Does anyone remember when Dolph Ziggler was World Heavyweight champion?
Because it wasn't too long ago that Ziggler seemed to have a heap of promise and a very bright future ahead of him. But in recent months he has seen his stock seemingly drop and has been relegated to the midcard for quite awhile.
Fans of the "Show-Off" are hoping that their hero soon returns to the top, but it will take just the right ingredients for him to do so.
The right opponents are a big key to Ziggler's future success. And whether they are current champions in the company, or merely just annoying or brutal heels, Ziggler may have his work cut out for him if he ever hopes to return to the top of the WWE talent roster.
It seems as if every week we see Ziggler squaring off against the mouthpiece of the upstart group The Shield.
That's not a bad thing though, as Ambrose is also the reigning United States champion, a title that Ziggler has held once before.
He also happens to be one of the most talented and innovative competitors on the roster, so his encounters with the equally talented Ziggler are always enjoyable to watch.
The key to Ziggler succeeding in this feud, though, will be him actually being able to win the title. After that, he could continue his feud against the other members of The Shield, or even move on to any other competitor on this list.
It seems as if the Big Show has been doing far more crying than wrestling of late. As a pawn in the McMahon Family's chess game, he has become a hired gun for the group, being sicced upon any superstar that dares to challenge their authority.
Ziggler certainly fits that category, and by entering into a program with the World's Largest Athlete, Ziggler also gains some experience in battling a seven-time World champion, as well as arguably one of the most physically dominant superstars of all time.
For his part, Big Show would get to step back into the ring with a top-flight opponent, one with a bright future ahead of him. And it would likely be his pleasure (or at least his obligation to the McMahons) to ensure that that future never actually takes place.
Ok, so this one is a long shot given that Orton is currently deeply embroiled in a feud with Daniel Bryan.
But once that ends, what happens to the Viper?
The answer may by Ziggler, who offers skill, excitement and popularity, all of which could be a threat to Orton's growing ego. It would be in his best professional interest to stop Ziggler's rise before it ever gets off the ground.
However, given the high-profile nature of a feud with Orton, Ziggler's popularity would likely skyrocket, and he could easily be considered one of the top guys in the company very quickly if he is able to demonstrate his skill to the entire world.
In terms of the speed of his rise from midcarder to bona fide main eventer, this is likely the quickest way for Ziggler to achieve that goal.
But at what price?
Punk would probably disagree with his need for assistance in his feud with Heyman and his goons, but week after week it seems as if he is fighting insurmountable odds when it comes to the competition.
Adding Ziggler to the mix would even the odds up slightly and also make for a team that the WWE Universe could cheer wildly for.
And while that partnership would likely be very strained, as Ziggler and Punk are not known to be the best of friends, one would think that the mutual respect between the two, as well as a hatred for Heyman, Ryback and Curtis Axel would add enough fuel to the collective fire to allow them to move ahead as a cohesive unit.
What better way for Ziggler to return to prominence than to take down the man that first led him to it?
Del Rio has been World Heavyweight champion for more than three months now after beating Ziggler for the title in June. He is not a popular titleholder, often gaining little more than lukewarm reactions from most crowds.
And yes, he is currently feuding with Rob Van Dam, but once that is over, and Del Rio is still likely in possession of the title, putting Ziggler into the No. 1 contender's spot seems like a no-brainer.
Ziggler has held the title before, though briefly, and is a firm fan favorite. His exciting style and crisp ringwork stand in stark contrast to Del Rio's more measured but reckless approach. The WWE Universe loves Ziggler, but would probably enjoy him quite a bit more if he were consistently triumphing over Del Rio, especially with the highly prestigious World Heavyweight title on the line.