Dolph Ziggler's first two runs with the World Heavyweight Championship were brief, but he'll get a third try before 2013 ends.
Ziggler's fleeting championship reigns shouldn't be seen as a sign of WWE's lack of confidence in him, but a situation born from a compelling story taking precedence over his individual success.
WWE is in the business of telling stories, and it sacrificed Ziggler's time as champion for the sake of a great story. Ziggler fending off his first challenger would have been the expected outcome. Champs usually make it out of their first defense.
The Miz, who lost the Intercontinental Title to Wade Barrett one night after winning it, and Ziggler are recent exceptions.
Of all the scenarios fans thought might happen at the inaugural Payback, who could have predicted that we'd see a rare double turn take place? In a single match, Alberto Del Rio became champ again as well as morphing into a villain once more. Del Rio reverted back to his dastardly ways, and Ziggler showed signs of becoming a fan favorite.
The unexpectedness of this angle was one of the best parts of the pay-per-view.
One can understand why WWE went in that direction. It meant robust entertainment for the crowd, but an abbreviated title reign for Ziggler.
Expect him to wear that championship once again.
The history of both the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship shows a pattern of Del Rio not holding onto either belt for long. His first reigns as world champ lasted three months each. His two WWE title runs lasted 35 days the first time around and the 49 the next.
CM Punk's recent historic reign and Sheamus keeping the belt for much of 2012 aren't the norm, for Del Rio or anyone during this era.
That opens the door for Ziggler to win the belt back at either Money in the Bank 2013 or later. His and Del Rio's feud is charging along with them colliding at Del Rio's championship celebration.
Ziggler is playing the predator here in a situation where it seems like WWE is leaning toward letting him regain his belt after struggling and suffering on his way to earning our sympathy.
That would make sense, too, considering who the champion after Ziggler might be.
If Ziggler is headed towards full facedom, he'll likely win this eventual struggle. In the end, WWE often lets the good guy overcome his enemy. Ask Sheamus or John Cena how being opposite the dark side affects one's win-loss record.
Good defeating evil in the end is a more familiar and more comforting story. That's the one Ziggler getting his revenge and his title back will tell.
With the entire world title Money in the Bank ladder match comprised of heels, one would assume that it will be a face Superstar that they will cash in on. Should Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes or Antonio Cesaro win the briefcase, it makes more sense for a face Ziggler to be their eventual victim.
Ziggler might then again be the victim of a story arc.
This time, the tale would be of an up-and-comer earning their first world title by any means necessary. It could very well be Ziggler who that Superstar robs of the championship.