The closer we get to WrestleMania 29, the more it looks like Dolph Ziggler is going to be left out in the cold.
With another Raw in the books and only three episodes remaining before the biggest pay-per-view of the year, there is still no clear-cut rivalry lined up for “The Showoff.”
Over the last several weeks, Ziggler has found himself competing in random TV matches without any real sense of direction. He’s lost most of those matches as well, with his only win coming on this week’s Raw against Daniel Bryan.
The peculiar booking of Ziggler has left many fans scratching their heads and wondering: Just what will he be doing at WrestleMania 29?
As astonishing as this may sound, the way things are shaping up seems to indicate that he may not even get a match on the show’s main card.
Because his feud with Chris Jericho seems to have been dropped and most other stars are already locked in for WrestleMania matches, Ziggler essentially has nothing to do on the grandest stage of them all.
But here’s what “The Showoff” should do.
On last week’s SmackDown, the WWE, seemingly out of nowhere, appeared to have ignited a rivalry between Ziggler and one of the company’s most popular stars, Daniel Bryan. In what initially seemed like nothing more than a random backstage segment, Bryan got into it with his ex-girlfriend AJ Lee before taking a shot at her current boyfriend in Ziggler.
That, of course, led to Bryan vs. Ziggler on Monday’s Raw, and much to the surprise of no one, those two put on a great TV match that has naturally left the fans wanting more.
Let’s give it to ‘em.
Although you would think that Bryan and his tag team partner Kane would be headed for either a WWE Tag Team Championship match or a bout against each other at WrestleMania 29, the creative team seems to have strayed away from that in recent weeks. Kane spent this week’s Raw going after CM Punk, and he and Bryan didn’t even appear on the show together.
The closer we get to WrestleMania, the less it looks like Bryan will be doing something with Kane. Instead, the biggest tag team rivalry currently taking place is the newly reunited Team Rhodes Scholars vs. The New Age Outlaws.
Perhaps there’s an off chance that we get some type of tag title match involving Team Hell No and those two squads at WrestleMania, but if not, Ziggler vs. Bryan is the way to go.
Now that the WWE has kicked off a bit of a feud between the two, it’s certainly not a bad idea to go full steam ahead with a legitimate WrestleMania rivalry involving two stars who deserve a big match at “The Show of Shows.”
Since Ziggler isn’t going to be facing Jericho at the pay-per-view (as far as we can tell), and since Team Hell No doesn’t have much going on either, it’s a feud that makes sense.
WrestleMania 29 already has a ton of things to offer: Huge rematches (Rock/Cena and HHH/Lesnar), perhaps Undertaker’s toughest challenge yet, a clash of ideals (Swagger vs. Del Rio) and likely, a clash of two behemoths (Ryback vs. Mark Henry) and a star-studded six-man tag team match (The Shield vs. Sheamus, Orton and Big Show).
Will Ziggler cash in to become World champion at WrestleMania 29?
What it doesn’t have, however—well, at least not yet—is a highly-anticipated undercard match that people want to see purely because it would be a great display of wrestling. But that’s what Ziggler vs. Bryan would be.
It doesn’t need any storyline (though it has one because of AJ’s history with both guys), and it doesn’t need a whole lot of buildup.
Bryan vs. Ziggler will sell itself because it pits two of the very best wrestlers in the world against each other in a match that, as Ziggler might say, will steal the show. Since neither of these guys can afford to be misused on the grand stage of WrestleMania, it might be best to use them against one another.
After all, there are far worse things than seeing two amazing talents face off at the biggest event in pro wrestling, especially when you consider that whatever match Ziggler has at Mania will not compare to what he does later in the show.
No matter who emerges from the World Heavyweight title match between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger as champion, neither will leave the show with the title.
We have never seen a superstar cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania, but that will change at WrestleMania when Ziggler becomes the first to do so.
He may not be scheduled for a huge match on the show, but once it's finished, he will have participated in one of the biggest "matches" on the card by cashing in and becoming World champion.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!