Dolph Ziggler Should Have Been Stripped of the World Heavyweight Championship

Justin LaBarFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2013

Photo courtesy of
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Since Dolph Ziggler isn't cleared to compete at Extreme Rules, WWE should have stripped him of the title and put it on the line between Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio in a ladder match.

It's fake wrestling. You can do whatever you want. It's a scripted world that has its own scripted rules. I'm not discrediting the genre—I love it and work in it. I respect the guys and history in it. The physicality and dedication isn't fake, but the scenarios all are.

I'm trying to give everyone a reality check that stripping Ziggler of the title in a scripted genre doesn't mean he can't win it back at the next pay-per-view he's medically cleared for. You have a triple threat situation for the world title and when your champion is injured you just drop the title match all together. Makes no sense.

Option 1...

Keep it a ladder match between Swagger and Del Rio―winner is the new champion.

Whenever Ziggler is ready to go again, he now can gripe about how he's still the real world champion and was never beaten for it. This all has irony because Ziggler won the world title in the first place by cashing in his Money In The Bank, which is basically a license to steal, after Del Rio was beaten down.

It makes the world title picture with these three guys, I don't know, more interesting.

Option 2...

Dolph Ziggler isn't unaffiliated. He has a bodyguard in Big E. Langston. Put Langston in the match with Swagger and Del Rio. Langston can lose the match and thus Ziggler loses the title. This can set up for Ziggler wanting his rematch saying that he never got beat. This also sets up for the eventual breakup with Langston.

Option 3...

Langston is in the triple threat match and successfully wins. Now Langston can eventually use this as a way to say Ziggler wouldn't still be carrying that title if not for him.

Anyway you look at it, changing the match six days prior to a pointless I Quit match between Swagger and Del Rio pales in comparison to what could have been done.

Some fans have told me via radio or Twitter that it would be disrespectful or punishment to take the title from Ziggler because he got a concussion. No, it would be protecting the business. Also, again, it's fake. This isn't MMA or boxing. It's not like there is an actual contender line Ziggler has to go to the back of.

Another one I keep hearing are those saying I didn't call for CM Punk to be stripped of the WWE title back in December when he couldn't compete at the TLC pay-per-view. That was different.

CM Punk needed to hold on to the title because in less than a month he was going to drop it to The Rock at Royal Rumble. A match that had been setup since last summer and directly tied into the road to WrestleMania. There wouldn't have been enough time for him to win it back. There is no big match they have to get Ziggler ready for that's right around the corner.

December also saw the first full month for The Shield in the picture and Ryback was still fresh to the main event picture in his chase. The pay-per-view also had another world title match and Dolph Ziggler versus John Cena in a ladder match with the MITB briefcase on the line. There was enough going to justify not having the WWE Champion compete but hold the title because of injury.

The pay-per-view this Sunday has another world title match with John Cena, who isn't fully healthy, against Ryback. It also has Brock Lesnar versus Triple H―the third time in nine months. CM Punk isn't there. The Rock, as reportedly originally planned, isn't there. The show is as light as it is on genuine intrigue.

A vacant title on the line because the champion is injured would be adaptive booking and quite frankly more interesting than what was originally presented.