When Dolph Ziggler successfully cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Alberto Del Rio and won the World title, he set himself in the record books. But now that he has the big gold belt around his waist, what does he do next?
Ziggler has made a career out of making the other guy look good and squeaking by with a win when he can. Expect nothing different during his reign as World champion.
As seen on Monday Night Raw, the World champion is headed for a Triple Threat match also involving Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger. This bout will take place at Extreme Rules, possibly with a twist to match the nature of the pay-per-view, like a submission match.
Watch for Ziggler to keep the belt at Extreme Rules. With the WWE Universe waiting so long to see Ziggler with the title, it is unlikely he'd have it taken of him so quickly. Former champion Del Rio can suffer a loss—without submitting—and come out looking strong. Swagger won't get the title as his arrest before WrestleMania amidst his red-hot Zeb Colter angle damaged his prospects.
Ziggler will make Swagger tap out, capitalizing on Del Rio's work. That way he keeps the belt, but walks away with Del Rio looking like he could have taken it.
What this does is set up the inevitable singles rematch between The Showoff and Del Rio at Payback, the new pay-per-view set to take place June 16 at Chicago's Allstate Arena. Given the name of the event, it's easy to assume this will be the place to settle long-standing feuds. These two men will clash in a standard bout that will nonetheless impress with its technical prowess.
In the end, Ziggler will once again walk away with the belt, most likely with the help of Big E Langston.
Once Del Rio has been taken out of the title picture for the time being, who does this leave for Ziggler to face? A returning Chris Jericho would be the perfect match.
Jericho is expected to miss some time to tour with his band Fozzy. The break from the ring gives him a chance to clean his slate. His return freshens up the SmackDown scene and opens the door for more stellar bouts between the two.
Ziggler and Jericho can trace their paths to 2009 and that year's Royal Rumble. Through the years they have teamed up or squared off inside the ring. At the 2012 SummerSlam, Jericho defeated Ziggler by submission, only for Ziggler to send Jericho out of the WWE the next night on Raw.
They've already clashed twice this year, on Raw and SmackDown, with both men scoring a win. Their storyline writes itself. Jericho returns to challenge the World champion at Money in the Bank to finally settle on a winner.
A best of three, if you will.
Given these two put on awesome matches in the ring, don't expect their feud to end at Money in the Bank. Ziggler wins this one by disqualification, leading to a final bout at SummerSlam.
According to Fozzyrock.com, Jericho's band has a show seven days before SummerSlam on August 18. This means Jericho will be free to wrestle. After yet another stellar bout, Ziggler's second World title reign will come to an end in Los Angeles.
Ziggler most likely won't hold the title again during 2013, but he will be champion a third time in 2014. His unique ability to make anyone shine positions him as a champion with a long list of guys who can claim to have beaten him.
He gives the WWE a heel champion who can be bested at any moment, only to steal yet another win. It makes for entertaining television.