rumble to make me contemplate Ziggler's future role in the company, and it could end with the WWE looking very different than it does now.

I expected the inevitable Ziggler interview to be brief. He would choose his number, AJ would stroke his um...ego, Big E Langston would stand there looking scary, and then we'd move on.

But then Ziggler said something I don't think anyone expected. Dolph said that after he won the Rumble (at entry No. 1, no less), he would go on to Wrestlemania and, with a little help from his MITB briefcase, unify the WWE and World Heavyweight Titles.

It was a curveball, to say the least. That was not the answer I expected, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who started to wonder what a unified WWE would look like. 

I mean, crowning an undisputed champion again? That's a pretty big deal. We like to comment on things that we think "shake up" the WWE, but nothing could be bigger than unification. 

Imagine a universe where there was only one champion for a moment, and what that would mean for WWE television every single week.

The possibilities are endless. More emphasis on rivalries and storylines that don't revolve around a belt, and maybe a little less room at the top, which I don't think is such a terrible thing when you look at the bigger picture. 

Welp, the Rumble came and went, and Ziggler ended up with yet another impressive, but underwhelming performance. Maybe he won't be unifying the titles anytime soon, but somebody just might.

Just the fact a wrestler would even mention something of that magnitude further establishes that big changes may be coming to the WWE in the not-too-distant future. The brand extension structure is continuing to die slowly, and the logical next step is to officially bring the two brands back together again. 

Crowning an undisputed champion of the WWE is the only way to do that and would officially usher in a new era for professional wrestling. 

It's something that's loomed in the back of every WWE fan's mind for a few years now, and after yesterday, it may be much closer to becoming a reality. 

Thank Dolph Ziggler for possibly getting the ball rolling on one of the biggest storylines in the last 11 years. He may not be big enough to actually unify the titles, but he is big enough to drop the gauntlet. 

Say what you want about him, but at least he's trying to entertain you guys. 

So, what do you think? Are we on the road to unification?