A little over a month ago, Dolph Ziggler lost his hard-earned world heavyweight championship to Alberto Del Rio at WWE’s Payback pay-per-view, but things were still looking up for The Showoff.
The Mexican Aristocrat, while he's a talented performer, has been a dull character that has struggled to make a big impact in the WWE despite the countless opportunities afforded to him.
On paper, then, it sounds horrific that Ziggler would drop the belt to Del Rio, a champion of the machine; however, it was actually one of more exciting moments of the year.
Why? Because WWE pulled the trigger on an excellently done double switch—Dolph turned babyface and Del Rio heel. It seemed logical that WWE would want the fans to get behind the young underdog in his pursuit of reclaiming the big gold belt.
Unfortunately it was not to be; The Showoff got one rematch before being dropped from the title picture. There’s still hope for him as a babyface, but his main event momentum has been totally obliterated.
Things were going well for a few weeks after Payback. Ziggler was showing great passion in his constant ambushing of the Essence of Excellence. From there, everything went downhill. It’s almost as if officials were behind the idea of Dolph as a top star one minute and then totally uninterested in him the next.
For any character change to be impactful it has to be substantiated somehow—a big win or a prominent angle, for instance. In the case of Del Rio, he won the world heavyweight championship mere weeks after turning babyface late last year.
Dolph Ziggler never received anything to get his altered character over. The biggest win he’s gotten since Payback was against Jack Swagger, who’s unfortunately following a familiar career trajectory of going from the main event to the bottom of the card.
Other than that, Ziggler’s been scrimping victories from the likes of Drew McIntyre and Darren Young. Most of these matches have had Ziggler being beaten on for the majority of the match only for him to hit a Zig-Zag out of nowhere.
Yes, he’s the babyface and the intention is for him to get over by making a heroic comeback, but who will buy him as a world title competitor if he has trouble beating members of 3MB?
Even though the WWE is notorious for taking certain talents for granted, Ziggler stands out as being particularly misused and underutilized.
His main event run is over, at least for now, but there’s still hope for Dolph as a top star. If officials actually start believing in him and book him to look half as impressive as current world champion, then there’s no telling how successful he could become.