Dolph Ziggler left WWE TV at a time when no expected him to under circumstances that no one saw coming.
A mere month after “The Showoff” cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase to become the World Heavyweight champion, he almost saw his title reign cut short when he suffered a serious concussion that left him dealing with retrograde amnesia.
Ziggler would go on to miss roughly a month of action, but wasn’t forced to drop his title and just made his triumphant return on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw.
Much like CM Punk, Ziggler has been sorely missed over the course of the last month. But his time away from the WWE has actually resulted in one major benefit for Ziggler himself and the WWE as a whole: It’s freshened him up as a performer.
Ziggler has been one of the WWE’s most durable stars in recent years, which is obviously a good thing for his career prospects and will likely improve his longevity dramatically. At the same time, it’s also resulted in him never really having a chance to step away for an extended period and return with a vengeance.
Doing the same thing consistently for far too long has plagued even the greatest WWE stars, including John Cena and Randy Orton, and Ziggler certainly didn’t want to find himself in that same category.
That’s exactly why this concussion may have been a blessing in disguise.
Of course, no one wants to see someone seriously injured like Ziggler was. But now that he’s back, he has a new lease on life—well, maybe just his WWE career—and the fans will appreciate even more what a fantastic performer Ziggler is.
“The Showoff” doesn’t even have to change up his character when he returns. He’s a natural as the overly cocky, egotistical champion who shows off in the ring and realizes that he truly is better than everyone else.
Simply returning after a reasonably lengthy hiatus will do the same thing for Ziggler that it will do for Punk when he returns at Payback: Make him seem fresh again because the fans missed him so much.
After all, it’s safe to say that the fans have definitely missed Ziggler during his absence. Aside from anything involving The Shield and Daniel Bryan, the WWE product has been very lackluster as of late, so a great talent like Ziggler provides the company with an instant upgrade.
He’s evolved into one of the WWE’s best all-around performers in recent years, and the absence of his greatness has left a huge hole in the company over the last month.
We have grown accustomed to seeing Ziggler put on fantastic matches on both Raw and SmackDown week after week, but that’s a luxury that we just haven’t had over the last five weeks—a luxury that Ziggler’s absence has made us grow to appreciate.
Time makes the heart grow fonder, so all that time that Ziggler spent on the shelf has made us fonder of him and his incredible abilities in the ring. Thus, when Ziggler shows off those tremendous abilities for the first time since coming back, it will almost feel “new” again.
Yes, it’s only been five weeks since Ziggler was written off of TV. But anything more than a week or two would have felt like an eternity for the fans who tune into Raw and SmackDown just to see Ziggler do his thing.
Now, Ziggler’s back, and just like any other major star who goes away for a while and then comes back, Ziggler will feel fresh again—and he’s much better off because of it.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!